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The Oxford History of Ireland

3.48  ·  Rating Details  ·  148 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Few countries can boast as compelling a history as Ireland. This volume captures all the varied legacies of the Emerald Isle, from the earliest prehistoric communities and the first Christian settlements, through centuries of turbulent change and creativity, right up to the present day. Written by a team of scholars--all of whom are native to Ireland--this book offers the ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published December 27th 2001 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1989)
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Sean Lynch
Mar 06, 2014 Sean Lynch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A long, sweeping ride through the history of Ireland starting in the prehistoric era and passing the barbarian tribes and kingships of the Middle Ages, the Norman Invasion, the Ascendancy, and finally ending up in modern-day Ireland, the Oxford History of Ireland covers a lot of ground. Unfortunately, much of the writing is snoozy and the big, important arcs of history are camouflaged in a landscape rife with weeds, an overwhelming surplus of facts of minor importance to the reader not writing a ...more
Jul 27, 2010 Bruce rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The collaborative effort of six scholars, this history covers Ireland’s history from the prehistoric period to 1989, when the book was published. It has many illustrations but is far more than simply a “picture book.” The differences in style among the authors is a bit disconcerting, and for the years before 1500 the reader can become bewildered by the continually shifting political loyalties among huge number of minor Gaelic leaders, but beginning with the opening of the sixteen century, patter ...more
A thorough and enlightening explanation of the major episodes in Irish history. I think this book would probably be best if combined with other reading material, say, in a college course. Not having a knowledgable source available to ask my questions of, I had to resort to googling things I was unfamiliar with. A glossary would have been useful. Overall, comprehensive and worth reading if you want to invest the time and energy into learning about Irish history.
James Violand
Mar 08, 2015 James Violand rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one.
Shelves: own
This book accomplishes what had been assumed to be impossible: making the colorful history of the Irish people irrelevant and boring. Perhaps it represents the relatively new perspective of history: facts unhindered by persons or events. It's like a poor travelogue: "Interstate 9 has been constructed based upon the typical Roman technique but modified by newer materials such as macadam. Travel has become more comfortable and hence enjoyable." What about the Rockies? The vast grasslands of Montan ...more
Oct 10, 2010 Aya rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
somewhere in the first 50 pages Foster refers to mercenaries as 'ubiquitous'...but actually we don't see many of them. Cromwell is also dismissed rather quickly.
At the same time, points of this history are very detailed--the early period especially so-- but it still manages to get at some of the greater arcs of Irish history
Jun 07, 2007 Caoileann rated it liked it
Very illluminating. The chapter written by editor Mr Foster is far and away the most evocative and compelling and clear
Mar 14, 2012 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: irish-history
An excellent book, the standout contribution being Declan Kiberd's chapter on Irish literature.
Mar 02, 2013 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great reference book, easy to dip into for information. Some day I'll read the entire volume...
Feb 02, 2012 Al rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Too many facts and figures (and opinion) without much depth.
dry but informative
Apr 12, 2008 Kelly rated it liked it
Shelves: class

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Robert Fitzroy Foster, PhD, FBA, FRHistS, FRSL.
More about R.F. Foster...

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