The Oxford Companion to Irish HistoryBook - 2004
''With its appearance in 1998 the Oxford Companion set a benchmark among reference works on Irish history for accuracy, comprehensiveness, and scholarly detail. Since then Irish history, politics, and culture have continued to develop and transform themselves, and the new edition admirablyextends its team of contributors to broaden the coverage of art, literature, archaeology, and material culture as well as contemporary writing and current politics. It re-emerges more indispensable than ever.''Roy Foster, Carroll Professor of Irish History, University of Oxford, and author of the acclaimed biography of W. B. Yeats ''A companion to be cherished'', ''judicious and authoritative'', ''excellent work'', ''informative and entertaining'', these are just some of the phrases used by reviewers describing the first edition of The Oxford Companion to Irish History, published in hardback in 1998. ''A rewarding read'', ''marvellouscompanion'', and ''invaluable work of reference'' echo the reviewers of the second edition.The history of Ireland has long been a topic at the forefront of debate and one that continues to raise emotions and be the cause of much dispute. It is astonishing that such a small area of land has had one of the most controversial yet fascinating histories of any country in the world. Interest inIrish culture, politics, and society, both ancient and modern, never seems to falter, not only in scholarly circles but also among the general public.With over 1,800 entries, the Companion offers a comprehensive and authoritative guide to all aspects of the Irish past from earliest times to the present day. There is coverage not only of leading political figures, organizations, and events but also of subjects such as dress, music, sport, anddiet. Traditional topics such as the rebellion of 1798 and the Irish Civil War sit alongside entries on newly developing areas such as women''s history and popular culture. The editor, Sean Connolly, with the help of the existing 87 contributors and a small number of new contributors, has updated and revised the text for this second edition to take into account recent research and events. The coverage has been expanded to offer a fuller treatment of prehistoric andearly historic Ireland and more comprehensive information on literary history. There are also new entries on individuals who have died since the first edition was published. In addition the sections dealing with politics in the Irish Republic and in Northern Ireland have been rewritten to take fullaccount of developments up to the end of the 20th century.New / rewritten entries include:Visual Arts (art schools, ceramics, furniture, history painting, painting, sculpture)Politics / Religion (Brendan Corish, James Dillon, Sean MacDermott, Alfred O''Rahilly, peace process, Progressive Democrats, Michael Tierney, Workers'' Party)Literature (Dun Emer Press, Lady Augusta Gregory, James Joyce, George Bernard Shaw, Lady Jane (''Speranza'') Wilde)Prehistoric and Early Ireland (Bronze Age Ireland, Celtic Ireland, crannog, La Tene in Ireland, Mesolithic Ireland, Neolithic Ireland, rath)Medieval Ireland (fuidir, MacCarthy, O''Brien, O''Donnell, senchleithe, sept)Other (agriculture, Devon Commission, John Henry Newman, Ulster Scots)In addition to A-Z entries the Companion includes a section of maps showing the shape of modern Ireland, post-reformation ecclesiastical divisions in Ireland, political divisions circa 800, Ireland circa 1350, Ireland in the late 15th century, and the pattern of transport and communications inIreland. There is also a subject index, which groups headwords into thematic batches to provide an alternative way to access the entries. This second edition of the Companion, continuing on from the original, will be valuable to different people for different uses. It will be of particular use to students as a work of general reference and to the general public with an interest in the history and culture of Ireland. But it should alsohave appeal to academics, both for the longer analytical entries and as a source of reference for topics outside of their immediate area of expertise.