Category: Books

Recent books in brief

The Messenger Advent Booklet 2021: reflections on the Weekday Reading by Donal Neary SJ (Messenger Publications, €4.95/£4.50) The author opens his little seasonal booklet with the observation that “Advent is the annual season of waiting”. This year, however, the notion of waiting has taken on an even heavier weight of expectation: will the pandemic die away,…

How Christianity brought us the secular

The Innocence of Pontius Pilate. How the Roman trial of Jesus shaped history by David Lloyd Dusenbury (Hurst and Company, £25.00/€30.00) Frank Litton Stories we are told can win or lose wars. The Taliban’s story — David vs Goliath in a ‘holy’ war — proved more telling than the United States’ and its allies’ story of a nation…

Seekers after spiritual truth

Voices from the Desert. The Lost Legacy of the Skelligs by Hugh MacMahon (Columba Books. €14.99/£12.99) Skellig Michael is one of the most famous heritage sites in Ireland, which the Office of Public Works has made great effort to render more accessible to visitors. Having appeared in one of the segments of the Star Wars series…

The Phoenix Park Murders recalled

The Irish Assassins: Conspiracy, Revenge and the Murders that Stunned an Empire by Julie Kavanagh (Grove Press, £18.99) The Queen v. Patrick O’Donnell: The Man who Shot the Informer James Carey by Seán Ó Cuirreáin (Four Courts Press, €17.95) Felix M. Larkin When Lord Frederick Cavendish was killed by the Invincibles in the Phoenix Park…

Laying the foundation of a scientific modern Ireland

Peter J. Drumm, First Professor of Biochemistry at University College Cork by Ned Barrett (Clogher Historical Society, €15.00; Clogher Historical Society, St Macartan’s College, Mullaghmurphy, Monaghan; ; info@clogherhistory.ie) Peter J. Drumm was born in Drumod, Co. Monaghan, on October 24, 1898. He attended Derrygooney National School and was a boarder at St Macartan’s College in Monaghan Town from…

A grim but important century in Irish history

Mission to a Suffering People: Irish Jesuits 1596-1696 by Thomas J. Morrissey SJ (Messenger Publications, €19.95/£18.95) The Jesuit historian T. J. Morrissey is well known for his books on the Irish trade union movement and on modern Church history, especially in Dublin. But he has also written widely about the more distant past. His new book…