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The Origins of the Irish [Unknown Binding]

J P Mallory
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Hardcover, Abridged, Audiobook, Box set 13.57  
Unknown Binding --  

Book Description

21 Jan 2013
Written as an engrossing detective story by the leading authority, this is the first major attempt in nearly eighty years to deal with the core issues and multiple influences in the creation of the Irish people. Essential reading, with over 120 informative line drawings and maps, for anyone interested in Ireland and the Irish, this book brings together the evidence of archaeology, culture, tradition, genetics and linguistics to shed welcome new light on the age-old riddle of Irish origins.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Product details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson (21 Jan 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 0500771375
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500771372
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Review

An impressive monograph which marshals evidence from various sources, archaeological, oral and written, to present a comprehensive account --Books Ireland

Superb and witty ... as a tour d'horizon, it is unmatched. --The Irish Times

Highly informative ... well-argued and often brilliant scholarship … fascinating --Sunday Business Post

...his wry, convivial style makes this complex account an effortless and enjoyable read. --Current Archaeology

Mallory does a good job in the closing chapter at summarising the evidence and the theories.--Books Ireland

Informative, yet entertaining and the high quality illustrations bring the text to life ... the result of decades of quality academic research and has been published to an equally high standard. It is essential reading for anyone interested in Irish history and archaeology. --Ulster Archaeology Society

Professor Emeritus Jim Mallory tells a very good story - he writes in an easy, clear, chatty, even humorous style ... he makes the complex topic he has chosen far more intelligible than might have been the case from a writer with less verve ... Although the book is solidly factual, and every statement of fact is carefully documented, it is also fun to read ... should be on the bookshelf of every archaeologically interested 'Irelander'. --Ulster Journal of Archaeology

Mallory brilliantly synthesises the complexities of geology, archaeology, historical/mythical sources, genetics and linguistics ... he takes genuinely difficult subjects, explains the conflicting arguments with refreshing clarity and draws conclusion with the forensic precision of a top-class barrister. Yet the book has the readability of a detective story ... Whether you are going across the sea to Ireland or not - I urge you to read this brilliant book --Minerva

So important ... Written clearly and with a light touch, the book is also well illustrated ... At times I found I was reading it like a detective story, more thriller than documentary. It was very difficult to put down ... Wonderful! --History Today

Mallory brilliantly synthesises the complexities of geology, archaeology, historical/mythical sources, genetics and linguistics …he takes genuinely difficult subjects, explains the conflicting arguments with refreshing clarity and draws conclusion with the forensic precision of a top-class barrister. Yet the book has the readability of a detective story …Whether you are going across the sea to Ireland or not - I urge you to read this brilliant book --Minerva

So important ... Written clearly and with a light touch, the book is also well illustrated ... At times I found I was reading it like a detective story, more thriller than documentary. It was very difficult to put down ... Wonderful! --History Today --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Long Overdue 17 Feb 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This review of the state of Irish Archaeology and Linguistics was long overdue from the preeminent Mallory.
A great read, I was disappointed only by his dismissal of the latest DNA work as a means to help resolve some of the thorniest problems in early Irish history. I believe that his relative unfamiliarity with the technology led him to some inappropriate conclusions.
Still a great read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book 28 Mar 2013
Format:Hardcover
The author tackles a challenging subject, addressing cosmology, geology, archaeology, linguistics & DNA evidence. I particularly liked the summaries at the end of each chapter. A fascinating read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing and interesting 22 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I liked Mallory's other books on Indo European languages and the Tarim mummies. I liked the implicit criticism of ethno-nationalism that's still deeply ingrained in the British Isles . . . not just Ireland. It's a book which bears re-reading several times. Well done Mr Mallory.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must for those interested in Irish prehistory 26 May 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A wide ranging investigation to the prehistory of Ireland, which whilst being erudite is at times laugh out loud funny - Mallory has a biting wit!

Easily read and very instructive
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Its not a well known fact that Ireland started on two different continents close to present day Australia, took millions of years to drift north before the two bits bumped into each other somewhere around the Equator and continued northward until it arrived at its present location hundreds of millions of years later.

This is a very readable book with lots of new information for the lay reader.As well, the author has a humerous touch which livens up the text whenever the opportunity presents. His summary of the mythical origins of the Irish is worth a read on its own.

The book accepts that the tools we have to look back so far into history will have their limitations but nonetheless outlines what the historical possibilities and probabilities are. We are told that archeology is weak in demonstating if Ireland was subject to successive people or culture changing invasions but the reader is invited to consider a range of possible options through the evidence that linguistics, DNA etc. might offer ..... even the possibility that "celtic" British tribes once has a stong presence in southern Ireland with the fior-Gaels in the North.

Hopefully this book will see the light of day in a paper-back edition before too long.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
I was brought up in Ireland on the mythology of Irish nationalism. The Irish Catholics were supposed to be a branch of the 'Celtic' race; they were supposed to own the soil of Ireland; they were supposed to have been conquered by the 'Anglo-Saxon' race; they were supposed to have fought against their 'oppressors' for several hundred years until they were ultimately successful. None of this is true.

But this book focusses on the origins of the population which now inhabits Ireland. The book is basically an archaeological study of Ireland using the latest techniques. It is made clear that the introduction of a variant of the Celtic language was comparatively late, perhaps as late as the first century BC, and that there are no indications regarding who introduced it. There are no signs of a massive invasion wiping out an earlier population.
The author at each stage discusses the various theories, and if he appears at times inconclusive that is because there is no conclusive evidence.

Altogether and admirable introduction to the archaeology of ancient Ireland. The author taught Prehistoric Archaeology at The Queen's University of Belfast.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As an Irishman living abroad for nearly 40 years, I do my best to keep in touch with my Irish roots through reading and contacts with family back in Ireland.

I recently heard an interview on Irish radio about this book.I was impressed and decided to buy it.Happily, my son got there before me and gave it to me as a birthday present; The author, an Irish-American academic provides a lucid, incisive and detailed insight into the origins of the past and present inhabitants of the Emerald Isle and the various "visitors"; some welcome, some less so, who have graced our shores over the centuries, and who have made us what we are today.

The book is well-written, handsomely bound and lavishly illustrated.

This book is a must if you are Irish or even if you only want to know more about the turbulent origins of our unbowed island race.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant book - expertly written, it tells a 'page turning' tale!
Published 18 days ago by orlaith Murphy
3.0 out of 5 stars lots of information but rather tedious
Lots of information, but too much uncertainty and possibilities. By half way, I was skimming over the paragraphs and then pages eager to find some worthwhile sections.
Published 3 months ago by D P Woods
1.0 out of 5 stars The Burden of Gaelic Pseudohistory
This book has been wrongly titled. Using the dubious concept of "Irish" and "Irelander" to describe two distinct elements of the population of Ireland perpetuates the myths of... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dr Ian Adamson OBE
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating stuff.
Very clear, with lots of estra information from different disciplines by an expert in the field..
Perhaps better without the over-general introduction.
Published 14 months ago by Hazel Davies
5.0 out of 5 stars The Origins of the Irish
I enjoyed it immensely. It brought together the knowledge that is out there on the origins of the Irish and it was extremely readable, even for non-academics.
Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazingly informative book invoking much food for thought.
It is hard to credit that so much has been discovered about our homeland's ancient origins and the migrations of land masses.
Published 17 months ago by D P Bell
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
Well researched, unbelievably good, get it now , there's nohting like it out there. Should be in every library and home.
Published 18 months ago by telescopist
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