Suggested Reading

Please note we do not sell anything on this site, nor do profit from it, these books are only suggested reading with links to a suggested site, however, you can find them at a number of other sites/book shops in your local area.

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How The Irish Saved Civilization

Best selling book by American author, Thomas Cahill. He contends that “Latin literature”, would almost surely have been lost without the Irish and that the national literatures of Europe might not have emerged had the Irish not forged the first great vernacular literature of the Continent. Illuminated manuscripts also emerge in Ireland where the text is supplemented by the addition of decoration or illustration, such as decorated initials, borders and miniatures.

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1916: One Hundred Years of Irish Independence

There’s before 1916 and then there’s after. Between them lies the Easter Rising, when Irish republicans took up arms against British rule and changed the course of their country’s history forever. For though the resistance failed, it failed gloriously; the rebels were no longer a group of cranks and troublemakers in the public eye, but martyrs and national heroes, their example set the way for others and their mission lived on through the century to come. But what sort of country did the Rising create? And how does post-1916 Ireland compare with the aspirations of the rebellion’s leaders, the hopes of Thomas MacDonagh and John MacBride, of James Connolly and Patrick Pearse? One hundred years later, Tim Pat Coogan offers a personal perspective on the Irish experience that followed the Rising. He charts a flawed history that is marked as much by complacency, corruption, and institutional abuse as it is by the building of a nation and the sacrifices of the Republic’s founding fathers.

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The Assassination of Michael Collins: What Happened at Béal na mBláth?

“…a valuable contribution to the literature on Michael Collins…” – Tim Pat Coogan

A startling new perspective on one of Irish history’s most notorious unsolved mysteries: the fatal shooting in 1922 of Michael Collins, Commander-in-Chief of newly-independent Ireland. Its controversial new reconstruction of events at Béal na mBláth may be shocking to some: yet demonstrably fits the known facts and eyewitness accounts. This is the first book on this famous “cold case” in decades; carrying on where John Feehan’s landmark study of 1981 left off. It presents the most complete overview of the evidence ever published; as well as an itemized catalogue of the various witnesses’ mutual contradictions and corroborations.

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Dark Rosaleen 

Love, death, and politics in a time of great famine and hardship in Ireland. This is a novel based on the true story of the Great Famine in Ireland of 1840s. Historically accurate, it is a story of murder and betrayal, of a failed rebellion, and the love of a national scandal.  Charles Trevelyan was Secretary of the Treasury, and Director of the Famine Relief Programme at a time when famine raged and antipathy in English politics towards the plight of those affected raged equally. Kathryn, Charles’ daughter, likewise felt no sympathy until the very scale of the tragedy became apparent. Joining the underground, she preached insurrection, stole food for the starving, and became the lover of the leader of the rebellion. She became known as Dark Rosaleen, the heroine of banned nationalist poem, was branded as both traitor and cause celebré. This is her story.

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The Singing Flame (The Ernie O’Malley Series)

Ernie O’Malley was a medical student in Dublin when the Easter Rising of 1916 broke out. Indifferent at first, his feelings changed as the struggle progressed, and he rose to the rank of Officer Commanding of the Second Southern Division during the Irish War of Independence. After the war, a disenchanted O’Malley moved to the US where he wrote his memoirs. He died in 1957 and was given a state funeral with full military honors. He is also the author of On Another Man’s Wound and Raids and Rallies.

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To Hell or Barbados: The Ethnic Cleansing of Ireland

The previously untold story of over 50,000 Irish men, women and children who were transported to Barbados and Virginia. Sean O’Callaghan for the first time documents the history of these people: their transportation, the conditions in which they lived on plantations as slaves or servants, and their rebellions in Barbados. “An illuminating insight into a neglected episode in Irish history, but its significance is much broader than that. Its main achievement is to situate the story of colonialism in Ireland in the much larger context of worldwide European imperialism. O’Callaghan’s description of seventeenth century Barbados is a powerful portrait of a society as brutal, corrupt and unjust as anything the twentieth century has to offer. Yet it is precisely societies like colonial Barbados and Virginia which lie at the root of our modern world. That is why To Hell or Barbados is such a valuable book.”–Irish World

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On the Blanket: The Inside Story of the IRA Prisoners’ “Dirty” Protest

The H Block protest is one of the strangest and most controversial issues in the tragic history of Northern Ireland. Republican prisoners, convicted of grave crimes through special courts and ruthless interrogation procedures, campaigned for political status by refusing to wear prison clothes and daubing their cell with excrement.Were they properly convicted criminals, or martyrs to political injustice? In a masterpiece of investigative journalism, Coogan provides us with the only first-hand account of the protest. His investigation led deep into the social, cultural, and economic maze of Northern Ireland’s history to give readers an unmatched analysis of a troubled place and its sorrowful history.