Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Oxford History of Ireland” as Want to Read:
The Oxford History of Ireland
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Oxford History of Ireland

3.44 of 5 stars 3.44  ·  rating details  ·  106 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)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Oxford History of Ireland, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Oxford History of Ireland

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 290)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Sean Lynch
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
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.
The first few sections on Prehistoric Ireland and Early Christian Ireland are interesting, but the chapters that follow are fairly dry. The Troubles in the 1970s and the Cromwellian conquest are neglected, and the author glosses over the Great Famine.

This book is best used as a complement to other books on Ireland, not as a subsitute.
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
Very illluminating. The chapter written by editor Mr Foster is far and away the most evocative and compelling and clear
An excellent book, the standout contribution being Declan Kiberd's chapter on Irish literature.
Great reference book, easy to dip into for information. Some day I'll read the entire volume...
Too many facts and figures (and opinion) without much depth.
dry but informative
Apr 12, 2008 Kelly rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: class

senior thesis
Sarah marked it as to-read
Dec 19, 2014
Michael marked it as to-read
Dec 17, 2014
Nora O'connor
Nora O'connor marked it as to-read
Dec 14, 2014
Katie marked it as to-read
Dec 13, 2014
Simon marked it as to-read
Dec 13, 2014
Stijn marked it as to-read
Dec 05, 2014
Pearl Read
Pearl Read marked it as to-read
Nov 29, 2014
Jennifer Tait
Jennifer Tait marked it as to-read
Nov 28, 2014
Sarah marked it as to-read
Nov 13, 2014
Sandy marked it as to-read
Nov 09, 2014
Jennings Peeler
Jennings Peeler marked it as to-read
Nov 06, 2014
Rosario Granata
Rosario Granata marked it as to-read
Nov 04, 2014
David Addiss
David Addiss marked it as to-read
Dec 09, 2014
Yasmin marked it as to-read
Oct 22, 2014
A. added it
Sep 28, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Oxford Illustrated History of Britain
  • The IRA
  • The Course of Irish History
  • The Great Shame: And the Triumph of the Irish in the English-Speaking World
  • The Story of the Irish Race: A Popular History of Ireland
  • Those Are Real Bullets: Bloody Sunday, Derry, 1972
  • The Great Hunger: Ireland: 1845-1849
  • Rebels: The Irish Rising of 1916
  • A Secret History of the IRA
  • Wars of the Irish Kings: A Thousand Years of Struggle, from the Age of Myth through the Reign of Queen Elizabeth I
  • In Search of Ancient Ireland: The Origins of the Irish from Neolithic Times to the Coming of the English
  • Paddy's Lament, Ireland 1846-1847: Prelude to Hatred
  • Rebel Hearts: Journeys Within the IRA's Soul
  • Making Sense of the Troubles: The Story of the Conflict in Northern Ireland
  • The Anglo-Saxons
  • Ireland: A Terrible Beauty
  • Bobby Sands: Writings from Prison
  • The Green Flag, Vols 1-3
Robert Fitzroy Foster, PhD, FBA, FRHistS, FRSL.
More about R.F. Foster...
Modern Ireland: 1600-1972 W.B. Yeats: A Life, Vol. I: The Apprentice Mage, 1865-1914 W.B. Yeats: A Life, Volume 2: The Arch-Poet 1915-1939 The Irish Story: Telling Tales and Making It Up in Ireland Luck  and the Irish: A Brief History of Change from 1970

Share This Book