JOYCE, P.W. A Social History of Ancient Ireland. Treating of The Government, Military System, and Law; Religion, Learning, and Art; Trades, Industries, and Commerce; Manners, Customs, and Domestic Life, of the Ancient Irish People. With 525 illustrations.


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Two volumes. Limerick & Kansas: The Celtic Bookshop & I.G.F., 1997: Demy octavo. pp. (1) xxiii, [1], 632, (2) xi, 651. Maroon arlen, title in gilt on upper cover and spine. A fine set.

This is a monumental work. Since the days of O’Donovan and O’Curry no contribution of such scope and importance has been made to Irish historical scholarship. It is the fruits of eight years’ congenial labour, and no man in Ireland was better qualified for the work than P.W. Joyce. In the preface Dr. Joyce says: “In this book an attempt is made to picture society, in all its phases, as it existed in Ireland before the Anglo-Norman Invasion, and to accomplish this work every authentic source of information within my reach has been turned to account ...Following trustworthy authorities, I have tried to present here a true picture of ancient Irish life, neither over-praising nor depreciating. I have not magnified what was worthy of commendation, nor suppressed, nor unwarrantably toned down, features that told unfavourably for the people; for though I love the honour of Ireland well, I love truth better.”

[Porch C]


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