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"The British Isles: A History of Four Nations".
Hugh Kearney argues that the history of the British Isles can not
be properly understood by simply considering a single 'national'
interpretation. The book covers Celtic society, the Roman invasion, Viking
settlements, the Norman invasion, the English empire, the Industrial
revolution and the growth of "ethnic politics". While interesting, it is not
the easiest of books to read. This is a pity, because it gives a unique and
valuable perspective on the history of the British Isles.
ISBN: 052148488X, about 300 pages, from:
This is a very comprehensive reference book, describing the history of
Ulster from about 7000 BC to 1992 AD.
Jonathan Bardon has put the emphasis on contemporary quotations, which give
a good flavour of the events being described. Because the book is over 900
pages long, he is able to deal with subject material in a considerable
detail - for example, 200 pages are devoted to the troubled years from
1969 to 1992.
Fortnight magazine has described this book as "the fullest, fairest and most
professional history ever written of this disputed part of Ireland".
ISBN: 0856404764, about 900 pages, from:
"Shorter Illustrated History of Ulster".
This is an abridged, illustrated and updated edition of
"A History of Ulster".
The longer work is certainly much more suitable for reference purposes,
since considerable detail has been left out of the shorter version.
However, the contemporary quotations and the illustrations together give an
excellent flavour of the events being described. Unless you are specifically
looking for a reference book, the shorter book provides a very attractive and
ISBN: 0856405868, about 320 pages, from:
This book is based on the script for a television series by Radio
Telefís Éireann (RTÉ), broadcast in 1966.
The book aims to provide a concise but comprehensive survey of Irish history
from prehistoric times to the present day.
The revised edition includes a large selection of illustrations from the
A different specialist has written each chapter, and the change of emphasis
can sometimes be quite noticeable between chapters.
Because it covers so many centuries of history, it only has a small amount
of information about the years from 1966-94. These years are covered in two
chapters which were added in the 1994 edition.
However, overall, I think that this book is an excellent introduction to
ISBN: 1856351084, about 500 pages, from:
"Ireland Since the Famine".
This is a standard textbook covering about 120 years of modern Irish
history, from 1850 to the 1970s. The book covers social and economic factors
as well as political events.
Of particular interest is the examination of the growth of nationalism and
unionism during the second half of the nineteenth century, with descriptions
of the backgrounds and motivation of figures like Gladstone, Isaac Butt,
Parnell, Carson and Craig. First published in 1963, it remains one of the
great works on Irish history.
ISBN: 0006860052, about 850 pages, from:
Updated: 4 September 1999