Category: Books

Sun, sea and a special vision of Spain

Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light, an exhibition Beit Wing (Rooms 6-10), National Gallery of Ireland, Merrion Square Dublin 2 Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light by Gabriele Finaldi and others, published to accompany the exhibition (National Gallery Company London /distributed by Yale University Press, £30.00/€35.00)   This exhibition is the first ever mounted in Ireland, so…

What can science actually tell us about the human soul?

Are we Bodies or Souls? by Richard Swinburne (Oxford University Press, £14.99) Christopher Moriarty   The author, Emeritus Professor of the Philosophy of the Christian Religion at the University of Oxford, has an impressive number of previous titles. Like this one, some end with question marks and include Is There a God? and Was Jesus God?…

New insights on medieval wisdom

Curing Mad Truths: Medieval Wisdom for the modern age by Remi Brague (University of Notre Dame Press, $29.00 / £35.50) Frank Litton   Critical thinking is important, we all agree. Of course, the appetite for it is never going to be strong. Most of us want instruction in what the fashionable are thinking. We are as…

The myth of the decisive victory

Battles that Changed History: Epic conflicts explored and explained by Phillip Parker, R.G. Grant & Andrew Humphreys, foreword by Sir Tony Robinson (Dorling Kindersley, £20.00) There is something deep in the male psyche that loves wars and tales of wars. Women with their very different view of the world are generally unmoved by tales of war,…

The last illuminated books…what next?

Mainly About Books by the books editor   At this time of year a long queue snakes around the square in front of Trinity College’s Old Library, those in it waiting patiently to gain access to see the Book of Kells. Other ancient manuscripts are preserved in Ireland, some of which can be visited online.…

Recent books in brief

Bursting Out in Praise: Spirituality & Mental Health by Gavin Thomas Murphy (Messenger Publications, €4.95 / £4.50) The author has bipolar disorder, but he has put his own experience of this, and his own solutions to it in his own life, at the heart of this brochure, which many families may value for its non-technical language…

Down to earth in rural Ireland

Lay of the Land: Reflections on life in rural Ireland by Fiona O’Connell (Red Stag, €12.99) Christopher
 Moriarty   This collection of chatty articles is attractively illustrated by Caroline Barry with a pen-and-ink sketch at the head of every one of the one hundred plus short chapters. They are a selection from the author’s weekly articles…

Making the most of a wide, wide world

Elsewhere: One Woman, One Rucksack, One Lifetime of Travel by Rosita Boland (Doubleday, €16.99) Barbara
 Pierce   Elsewhere is a fascinating series of essays written about extraordinary journeys travelled by Rosita Boland over a period of about thirty years. She set off alone with only a 10kg bag, a passport and a black note book, no…

The ‘lost city’ of Eblana

Mainly About Books by the books editor   The publication in late 2016 of Pat Wallace’s Viking Dublin (Irish Academic Press, €60.00), was a summation of decades of work by two generations of archaeologists from the National Museum and others, to define the city’s beginnings. However, the book has nothing really to say about pre-Viking…