A Christian classic revisited

The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis (First published in 1946 by Geoffrey Bless; available in many editions new and second-hand) C.S. Lewis (1898–1963) was described as one of the intellectual giants of the 20th Century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his time. This slim volume – a literary outcome of the…

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That other India: the India of the Princes

A Princess Remembers: The Memoirs of the Maharani of Jaipur by Gayatri Devi with Santha Rama Rau (Rupa & C, New Delhi, 2008; copies of other editions are available second-hand online from €10.00 approximately) These extraordinary memoirs of an eminent Indian princess, who achieved great electoral success in later life, present a fascinating account of India…

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Robert Hugh Benson: convert, priest and novelist

Lord of the World, a novel by Robert Hugh Benson (Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, $15.95/£10.99) In January 2015 during an in-flight interview from Manila to Rome, Pope Francis referred to the ‘ideological colonisation’ of international family-planning agencies and national governments that impose population control as a condition of development aid. The reporter asked what he…

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Murder answered by murder

A Zealous Priest: The Murder of Fr Michael Griffin 1920 by Pat O’Looney (Islemeen, Loughrea, Co Galway; €15.00 from Charlie Byrne’s Books in Galway and other outlets) This biography of Fr Michael Griffin includes a microscopic account of the circumstances surrounding his tragic death. It is written by Pat O’Looney a local historian, well known for…

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Going About His Father’s Business

What is your Business? Memories of life, especially from my 23 years missionary work in Sierra Leone, West Africa by Fr Willie Kingston, CSSp (CRM Publications/Spiritan Heritage and Archives, Kimmage Manor, Dublin, €20.00/€30.00 postage paid) Daniel Murphy in his magisterial A History of Irish Emigrant & Missionary Education, published in 2001, describes the significant contribution made…

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The eventful history of Kerry in Tudor Days

Deeds Not Words: The Survival of the Fitzmaurices Lords of Kerry 1550 to 1603 by Martin Moore (Gabha Beag publications,€20.00) This splendid study examines the political and military roles of the Fitzmaurices, Lords of Kerry and Barons of Lixnaw, in the Tudor Years of 1550 to 1603. It shows their involvement in local, national and…

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Kevin Barry, a legend of the revolution

Yours ‘Til Hell Freezes: A Memoir of Kevin Barry by Síofra O’Donovan (Currach Books, €19.99/£17.99) A century ago Kevin Barry became an icon of the republican movement. The ballads on his life and death were particularly popular among Irish expatriates. One of them even became part of Paul Robeson’s repertoire in the 1930s. His status derived…

How Ireland was made for democracy

Saving the State: Fine Gael from Collins to Varadkar by Stephen Collins and Ciara Meehan (Gill Books, €24.99/£22.50) Representatives of CumannnanGaedheal, the National Guard and the National Centre Party established Fine Gael on September 2, 1933. Eoin O’Duffy, leader of the National Guard – also known as the Blueshirts because of the apparel of its members –…

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The spirituality of married love

Conjugal Love: A Path to God edited by The Friends of Father Caffarel (€14.00; available from Married Spirituality, 66 Mount Albany, Blackrock, Co Dublin A94 AC81 at www.marriedspirituality.com ) Any discussion on this book must begin with Fr Henri Caffarel. He was born in Lyon, France, on July 30, 1903. From his earliest years he exhibited…