Category: Books

A glimpse of Nathaniel Hone’s Orient

Nathaniel Hone: Travels of a Landscape Artist National Gallery of Ireland 
23 February–1 December 2019 After Nathaniel Hone the younger died in 1917 his wife donated to the National Gallery some 500 works of art: it took until the 1950s to catalogue them all. Most of us have an image of Hone as the creator…

Thomas Cromwell: an ill-fated power in the land

Thomas Cromwell: A Life by Diarmaid MacCulloch (Allen Lane, €35) Robert
 Marshall   “The evil that men do lives after them, / the good is oft interred with their bones…’  This apposite quotation from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar comes to mind when reflecting on this magisterial book written by Diarmaid MacCulloch about the life of Thomas Cromwell (1485 c.-1540). MacCulloch is professor…

New paths to higher things – as seen by a scientist

Ways to go Beyond and why they Work by Rupert Sheldrake (Coronet, £20.00/€23.00) Christopher Moriarty   In his preface, Rupert Sheldrake introduces himself as a research worker who is making a substantial contribution to the human knowledge that he calls “mundane”. He means the facts relating to our material world, which can be ascertained by…

Darwin and the wonders of Creation

Mainly about Books by the Books Editor   It has long amazed me the amount of abuse that creationists and many evangelicals heap upon the head of Charles Darwin. Much of what is said is simply wrongheaded, or relies on over simplistic interpretations of the Book of Genesis (one of the most challenging books of the Bible…

The last tales of a great writer

Last Stories by William Trevor (Viking, £14.99) Derek 
Hand   The title of this posthumously published collection, Last Stories, signals that this is the final work from William Trevor who died in 2016. The title is doubly appropriate because the 10 pieces gathered here are imbued with a melancholy sense of things ending. Trevor as a writer…

A remarkable sports woman and influential star

Game Changer by Cora Staunton with Mary White (Transworld Ireland, €28.00) While Cora Staunton is well-known for her skill and prowess on GAA playing-fields, little is known about her life beyond football or her private persona. That deficit is rectified in this frank autobiography. Cora recalls her early years as she was raised in a small…

Are Gaelic games the real religion of Ireland?

The GAA and the War of Independence by Tim Pat Coogan (Head of Zeus/an Apollo Book, £20.00) The Gaelic Athletic Assoc–iation (GAA) promotes, across the whole island of Ireland,  Gaelic football, hurling, ladies’ Gaelic football, camogie and handball. However, it does not concern itself solely with organising these sports. With the Irish language, Irish music and…

World religion and our contrasting ways of reason

The Territories of Reason: Science and Theology in an Age of Multiple Rationalities by Alister E. McGrath (Oxford University Press, £25.00) Frank
 Litton   The world is changing; nothing surprising in that. Change is the norm. What is interesting and even disturbing is the growing sense of disorientation. The maps that guide us fail. The political landscape no…

The real Hemingway of Twitter

Mainly About Books by the Books Editor   Since Donald Trump took office as President of the US, the world has been fascinated, indeed mesmerised, by his daily use of short tweets to express his changing opinion, his unfocussed anger at friends and enemies (often there seems little distinction), and announce, often daily, new and…