An Historical, Environmental and Cultural Atlas of County Donegal

An Historical, Environmental and Cultural Atlas of County Donegal

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This atlas consists of around ninety articles from over fifty contributors covering a wide range of topics that are central to the cultural and natural heritage of Donegal. While the county has received a considerable degree of attention from historians and archaeologists in the past, there has been no one major work to bring together the great diversity of material written about the county's history, landscapes and people. After decades of neglect and indeed misrepresentation this atlas seeks to literally put Donegal on the map of contemporary Ireland. Contributors are drawn from a wide range of academic disciplines and interests. They include established authors and academics, as well as competent local scholars whose work merits publication. The editors, who have also contributed very substantially to the volume, have sought to 'raise the bar' in regional studies in order to set a high standard of scholarship, and writing, to make this a volume that will be consulted by those interested in the history and heritage of the county for many years to come. Thus contributions range from short pieces of 1500 words, to specialised chapters of 7000-10000 words. This richly illustrated atlas also has a very strong heritage focus in that the historic, archaeological, natural landscapes and the built environment of the county are treated as powerful elements of Donegal's cultural heritage. Thus topics include historic and recent emigration, Gaelic language and literature, musical traditions, the marine environment, fishing and the coastal economy, textile industries, the history of tourism and travel, art and architecture, Ulster Scots and Donegal's Presbyterian community, material culture, farming, the history of rail, newspapers, sport, the natural and physical landscape and urban-rural relations.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 638 pages
  • 244 x 304 x 48mm | 3,339.95g
  • Cork University Press
  • Cork, Ireland
  • English
  • 1859184944
  • 9781859184943
  • 218,046

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Author Information

Jim MacLaughlin is an author and political geographer who has written extensively on a wide range of topics, including the politics of state formation and nation-building, the history of academic disciplines, historical and contemporary emigration, ethnic separatism, racism and, most recently, the history of Ireland's sea fisheries. Sean Beattie is editor of the Donegal Annual, the journal of County Donegal Historical Society, and a graduate of University College Dublin and Ulster University. He has published several books on the history of Donegal and completed his doctorate on the impact of the Congested Districts Board on Donegal. In 2012, NUI Galway conferred an honorary degree on him in recognition of his contribution to historical research.

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Review quote

THIS IS A WONDERFUL BOOK. The breadth of material and disciplines covered is incredible. An extraordinarily comprehensive review offering context, insight and history - all illuminating the lives of communities past and present. Challenging, provocative and revealing by turn, this wonderful atlas adds nuance and subtlety to a story we might have thought we knew. Bob Collins, Chairman of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and Former Director-General of RadioTelefis Eireann. THIS UNIQUE VOLUME has been conceived and written in the true spirit of the great eighteenth-century encyclopaedists. The editors have marshalled a formidable cohort of specialists and talented writers to produce a book characterised by a remarkable range and depth, replete with chapters which are learned and at the same time accessible. Surely, no county in Ireland has ever been provided with such a sumptuously illustrated, comprehensive, enlightening, up-to-date and absorbing survey as this Donegal Atlas. Jonathan Bardon, author of A History of Ulster, The Plantation of Ulster and A History of Ireland in 250 Episodes. THIS IS A LANDMARK BOOK. Beautifully illustrated, accessible and expertly edited, it covers the history, geography, culture and everything else about Donegal from the earliest times to the present day, with a range of references and authority never before attempted. If you only read one book on Donegal, this has to be it. Tom Devine is Personal Senior Research Professor of History and Director of the Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies at the University of Edinburgh. SO FAR, the twenty-first century has not been that kind to Donegal. Could this remarkable account of the county's natural and human evolution mark a small turning point in its fortunes? It is a reference work that is likely to become a benchmark for understanding this quintessential corner of Ireland well into the future. Replete with maps, photos and illustrations from the ancient to the ultramodern, the cycles of change that have formed the county over millennia are explained in texts of consistently high quality. The editors, with their painstaking approach, have pulled off a minor triumph with a book destined to have an enduring appeal. Tom Gallagher, Emeritus Professor of Politics, University of Bradford. THIS COLLECTION OF ESSAYS by more than fifty scholars and cultural figures introduces readers to the unique physical landscape, unfolding historical narrative, and cultural richness of County Donegal, a place previously perhaps more often imagined than known by outsiders. The variety of subjects treated - the shaping of the land by the ice age, the flight of the earls, the relationship with the sea, tourism and travel, and local traditions in music, art, architecture, language, and literature, among many others - and the range of disciplinary perspectives deployed make this a work of intellectual wonder and fascinating engagement for academic and lay readers alike. Following the appearance from Cork University Press of the Atlas of the Irish Rural Landscape and the Atlas of the Great Irish Famine, this publication maintains the distinguished research standards and high production values associated with those works but also suggests that scholarship in Irish cultural geography broadly defined is now experiencing an exceptional flowering. By evoking the natural and cultural heritage of County Donegal, and the manner in which its people have been uniquely shaped by landscape and history, this magnificent atlas recasts how a distinct region should be viewed in the context of both historical and contemporary Ireland. Professor Michael Kenneally Research Chair in Canadian Irish Studies, School of Canadian Irish Studies, Concordia University, Montreal THIS ATLAS OFFERS rich insights into the history of Donegal and tells the story of the human-nature relations that have shaped the landscape, culture, social life and economic history of the county over the centuries. The use of maps, drawings, paintings and photographs shows us how landscapes, nature and human activity have evolved in this region. This work also shows how places here have been formed through the operation of a variety of competing gazes, viewpoints and practices. I can highly recommend this book to a wide readership outside as well as inside of academia. Dr Karoline Daugstad, Department of Geography, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim. THE DONEGAL ATLAS is a mighty book that is full of answers to all those unanswerable questions that get so frequently thrown at us by children and visitors, or merely by other people who like ourselves are enthusiastic but woefully ignorant about the land around us. This atlas appears to have it all, from the Stone Age to the present time, from well before St Colmcille to Daniel O'Donnell. There are well-written and ordered sections on rocks, farmlands, parliamentary bills, famous and infamous men and women, animals, fish and birds and much more. It is lavishly illustrated with maps, diagrams, photographs and paintings. Altogether a great book to have around. Jennifer Johnston, Novelist.

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