The Oxford Illustrated History of Ireland

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Overview


Few countries in the world have such a compelling, individual, and stirring history as Ireland. This new volume, the latest in the widely acclaimed Oxford Illustrated Histories series, offers the most authoritative account of Irish history yet published for the general reader. Written by an expert team of scholars--all of whom are native to Ireland--this richly illustrated work takes us from the very earliest prehistoric communities and first Christian settlements, through centuries of turbulent change and creativity, to the present day.
Unlike earlier one-volume histories, which have tended toward oversimplification, this book emphasizes the paradoxes and ambiguities of Irish history, presenting a much more realistic picture. Why, for instance, are there such intense variations in agriculture, prosperity, and political affiliation in an island that compasses such a small area? And why do Victorian norms prevail in certain areas of 20th-century Irish life? In each chapter, the author marks new paths, redefining the preoccupations of the Irish and casting a cold eye on their ruling pieties. Overall unifying themes do, of course, emerge--and provide the familiar ground of Irish historiography: the shifting patterns of settlement and colonization, the recurrent religious strife, the establishment of new political entities.
The predominance of language in Irish life has led to the creation of a literature that is, in a way, a record of Irish history. A special feature of this book is a chapter that explores the interaction of Irish history and literature, what some have called "a bloody crossroads." The conflicts, settlements, discontinuities, and unities of Irish history are illustrated with a broad range of visuals covering the landscape, artefacts, architecture, and an enormous variety of contemporary material. There are over 200 photographs, including 24 full-color plates, and the volume is completed with reference material, maps, a chronology, lists of further reading, and a full index.
Wide-ranging, challenging, and highly readable, this vivid view of Irish history will instruct and entertain students, scholars, and general readers alike.

Few countries have such a compelling and stirring history as Ireland. This sumptuously illustrated volume captures all the color of the Emerald Isle, from the earliest prehistoric communities through centuries of turbulent change, to the present day. 200 halftones; 24 color plates; 8 maps.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198229704
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/1/1989
  • Series: Oxford Illustrated Histories Series
  • Pages: 398
  • Product dimensions: 7.81 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Meet the Author

About the Editor:
R. F. Foster, Irish-born and educated, is currently Reader in History at Birkbeck College, the University of London. He is the author of Lord Randolph Churchill: A Political Life, and the authorized biography of W.B. Yeats (not yet published), as well as several other books.

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Table of Contents

List of colour plates; List of maps; 1. Prehistoric and Early Christian Ireland; 2. The Norman Invasion and the Gaelic Recovery; 3. Early Modern Ireland, c.1500-1700; 4. Ascendancy and Union; 5. Ireland Since 1870; 6. Irish Literature and Irish History; Further Reading; Chronology; Acknowledgements; Index.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A History Lesson

    This book it what it says, a history book. It's good for research, clarity and understanding of the culture. It's hard to review a history book but, it's insightful and interesting and didn't bore me; which is all I can ask for in a history book.

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