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3.9 out of 5 stars38
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 9 February 2011
I downloaded this onto my new Kindle having trawled through various potentially interesting books to give them a go. Imagine yourself then if you will sat around a big roaring fire being told tales of the old Ireland and some of its peoples from the earliest of days all passed down over the years. Some will be fact and some will be a bit less so and some may be darn right tongue in cheek (almost Lord of the Rings stuff) but your eyes will be opened and you will be set off thinking and noting for future reading up on all sorts of historical and geographical matters. The history and battles you will read about just go on and on. I never faltered from soaking this book up as it advances along through the years. Written I think in a balanced way it just tells tales about groups of people that found themselves in their time in history in that part of the world. Sometimes it was their land and sometimes it was the sought land of their Kings or Queens. The English, the Scottish, the Danes the Spanish....what a mix. Surely if the green of Ireland was squeezed blood would come out. There has been so much killing, too much killing. This book is a work of immense literary skill and about a legendary Country. I found a gem of a book here. Beware though it is quite heavy going as the facts names dates and locations pour out from the pages with no distractions! I have thoroughly enjoyed it and I sincerely hope some others will too, whilst fully appreciating it will not be for all. *It should be noted that although the original book is no doubt heavily illustrated the Kindle download of the book does not include any pictures and so at the point where the book has pictures/illustrations the wording ILLUSTRATION and the name of the displayed item such as the name of a Church gate or castle is shown, one can however always access the internet and try and locate the particular subject if necessary at that point.
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on 12 February 2012
To try to understand Ireland you need to know something of its past. This book covers from very early years up to around 1900. Whatever your views on the Irish (and this book will challenge what you think you know) you cannot help seeing their history as a tragedy of massive proportions. The fact that much of the grief was self-inflicted only highlights their problems and increases your feeling that you are reading a greek drama. You can only feel sympathy for a people who suffered for so long in their history.
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on 2 November 2012
This is a serious attempt to give the reader a real insight into the roots of modern Ireland.It is fairly hard to take it all in butworth it .
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on 8 October 2013
I didn't find this interesting enough to read from cover to cover. However the chapter on the potato famine was very detailed and sensitively written. I'm glad I downloaded the book for this chapter alone.
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on 18 January 2013
The Story of Ireland gives an insight into the countries past and has prompted me to read and learn more about the country
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on 17 January 2015
The scope of this book is huge and the subject is clearly well researched. However, the author's tendency to write over lengthy sentences makes this a difficult read. This is a pity because it detracts from the contents.
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on 27 February 2016
This is a nice book, lovely cover, interesting illustrations. I find the large format slightly difficult when reading not at a desk or table, as the lines are very long and getting to the next line can be hit or miss, if you are holding it in one hand, reading in bed for example!

The Emily Lawless writing style can be quite convoluted, rambling dense sentences that sometime need to be reread to rediscover the subject and object, with a sometimes Yoda like construction.

I believe it was written in this century, but the style of narration is quite old fashioned. I haven't finished it yet, and will definitely persevere as the subject matter is of great interest to me.
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on 21 June 2014
every bite will leave you an interesting fact or piece of knowledge about ireland. and it's a big book so lots of bites. worth every penny.
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on 30 May 2015
This is an excellent book for a brief overview of the history of Ireland. It ends before the establishment of a republic but covers vast amounts of history up until then. However a reader should take some of the authors musings with a pinch of salt.therein definitely lie evidences of bias. In particular the coverage of the famine period are so sweeping and do not paint much of a picture.the author also states the old trope that there were only potatoes and states that the government of the time did all they could. Nothing about the corn laws or evictions or 'providence' which the government of the time believed in. In general the book is good but certainly not to be used as a sole source.
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on 17 May 2015
there must surely be better books on irish history out there. Found this quite dated and difficult to follow, got lost amongst all the clans. In the end I didn't finish it, but there were certain aspects of the book which I did find interesting, obviously I had heard of the potato famine but knew very little about it so that section was fascinating.
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