Saturday, March 17, 2007

Ireland--fiction and nonfiction

Morgan Llywelyn
Ancient Gaul was divided into three parts, all conquered by Caesar. Llywelyn tells of that conquest from the viewpoint of the defeated Gauls. Her story is told by the Druid Ainvar, whose"soul friend" Vercingetorix leads the Gauls in their doomed defense of freedom. Llywelyn is most successful in her evocation of Celtic culture and Druidic beliefs, based on harmony with nature.

The Greener Shore
After Julius Caesar triumphs over Gaul, the druid Ainvar and his three wives sail west, steering clear of Roman-occupied Albion, to the brilliant green island of Hibernia (so-called because a Roman expedition mistakenly assumed "winter lasted all year" there). Soon after landing, Ainvar encounters the Túatha Dé Danann, the diminutive original folk of Eriu (the island's Gaelic name). The Túatha Dé Danann, who usually are invisible to people, ask only to be remembered.

Robin Maxwell
The Wild Irish
When Grace O'Mally, passionate clan chieftain and legendary Irish pirate, visits the court of Elizabeth I to plead for the release of her imprisoned son, the two most extraordinary women of their time find they have much in common. As Grace relates her incredible life and times to Elizabeth, the aging Bess also revisits her own often tragic past.

Katherine Kurtz
St. Patrick's Gargoyle
When Dublin's St. Patrick's Cathedral becomes the target of an act of vandalism, the gargoyle guardian of the building enlists the aid of an aging Knight of Malta to assist him in his pursuit of the vandals. Combining an interest in Irish history with snatches of Templar lore, the author of the "Deryni" and "Adept" series creates a story of angelic powers and demonic forces locked in an eternal struggle.

W.B. Yeats
The Secret Rose
Love poems

Carmel McCaffrey
In Search of Ancient Ireland: the origins of the Irish, from Neolithic times to the coming of the English

Michael Viney
Viney shows us an Ireland that is a timeless ecosystem, an intricate balance of plants, animals, geology, and climate. He begins deep in the past, when rivers of molten rock and enormous glaciers stripped the land bare. This violent history gave birth to a fresh, new landscape, home to an intriguing variety of plants and animals, and an environment that has cultivated a rich human history and given rise to countless myths.

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