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Connemara: A Little Gaelic Kingdom [Paperback]

Tim Robinson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: 10.99
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Book Description

31 May 2012

The triumphant conclusion to Tim Robinson's extraordinary Connemara trilogy, which Robert Macfarlane has called 'one of the most remarkable non-fiction projects undertaken in English'.

Robinson writes about the people, places and history of south Connemara - one of Ireland's last Gaelic-speaking enclaves - with the encyclopaedic knowledge of a cartographer and the grace of a born writer. From the man who has been praised in the highest terms by Joseph O'Connor ('One of contemporary Ireland's finest literary stylists''), John Burnside ('one of the finest of contemporary prose stylists'), Fintan O'Toole ('Simply one of the best non-fiction prose writers currently at work') and Giles Foden ('an indubitable classic'), among many others, this is one of the publishing events of 2011 and the conclusion of one of the great literary projects of our time.

'He is that rarest of phenomena, a scientist and an artist, and his method is to combine scientific rigour with artistic reverie in a seamless blend that both informs and delights.' John Banville, Guardian

'A masterpiece of travel and topographical writing, and an incomparable and enthralling meditation on times past ... This perfectly pitched work opens readers up to the world around them' Sunday Times

'Will endure into the far future ... He knows this world as no one else does, and writes about it with awe and love, but also with measured grace, an artist's eye and a scientist's sensibility' Colm Toibin, Sunday Business Post Books of the Year

'Robinson is a marvel ... the supreme practitioner of geo-graphy, the writing of places' Fintan O'Toole, Observer Books of the Year

'Anyone willing to get lost in this book will be left with indelible mental images of places they may never have visited but will now never forget' Dermot Bolger, Irish Mail on Sunday


Frequently Bought Together

Connemara: A Little Gaelic Kingdom + Connemara: The Last Pool of Darkness (Connemara Trilogy 2) + Connemara: Listening to the Wind (Connemara Trilogy 1)
Price For All Three: 25.87

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (31 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141049596
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141049595
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 241,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

A masterpiece of travel and topographical writing, and an incomparable and enthralling meditation on times past ... This perfectly pitched work opens readers up to the world around them (Sunday Times)

Robinson is a marvel ... the supreme practitioner of geo-graphy, the writing of places (Fintan O'Toole Observer (Books of the Year))

He is that rarest of phenomena, a scientist and an artist, and his method is to combine scientific rigour with artistic reverie in a seamless blend that both informs and delights. (John Banville Guardian)

Remarkable (The Times)

He is the nearest thing we have to a living legend, this side of Famous Seamus - one of the few people from our world whose name will still be known a century on (Irish Times)

Tim Robinson is the Proust of the western seaboard, a Ruskin of the isles (New Statesman)

Will endure into the far future ... He knows this world as no one else does, and writes about it with awe and love, but also with measured grace, an artist's eye and a scientist's sensibility (Colm Tóibín Sunday Business Post (Books of the Year))

An extraordinary monument (Irish Independent)

Anyone willing to get lost in this book will be left with many indelible mental images of places they may never have visited but will now never forget (Dermot Bolger Irish Mail on Sunday)

Captivating (Independent)

Breathtaking ... the West of Ireland has found its ultimate laureate (Patricia Craig TLS)

About the Author

A native of Yorkshire, Tim Robinson moved to the Aran Islands in 1972. He is the author of the two-volume Stones of Aran and ofcollections of essays, and maps of the Aran Islands, the Burren and Connemara. Connemara: Listening to the Wind, published in 2006, won the Irish Book Award for Non-fiction. Connemara: The Last Pool of Darkness followed in 2008. Since 1984 Tim Robinson has lived in Roundstone, Connemara.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime achievement 9 Feb 2012
Format:Hardcover
The Irish nation owes more to this wonderful Englishman than we could ever repay. This book (part of a trilogy) is quite the most extraordinary of its genre. However, one does need some familiarity with the area called Connemara in Co Galway. It suffers from a poor quality map at the beginning, but a full map is available from Mr Robinson's website. If you plan a slow holiday in Connemara, this book will enhance your experience. How I wish we had a proper honours system in this country so that the writer's labour of love could be recognised and celebrated.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary achievement 8 Feb 2012
Format:Hardcover
I first visited Connemara in 1970. I cycled from Hampshire in England, through Wales and then on to Killary Harbour. I had seen a black and white recording on BBC2 of an old man in a pub in Leenane, located at the head of Killary. He was singing unaccompanied to the drinkers. They watched in silence, gripped by his lament. I was gripped, too. I've been back many times. I now know that the singer was Seamus Heaney, that the music is known in Gaelic as sean-nos, and that Heaney lies buried on a Connemara shore to the west of Carna. I've run the Connemara Marathon, and have both walked and cycled the area extensively, but I shall never know it as intimately as Tim Robinson. His achievement is extraordinary.

"Connemara, A Little Gaelic Kingdom" is the third of three volumes, although Mr Robinson, whom I have met once briefly, says it should really be the second volume, so that his recommended order is Listening To The Wind (2006), A Little Gaelic Kingdom (2011), and The Last Pool Of Darkness (2008), but the order of the second two books does not matter greatly. However, it is important to start with Listening To The Wind.

The weight of research and knowledge that has gone into these three important books is fairly much unique nowadays, and reminds me powerfully of similar Victorian book projects, but there is nothing old-fashioned or sentimental about these three volumes. If you're going to read the books, it's helpful to prepare yourself by catching a plane to Knock, hiring a car and driving south to acquaint yourself with the dramatic scenery of Connemara. This will help you understand why Tim Robinson decided to write extensively about the land, its stories, people and customs.

I have one or two grumbles, though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging Book 5 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a mystery, just like Connemara. It was hard to tell where fact and fantasy just are separated and just blend into one another just like the uncertainty in where the boundary between land and water in Connemara itself. I like the fact that he adds to the mystery of the place by bringing in geological facts and even mathematics. That is to say, Connemara is actually in a different dimension, and so is this book.

Both this book and Connemara left me confused and wondering and wanting more........
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Connemara, Tim Robinson's Masterpiece 30 Jun 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have not read the book yet, but my father has. It was a Father's Day gift for him. He was born and raised in Ireland and I have spent many summers in Ireland. A few years ago my dad and I visited the land and nearby islands that Tim Robinson knows so well and writes so eloquently about. My dad really enjoyed reading this masterpiece and I look forward to turning its pages soon.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!!! 12 Oct 2011
By Susan
Format:Hardcover
If you have family from Connemara, or an interest in the area, this book is fantastic. His knowledge of the area is unparalleled, and this book is a fantastic mix of the geography and history of the area. I've just started reading it, and can't wait to dive in.

My family comes from the area, and several of my family's villages are mentioned. He accurately captures the landscape, the customs, the stories of the people, and the geography of the area.
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