Category: Books

The eventful history of Kerry in Tudor Days

Deeds Not Words: The Survival of the Fitzmaurices Lords of Kerry 1550 to 1603 by Martin Moore (Gabha Beag publications,€20.00) This splendid study examines the political and military roles of the Fitzmaurices, Lords of Kerry and Barons of Lixnaw, in the Tudor Years of 1550 to 1603. It shows their involvement in local, national and…

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A Poet’s Lost Year by Desmond Egan

Readers may forgive me at this season of peace and goodwill, having already written about my most enjoyed book of last year (The Irish Catholic December 24, 2020), for concluding here my thoughts about 2020 with something I wrote during this Covid-19 year, which – I now discover – seems curiously ad rem: A Poem for 2021 Bunting…

The Holy Land in early modern images

For centuries Jerusalem and the Holy Land was a place of great mystique, the hope of pious pilgrims as the object of a once in a lifetime visit. But over the course of the long nineteenth century this began to change: new techniques of image making and reproduction began to alter the ideas that people…

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Books of the year

Some of our regular reviewers select the book or books they most enjoyed or were impressed by over the course of the last year… TJ Morrissey SJ The most interesting book of the year for me was Paul: A Biography, by Tom Wright (SPCK Publishing, £19.99). The author is recognised as one of St Paul’s…

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Books for children and young adults

The Christmas season has always been the time when families buy more books than they do at other times of the year. Here, arranged in something like order of age, are some suggestions from this year’s new offerings. The Dead Zoo by Peter Donnelly (Gill Books, €14.99) This artist’s most amusing books about the president up…

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Passing on a love of books

The World of Books by the Books Editor Literacy for both young and adult is an essential of social life. So these days teachers, politicians and booksellers are all agreed on the need to encourage reading. Easy enough with girls, it seems, but boys need more encouragement. So at Christmas all the deluge of new…

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Christmas Books

This has been a strange and difficult year for publishers, large and small. As religious and spiritual books come largely from small firms, they have been hit very hard. With lockdown across their main markets closing bookshops, online purchases, click-and-collect, and special localised deliveries have been the trend. So sales do go on, but many firms…

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Thinking about the universe

A theory of everything (that matters): A short guide to Einstein, Relativity and the Future of Faith by Alister McGrath (Hodder and Stoughton, £14.99) Christopher Moriarty Last year saw the celebration of the centenary of the validation of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity. An event of the utmost importance to science, the observations of 1919…

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The meaning of Christmas customs

Christmas Tradition, Truth and the Total Baubles by Nick Page (John Murray Press, £6.99) The contents of this book may seem very familiar to some readers, for every Christmas articles and books appear about the traditions of the Nativity and the events surrounding it. Nick Page, who is an agreeable yet well-informed writer with an amusing…

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Kevin Barry, a legend of the revolution

Yours ‘Til Hell Freezes: A Memoir of Kevin Barry by Síofra O’Donovan (Currach Books, €19.99/£17.99) A century ago Kevin Barry became an icon of the republican movement. The ballads on his life and death were particularly popular among Irish expatriates. One of them even became part of Paul Robeson’s repertoire in the 1930s. His status derived…