Ireland confronts the seas about her with dramatic diversity; the spume-sprayed cliffs of Clare, the bony, probing fingers of Kerry, the seaward tumble of the Mourne and Wicklow mountains, scatters of islands, deep fjords, the smothering dunes of Wexford, and thousands of miles of white or golden sands. Inner Ireland's appeal is quite as real: the dark pastel colours of the bog, haughty houses in pampered demesnes, long thin villages with their spired churches, Georgian Dublin, solitary glories like the Rock of Cashel, or the ruins of the seven churches in the wild green mountain gash of Glendalough. BRENDAN LEHANE vividly illuminates all these. He brings us to the thrones of ancient kings, to the high, lonely haunts of peregrine and buzzard, to tumbledown castles and abbeys mellow and mouldering in their ivy shrouds. He shows us the Irish people embattled, in love, story-telling, worshipping, joking, starving, abandoning their country in despair. We meet pillaging Vikings, conquering Anglo-Normans, land-grabbing Tudors. We follow in the tracks of Joyce, Wilde, Parnell, Swift, De Valera, Tone, Cromwell, O'Connell, Wellington, Yeats, St Patrick - a motley cast-list of heroes and villains, historic and legendary. With good reason Eric Newby wrote of the first edition All Ireland is in this book. BRENDAN LEHANE is a writer and journalist whose family has roots in East Cork.