Geomorphology is that part of Geology that deals with the appearance of the surface of the Earth and makes traveling a continuous delight as you understand what you are seeing and how it got that way. The authors of "Reading the Irish Landscape" have added, in lay terms, to Geomorphology the relevant parts of Anthropology, Climatology, Palynology, and History, to equip the reader/tourist to better understand what he/she is seeing in the Irish countryside, towns, and cities. How do the mountains in the east differ from those in the west? Why is farming so difficult in the west, and how do the ubiquitous blanket bogs form and control farming? Where did the ring forts and the variety of ancient tombs come from, and when? What has caused Irish forests to wax and wane over the centuries? How has a few degrees shift in annual temperature shifted Ireland from feast to famine, and why is that so fragile a balance? How could anyone gag down 6 to 8 pounds of potatoes a day, and thrive and multiply? What was the Vikings main contribution to Ireland beyond red hair and blue eyes?
If you are willing to wade through a few too many pages, answers to these questions are given with a wealth of photos and illustrations. It is best read ahead of traveling through Ireland, but it will be of interest to anyone who is or has been there, or is just curious about what makes Ireland and the Irish tick.