Category: Reviews

Ireland’s quest for its true place in the modern world

A History of Ireland in International Relations by Owen McGee (Irish Academic Press, €24.95/£21.99 In this book the author takes up the challenge of the late Garret FitzGerald to future historians that “the international economic context behind Irish political history” should be “fully integrated into the narrative of both the Irish state and its international relations”.…

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No Carmen but NCH highlights still enough to relish

I had intended writing about Irish National Opera’s new production of Bizet’s Carmen due at Dublin’s Bord Gáis Energy Theatre this week but, alas, Covid-19 stepped in and brought the curtain down. It promised to be an interesting staging with Kerry’s Paula Murrihy as the sultry gypsy temptress of the title role and Kildare’s Celine…

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St Roch and prayer in times of plague

Mainly About Books by the Books Editor In times of crisis it’s natural that people should look to their Faith for reassurance. During the days of the ‘mad cow disease’ (Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease) the prayer in time of plague associated with St Roch was much sought. Now, with a new kind of plague striking fear into…

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A Catholic view of modern ‘success’

The decadent society: How we became the victims of our success by Ross Douthat (Avid Readers Press / Simon & Schuster, $US27.00 / £20.95) Frank
 Litton   ‘We live in a time of unprecedented change.” Do we, really? My Grandfather was born in 1875 and died in 1950. I reckon he experienced far more radical…

Resistance to tyranny – Tudor style

The Noble Martyr: A Spiritual Biography of St Philip Howard by Dudley Plunkett, with a foreword by the Duke of Norfolk (Gracewing, £9.99) This book is published at a very timely moment. With Hilary Mantel’s final novel in her Tudor trilogy, The Mirror and the Light, climbing up the best seller lists, it is good…

Revisionist version pioneering physicist’s life

Radioactive
 (15A)   Camille Paglia once said: “There’s no female Mozart because there’s no female Jack the Ripper.” The comment was inaccurate but typical of her penchant for sensationalism. (I liked Julie Birchill’s comment: “The ‘g’ is silent in Paglia. It’s the only thing about her that is.”) Something else that’s often said to be…

Odd times as celebration stays behind a mask

Well, it was a strange St Patrick’s Day for sure – a more sombre and sober one than we’re used to. Maybe, despite Mass cancellations, it was a more spiritual celebration than usual. At least that option was certainly on offer. The media, social and otherwise, played their part by broadcasting streamed religious services across…

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