Category: Reviews

When fierce local quarrels came to blows

Days of the Blackthorn: Faction Fighters of Kerry by Seán Moraghan (Mercier Press, €16.99) In the early part of the 19th Century especially, faction fighting was a feature of rural life throughout Munster. The Catholic clergy were unable to prevent it, despite their strenuous efforts, local magistrates turned a Nelson eye on it and some…

Modern idols in the service of profit

The Enchantment of Mammon: How Capitalism became the Religion of Modernity by Eugene McCarraher (The Belknap Press / Harvard University Press, $US39.95/£31.95) Frank
Litton This is a vitally important book, likely to attract considerable attention among critics and readers. I reckon it could have an impact similar to Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue back in 1997. Certainly…

Fidelio’s long trek brings it to stage in Dublin’s NCH

In 1803 Emanuel Schikaneder, who collaborated with Mozart on The Magic Flute but was then director of Vienna’s Theater an der Wien, approached Beethoven with an operatic libretto – Vestas Feuer (Vestal Flame). Initially the composer reacted favourably and completed almost two scenes before becoming disenchanted and laying it aside. However, two of its arias…

St Thérèse, the Little Flower in Scotland

St Thérèse of Lisieux in Scotland 2019   (The Bishops Conference of Scotland / Scottish Catholic Observer, €6.99 + €6.99 p&p. Order from books@sconews.co.uk, phone 0044-141-241-6106.  Arrangements are being made to distribute the book in Ireland.)   The tour of the relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux in Ireland is still for devotees of the…

European visions of 
Ireland over the centuries

Ireland in the European Eye edited by Gisela Holfter and Bettina Migge (Royal Irish Academy, €25.00) Joe 
Carroll This large book (515 pages) is billed as “a comprehensive survey of Ireland’s place in Europe, providing a detailed narrative of a cultural relationship that began with Irish missionaries bringing Christianity and learning to the continent”. The…

Home Rulers in Independent Ireland

The Legacy of the Irish Parliamentary Party in Independent Ireland, 1922-1949 by Martin O’Donoghue (Liverpool University Press, £80.00).   Felix M. Larkin   Conor Cruise O’Brien, the grandson of a long-time Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP) MP, was once discussing the 1916 Rising and its aftermath with his father-in-law, Seán McEntee, a 1916 veteran and foundation…

The Parnellite by the fireside

The World of Books Back in the 1950s, when such a case was less common, an Irish poet was teaching a course on modern Ireland literature in a US university. He chose James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) as the text for the semester. By the time he was…

Rush to judgment of an innocent security guard

Richard
 Jewell
(15) You’ve got to hand it to Clint Eastwood – at 89 years old, he’s still churning out great films. I’d never heard of Richard Jewell before seeing this. In July 1996, the overweight security guard noticed a suspicious-looking knapsack under a bench at Atlanta’s Olympic Games. It turned out to contain a bomb.…