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A Popular History of Ireland - Volume 1

Thomas D'Arcy McGee

Book Overview: 

Thomas D'Arcy McGee was an Irish refugee and a father of the Canadian confederation. His work on Irish history is comprehensive, encompassing twelve books;

Book 1 begins with the earliest modern settlement of Ireland and ends with the 8th century.

Book 2 begins with the Norse or Danish invasion of the island and continues through the end of the Viking period.

Book 3 begins with the fortune of the family of Brian Boru and continues through the rise of the O'Conors to the political, economic, and religious condition of the island prior to the English invasion.

Book 4 begins with the first Norman invasion of the island and continues to the end of the 13th century.

Book 5 begins with the rise of the “Red Earl” and addresses the relations between Scotland and Ireland during the time of Robert the Bruce and his immediate successors.

Book 6 subtitled the Native, the Naturalized, and “The English Interest”, covers the 14th and 15th centuries.

Book 7 subtitled “Unionized Crowns of England and Ireland”, addresses the Tudor period, particularly the actions of Woolsey and Henry VIII, before the Reformation, in 1541.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Venice. This kingship of Cashel, according to the Munster law of succession, "the will of Olild," ought to have alternated regularly between the descendants of his sons, Eugene More and Cormac Cas—the Eugenians and Dalcassians. But the families of the former kindred were for many centuries the more powerful of the two, and frequently set at nought the testamentary law of their common ancestor, leaving the tribe of Cas but the border-land of Thomond, from which they had sometimes to pay tribute to Cruachan, and at others to Cashel. In the ninth century the competition among the Eugenian houses—of which too many were of too nearly equal strength—seems to have suggested a new expedient, with the view of permanently setting aside the will of Olild. This was, to confer the kingship when vacant, on whoever happened to be Bishop of Emly or of Cashel, or on some other leading ecclesiastical dignitary, always provided that he was of Eugenian descent; a qualifi. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Better than most books from the time period at least. I think that the writing style is still dated somewhat as you would expect from anything over a century old but D'Arcy is far less long-winded than most writers and historians of his generation.

This was good enough that I will probably move on...more

Its not a bad book, just a dated book. It follows the history of Ireland from the aboriginal times until about the 9th or 10th century. Its mostly focused on royal histories rather than cultural, tribal, or sociological angles, but it gives a good general outline of how things worked, what the ge...more

This book is slanted toward the author's views on Christianity and includes too many myths and not enough fact.