IN FINE CELTIC REVIVAL BINDING
HAVERTY, Martin. History of Ireland from The Earliest Period to the Present Time; Derived from Native Annals, and from the Researches of Dr. O’Donovan, Professor Eugene Curry, The Rev. C.P. Meehan, Dr. R.R. Madden and other Eminent Scholars. New York: Thomas Kelly, 17 Barclay Street, . [250 x 310mm]. pp. 8, , viii-xxii, , 10-838 (double column), 18 (index). Contemporary full dark green morocco over bevelled boards. Covers decorated in gilt with a bard, minstrel, round tower, harp, banners; sunken panel in centre decorated in gilt with an Irish Chieftain leaning on a Harp, in the background a Celtics Cross, a ruined Castle and Round Tower beside a river. Professionally rebacked spine divided into six compartments by five gilt raised bands, title in gilt direct in the second, the remainder tooled in gilt to a centre-and-corner design; board edges and turn-ins gilt; cream endpapers; red and gold endbands. Previous owner’s name ‘Isabella Kenny’ in gilt on upper cover. All edges gilt. A very good copy.
Martin Haverty (1809-87), journalist and historian, was born 1 December 1809 in Mayo, younger half-brother of the artist Joseph Haverty. Nothing is known of their early life. Aspiring to the priesthood, Martin was educated at the Irish College in Paris but then decided on a career as a writer. In 1836 he joined the staff of the Freeman’s Journal, where he remained till 1850, mostly acting as their foreign correspondent. He made extended tours through Spain, Italy, and Algiers and published a travel book, ‘Wanderings in Spain in 1843’ (1844). He was also connected to the ‘London Morning Chronicle’. On breaking with the Freeman’s Journal, he ceased travelling and was appointed sub-librarian at the King’s Inns (1852-77). He devoted himself to preparing a general index of books in the library but had sufficient time to pursue historical research. In 1859 he published a report on the British Association’s 1857 excursion to the Aran Islands, led by William Wilde. The following year his ‘History of Ireland, Ancient and Modern’, for the use of schools and colleges appeared. This lengthy, exhaustive history of the island from the early Celts to the act of union was made possible, as he gracefully acknowledged, by the research work of Wilde, R. R. Madden and especially John O’Donovan and Eugene O’Curry. Haverty brought their learning to a wider audience in his well written and well annotated work, which ran to a second edition in 1885 and was considered by R. J. O’Duffy the nineteenth century’s only accessible school history book, other than ‘Catechism of the History of Ireland’ by William J. O’Neill Daunt. Haverty strove for impartiality and affected to be above politics, writing to W. J. Fitzpatrick that ‘I always felt an innate repugnance for the manners, principles etc. of the Young Irelanders I never had much faith in mere politicians though my sympathies were O’Connellite’ (‘Sham Squire’, 276).
Author’s Preface signed at Kilbeha-Muirre, Askeaton.