Maeve Brigid Callan
Publisher: Cornell University Press, December 30 (2014)
Early medieval Ireland is remembered as the “Land of Saints and Scholars,” due to the distinctive devotion to Christian faith and learning that permeated its culture. As early as the seventh century, however, questions were raised about Irish orthodoxy, primarily concerning Easter observances. Yet heresy trials did not occur in Ireland until significantly later, long after allegations of Irish apostasy from Christianity had sanctioned the English invasion of Ireland. In The Templars, the Witch, and the Wild Irish, Maeve Brigid Callan analyzes Ireland’s medieval heresy trials, which all occurred in the volatile fourteenth century. These include the celebrated case of Alice Kyteler and her associates, prosecuted by Richard de Ledrede, bishop of Ossory, in 1324. This trial marks the dawn of the “devil-worshipping witch” in European prosecutions, with Ireland an unexpected birthplace.
Callan divides Ireland’s heresy trials into three categories. In the first stand those of the Templars and Philip de Braybrook, whose trial derived from the Templars’, brought by their inquisitor against an old rival. Ledrede’s prosecutions, against Kyteler and other prominent Anglo-Irish colonists, constitute the second category. The trials of native Irishmen who fell victim to the sort of propaganda that justified the twelfth-century invasion and subsequent colonization of Ireland make up the third. Callan contends that Ireland’s trials resulted more from feuds than doctrinal deviance and reveal the range of relations between the English, the Irish, and the Anglo-Irish, and the church’s role in these relations; tensions within ecclesiastical hierarchy and between secular and spiritual authority; Ireland’s position within its broader European context; and political, cultural, ethnic, and gender concerns in the colony.
Publisher: Paul Mellon Centre, August 18 (2004)
Art and architecture of Ireland is an authoritative and fully illustrated survey that encompasses the period from the early Middle Ages to the end of the 20th century. The five volumes explore all aspects of Irish art – from high crosses to installation art, from illuminated manuscripts to Georgian houses and Modernist churches, from tapestries and sculptures to oil paintings, photographs and video art. This monumental project provides new insights into every facet of the strength, depth and variety of Ireland’s artistic and architectural heritage.
Medieval c. 400-c. 1600
An unrivalled account of all aspects of the rich and varied visual culture of Ireland in the Middle Ages. Based on decades of original research, the book contains over 300 lively and informative essays and is magnificently illustrated. Readers will enjoy expanding their knowledge of medieval Ireland through explorations of the objects and buildings produced there and the people who created them.
Publisher: Gill & Macmillan, September 6 (2005)
Medieval Ireland – The Enduring Tradition, the first instalment in the New Gill History of Ireland series, offers an overview of Irish history from the coming of Christianity in the fifth century to the Reformation in the sixteenth, concentrating on Ireland’s cultural and social life and highlighting Irish society’s inherent stability in an very unstable period.
Such a broad survey reveals features otherwise not easily detected. For all the complexity of political developments, Irish society remained basically stable and managed to withstand the onslaught of both the Vikings and the English. The inherent strength of Ireland consisted in the cultural heritage from pre-historic times, which remained influential throughout the centuries discussed in Professor Michael Richter’s engaging and informative book.
Irish history has traditionally been described either in isolation or in the manner in which it was influenced by outside forces, especially by England. This book strikes a different balance. First, the time span covered is longer than usual, and more attention is paid to the early medieval centuries than to the later period. Secondly, less emphasis is placed in this book on the political or military history of Ireland than on general social and cultural aspects. As a result, a more mature interpretation of medieval Ireland emerges, one in which social and cultural norms inherited from pre-historic times are seen to survive right through the Middle Ages. They gave Irish society a stability and inherent strength unparalleled in Europe. Christianity came in as an additional, enriching factor.
James L. Nelson
Publisher: Fore Topsail Press, January 25 (2013)
For centuries, the Vikings have swept out of the Norse countries and fallen on England, Ireland, whatever lands they could reach aboard their longships. Few could resist the power of their violent onslaught. They came at first to plunder, and then to settle, an encroachment fiercely resisted where ever they went. Such was the case in the southern lands of Ireland. En route to the Viking longphort there, known as Dubh-Linn, Thorgrim Night Wolf and Ornolf the Restless stumble across an Irish ship that carries aboard it a single item – a crown. The Vikings eagerly snatch the prize, unaware of its significance to the people of Ireland and the power granted to the king who wears it. Soon the Norsemen are plunged into the violence and intrigue of Medieval Ireland, where local kings fight with each other and with the invaders from the north for rule of the island nation. With enemies at every hand, and loyalties as fickle as the weather, Thorgrim must lead his men, the white invaders, the Fin Gall, in the fight of their lives, with both Irish and Dane eager to see them dead.
Publisher: Four Courts Press, February 14 (2014)
This is a study of Ireland’s people, landscape, and place in the world from late antiquity to the reign of Brian Borama. The book narrates the story of Ireland’s emergence into history, using anthropological, archaeological, historical, and literary evidence. The subjects covered include the king, the kingdom and the royal household, religion and customs, free and unfree classes in society, exiles, and foreigners. The rural, urban, ecclesiastical, ceremonial, and mythological landscapes of early medieval Ireland anchor the history of early Irish society in the rich tapestry of archaeological sites, monuments, and place-names that have survived to the present day. A historiography of medieval Irish studies presents the commentaries of a variety of scholars, from the 17th-century Franciscan Micheal O Cleirigh to Eoin Mac Neill, the founding father of modern scholarship. *** “Bhreathnach draws on archaeological evidence to supply insights into a society that has left only oblique views in the written record, proposing a revised view of the place of Ireland in medieval Europe….the book features eight pages of color plates and many photos, and is a must for academic libraries, particularly those with extensive history or archaeology collections. Essential.” – Choice, Vol. 52, No. 4, December 2014