Category: Books

Sr Wendy and the spirit of art

Sister Wendy’s 100 Best-loved Paintings compiled by Sr Wendy Beckett (SPCK, £25.00) This is both the latest and the last book of the celebrated TV art critic, Sr Wendy Beckett, who died last Christmastide at the age of 88, on the feast of St Stephen. She was not, as many seemed to think, a nun…

The PEN book…mightier than the sword?

A Personal Perspective on Irish PEN by J Anthony Gaughan (Kingdom Books, €15.00) PEN was an international association of writers founded in London in 1921 – the initials stood for ‘Poets, Essayists and Novelists’, but in fact many kinds of writers are now members. The club, as its members thought of it, was intended to…

The human face of the 9/11 tragedy

Fall and Rise: the story of 9/11 by Mitchell Zuckoff (HarperCollins, £25.00) Felix M. Larkin Not very often do I read a book that I know will live forever in my memory. This is one such book. It tells the stories of a few of the victims of the terrorist attacks in America on September…

When Ulster armies clashed at night

Nights in Armour by Samuel Thompson (Mercier Press, €14.99) With the question of Ulster back in the fore of European politics, this new novel reminds us of just what the condition were in the grim past of that province that wise leaders in the Republic and the EU, Northern Ireland and Britain should seek to…

Popular lore in field and street

Mainly About Books By the books editor Among the many institutions that derive from the 1920s that still survive to this day the Folklore Department of University College Dublin is the most interesting, and perhaps the most culturally significant. Its productions, such as a recent work on the folklore of our coast-wise fishing communities, often…

Recent books in brief

Newman at Littlemore by Bernard Bassett (Gracewing, £7.99) Next month John Henry Newman will be canonised, at long last many may feel. This occasion will see a flood of books to mark both the events, and to enlarge upon people’s ideas about the man and his career, adding to the large number of books and…

A patriot woman in Georgian Ireland

The Life and Times of Mary Ann McCracken (1770 – 1866) by Mary McNeill, (Irish Academic Press, €22.95 / £19.99) J.
Anthony
 Gaughan This was first published in 1960. Ever since it has been valued by historians as an excellent biography of Mary Ann McCracken and a definitive account of the United Irishmen. Mary Ann was…

The true voice of an Irish poet long neglected

Discovering Thomas Moore: Ireland in 19th Century Europe Royal Irish Academy, Academy House, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2.An exhibition running to Monday, December 23, 2019; opening hours: 
Monday-Friday, 10am-4.30pm, 
no booking required. Booklet to accompany the exhibition by Sarah McCleave (Queen’s University / Erin Project / Royal Irish Academy), free.   Thomas Moore, once deemed…