CONNELLAN, Owen. Translated by. The Annals of Ireland, Translated from the Original Irish of the Four Masters
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IN FINE BINDING BY WILSON OF DUBLIN
With annotations by Philip MacDermot, Esq. and the translator. Coloured half-title and large folding clan location map. Dublin: Bryan Geraghty, 1846. Thick quarto. Bound by Wilson in contemporary full green morocco, with his engraved label Wilson / Binder / 14 Hawkins St. on front pastedown. Covers framed by double gilt fillets enclosing a wide gilt ruled floral border. Spine divided into five panels by four gilt raised bands, title and authors in gilt direct in the second the remainder tooled in gilt to a centre-and-corner design; board edges and turn-ins gilt; yellow endpapers. Spine professionally restored preserving original backstrip. Paper repair to folds of map. All edges gilt. A near fine and attractive copy.
Owen Connellan (1797-1871), the distinguished Gaelic scholar was born in the Barony of Tireragh, County Sligo. It would appear that he received a good education in his youth, embracing a detailed study of ancient Irish manuscripts and comprehensive training in penmanship. He worked in the Library of the R.I.A. where for twenty years he transcribed from the ancient annals, editing texts, and producing grammars, under the patronage of Sir William Betham, Ulster King-at-Arms. When King George IV visited Ireland in 1822 he appointed Owen his Irish Historiographer-Royal. His copies of ‘The Book of Ballymote’ and ‘The Book of Lecan’ are part of the R.I.A. collection. Connellan was a founder member of the Ossianic Society and was occupant of the first Chair of Irish in the newly established Queen’s College, Cork. His most important contribution to Gaelic scholarship was the present work ‘Annals of Ireland’, covering the period 1171 to 1616, which was the first translation from the Irish of that section of the ‘Annals of The Four Masters’. He spent many years working on this and was helped occasionally by the eccentric James Clarence Mangan who phrased part of the translation “in eloquent and glowing English”. An important translation with emphasis on historical and genealogical records of the chief tribes and septs in ancient Ireland.
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