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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough, balanced, fascinating, important.
Jonathan Bardon has written many hugely popular and widely acclaimed books on Irish history but I doubt if he has produced a more important one than this.

There has never been an account of the Plantation of Ulster so accessible to scholars and general readers alike. Thorough and balanced it sets events in their global context as well as in relation to the...
Published on 19 Dec 2011 by Belmont

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Opinionated and lightweight.
Opinionated is fine, intellectually lightweight is OK in some circumstances but the two don't go together very well. Interesting subject and readable too but there are better books dealing with it and which are available in this very emporium!
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer


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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough, balanced, fascinating, important., 19 Dec 2011
By 
Belmont (Belfast, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Jonathan Bardon has written many hugely popular and widely acclaimed books on Irish history but I doubt if he has produced a more important one than this.

There has never been an account of the Plantation of Ulster so accessible to scholars and general readers alike. Thorough and balanced it sets events in their global context as well as in relation to the titanic European contest between Reformation and Counter Reformation. As a student of history more than 50 years ago I longed for such a book. My years of teaching would have been much more fruitful if there had been anything similar available.

Jonathan Bardon makes it clear from the start that colonization, racism and religious fervour have been (and still are) eternal and universal themes. One need look no further than Libya-so much in the news this year-victim of Mussolini's ambitious Plantations and evictions in the 1930's, attended by similar notions of racial superiority and claims of civilizing the natives while claiming all that was best for the invader.

Noting that others shared similar fates, however, does nothing to diminish the shocking nature of the atrocities committed. This "Plantation of Ulster" is no dehydrated history. In many aspects it is a horror story. At the same time it brought with it many positive changes and ironically the opportunity for the native Irish ultimately to make English the language in which they became world leaders.

Reading the names of the protagonists we soon begin to reflect not only on their very complex origins but on the political and religious diversity of their present day descendants. Many of the descendants of those who suffered or inflicted suffering ended up on the "other" side,through inter-marriage and/or conversion.

And not only us.

Douglas Carson(quoted in the frontispiece) tells us, with inimitable brevity, that Queen Elizabeth II herself is descended on her mother's side from Sorcha, the daughter of Hugh O'Neill, the defeated Earl of Tyrone. In a real sense she embodies both sides of the contest.

I believe that Bardon's "Plantation", so thorough and reasonable, and wonderfully well written, will help current and future generations in Ulster to better understand one another.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an intriguing and factual story., 29 July 2012
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This book is a condensation of thousands of references ,mostly English,about the reasons and implementation of the plantation in Ulster.
I must admit that being a native of Ulster helps to appreciate the myriad references to the places mentioned,and as I have been away from my homeland for fifty years my greatest desire is to return and relive those stirring times. It will be a book to interest all of the political factions in this corner of Ireland as it depicts the Anglican English trying to understand these wild Gaelic speaking Catholics
who have no wish to be governed by their new masters.Gripping stuff and a credit to Bardon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that is both disturbing and enlightening, 25 May 2013
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As an Irishman from Ulster who has lived outside my homeland for almost 14 years I found this to be a fascinating and yet also very sad book to read. The material contained in the book has much to offer people who want to try to understand the complex and painful history of Ulster. I feel that too many people - from both Ireland and beyond - are content to accept an understanding of the past that is no more than a surface story. This book takes the reader on a much deeper journey into the past and assists her or him to appreciate better the issues and complexities of the present. I thoroughly recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another outstanding book from Jonathan Bardon, 15 May 2013
By 
Teemacs (Switzerland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Plantation of Ulster (Paperback)
Jonathan Bardon has established himself firmly in the front rank of chroniclers of Ulster. His "A History of Ulster" is an outstanding work, essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what makes the place tick.

In this book, he focusses on one particular episode, which, more than any other, has made Northern Ireland the mess that it is. Indeed, considering what happened back then, it's a miracle that the wee place isn't even more messed up than it currently is. It tells the tale of the desire on the part of the English (well, James I of England who was also James VI of Scotland, so he had a foot in both camps) to render Ulster, the most Gaelic part of Ireland, less hostile by replacing its native population with more amenable, more civilised people from England and Scotland - and most importantly, people lacking the Popish superstition of those natives. The Irish were simply to be pushed off to poorer, less desirable parts, in a sort of early version of ethnic cleansing. This never actually worked out as much as intended (the settlers needed the local knowledge of the natives), but the intent was there. There follows a generally sorry tale of appropriation, rebellion, bloodshed and famine, both natural and man-made. The book ends with a truly panoramic and breathtaking final chapter, which takes in the legacy of the Plantation in all sorts of unexpected ways, including the origins of the "Scotch-Irish", whose learnt lessons of opening up unknown territory in Ulster occupied by hostile locals were to be invaluable in the colonies in the New World.

Dr, Bardon tells his story in an interesting manner, using many contemporary quotations, and with a historian's professional detachment, which makes the contents all the more absorbing. It takes you back to a different time to people of a very different mindset, one that has vanished in England, but that lingers on in Norn Iron to this day. As a native of Belfast, I was fascinated to find out why we have, for example, a Chichester Street and a Waring Street, how my anglicised Irish surname came to be and how my grandmother's story attributing her combative nature to being a born in a wee house on the Shankill in 1898 as soldiers lay outside shooting was probably quite true.

This is an invaluable book and, like Dr. Bardon's earlier tome, a must for anyone wishing to understand the North of Ireland. As Dr. Bardon puts it in that last brilliant chapter, the Plantation was bad enough, but its coincidence with the struggle between the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation made it even more disastrous. Things have finally, hopefully, started to change; we still have a long way to go, but I'm hopeful that at last we're on the way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Opinionated and lightweight., 20 Mar 2014
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Opinionated is fine, intellectually lightweight is OK in some circumstances but the two don't go together very well. Interesting subject and readable too but there are better books dealing with it and which are available in this very emporium!
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5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating book, 17 Feb 2014
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Why is it so few people now living in Ulster know anything at all about this? The book reads a bit like a historical novel and explains in colourful detail the characters and events that were seminal in creating the landscape that we all live in today
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Reading, 4 Nov 2013
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Very informative book presented in a easily read format. Helps see the whole plantation issue in full context. Well done Jonathan Bardon!!
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellant detailed and readable, 28 Jan 2012
Excellant overview, with plenty of detail and interest. This clearly sets out events and the realitiy of this peroid. Very readable and helpful.
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The Plantation of Ulster
The Plantation of Ulster by Jonathan Bardon (Paperback - 21 Sep 2012)
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