Fish Stone Water Hardcover – 1 Jan. 2001
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If you want an unusual touring holiday in Ireland buy this book first. It will take you to intriguing places and give you a key to the old Ireland before the days of the Celtic Tiger. Get beyond the smooth EU-funded roads and the blank new suburbs, ignore the tourist honeypots, and you'll still find a real Ireland. Not the music-hall Ireland of leprechauns and shillelaghs. Not the "mystical" Ireland of New Age druids and tin whistle CDs. An old Ireland of deep, complex faiths and long traditions. Tread lightly but move fast; the last generation of that Ireland is dying out. Listen to conversations in the post office and don't take your camera with you.
Rackham's text isn't in the slightest bit patronising; the tone is respectful and objective. For anyone interested in linking together the folklore of this extended group of off-shore islands (I mean Eire and GB) , there are books on the holy wells of Cornwall, very similar in many ways.
This book will appeal to those interested in folklore and folk religion, to artists and painters, to photographers and the children of the Irish diaspora, and to travellers who like to go off piste.