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- Publisher: Oxford University Press
- Format: Hardback | 256 pages
- Dimensions: 282mm x 325mm x 28mm | 2,177g
- Publication date: 1 September 1996
- Publication City/Country: Oxford
- ISBN 10: 0195212681
- ISBN 13: 9780195212686
From prehistoric stone circles to medieval high crosses, from seaside stone castles to Elizabethan tower houses, the monuments of Ireland fascinate scholars and travelers alike. Whether crumbling or perfectly preserved, in the midst of cities or standing alone in isolated landscapes, they bear mute but eloquent witness to the island's rich past. Now, back by popular demand, comes a stunningly illustrated guide to Ireland's historic places. Ranging from the earliest remnants of the prehistoric past to the end of the medieval era, Ancient Ireland provides an outstanding survey of the island's finest archaeological and architectural sites. Peter Harbison provides lively and thoughtful descriptions of megalithic wedge tombs, medieval round towers, and Tudor manor houses--matched by more than 300 hauntingly beautiful photographs by Jacqueline O'Brien. Harbison also provides a narrative overview of Ireland's history, placing the architectural monuments in the context of Roman influence, Celtic migration, Brian Boru's battles, Norse and Norman invasions, Gaelic revival, and Cromwell's conquests. He describes the earliest monasteries against the background of St. Patrick's missionary efforts, examines the cultural impact of the Viking conquests, and explores the literary flowering that took place even as the Anglo-Norman aristocracy asserted its primacy in the twelfth century. The book brims with colorful details. And throughout, the carefully rendered and captioned photographs bring to life the rich physical legacy of the island's tumultuous past. Ireland remains a favorite destination for travelers, whether tourists or scholars of its fabled culture and history. Ancient Ireland provides an essential guide for all who are bound for the emerald isle--a delightful volume for tourists and armchair travelers.
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Peter Harbison is a member of the Royal Irish Academy, and is the author of a number of books on Irish history, architecture, and archaeology, including The Archaeology of Ireland, Irish Art and Architecture, and Pre-Christian Ireland.Jacqueline O'Brien has extensively photographed historic Irish sites. Former Director of the Architectural Archive of Ireland, her work includes Great Irish Houses and Castles and Dublin: A Grand Tour.
"A beautiful glimpse at the richness of Ireland's ruined architecture."--Booklist