Category: Reviews

Notre-Dame and the soul of France

Mainly About Books by the books editor   The fire which ravaged Notre-Dame in Paris shook not just France, but the whole word. The edifice was not merely just another site on the European tourist trail, it was a place which has rightly been seen as a mirror of the soul of France herself. Its…

Russborough House back in the musical spotlight

Pat O’Kelly   Built between 1741 and 1755, Russborough House near Blessington is a fine example of Palladian architecture. The renowned Richard Cassels designed it for the brewer and property developer Joseph Leeson, who was created Earl of Milltown in 1763. Dublin’s Leeson Street is named after him. In 1952 Russborough became the home of…

Sights worth seeing

Prayerful Ireland by Helena Connolly (Messenger Publications, €19.95) This richly illustrated book (mentioned briefly at Christmas time) is worth a longer notice, for as the summer days draw out (hopefully) the places she mentions may well be worth a visit. Her approach is suggested by the cover itself which shows an unusual view of Lough Derg,…

Serious lessons from the flames of Notre Dame

“Unlike the Eiffel Tower, that other great emblem of Paris,” writes Tom Holland at spectator.co.uk, “Notre Dame provides the French with evidence that their modern and secular republic has its foundations deeply rooted in the Middle Ages.” There’s been much to criticise in The Spectator over recent years, but ‘Thank God for western values’ is…

The popular art of the local printer

Listowel, a Printer’s Legacy: The Story of Printing in North Kerry 1870-1970, Vincent Carmody (Vincent Carmody, €35.00; ISBN: 9780992698898; email: info@listoweloriginals.com or call +353 (0) 87 966 7112.) This publication provides an account of the Cuthbertson family who conducted a printing business in Listowel for almost a hundred years. Robert Irvine Cuthbertson was born in…

Finding ‘room to live’ in the Irish Free State

Protestant and Irish: The minority’s search for place in independent Ireland Ian d’Alton and Ida Milne (Cork University Press, €49.00) This collection of essays provides a comprehensive account of Irish Protestants – their attitudes, the decisions they took and their role in public life – after the Irish Free State was established in 1922. Following the…