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The Oxford Illustrated History of Ireland

Edited by R. F. Foster

Publication Date - November 2001

ISBN: 9780192893239

400 pages

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $29.95

A lavishly illustrated and comprehensive history of Ireland from pre-Christian times to the present day


Few countries have such a compelling and stirring history as Ireland. This sumptuously illustrated volume captures all the color of the Emerald Isle, from the earliest prehistoric communities, through centuries of turbulent change and creativity, to the present day. Written by an expert team of scholars--all of whom are Native to Ireland--this book offers the most authoritative account of Irish history yet published for the general reader.
Unlike most single-volume histories, this book emphasizes the paradoxes and ambiguities of Irish history, presenting a more realistic picture. It also examines more familiar themes, such as the shifting patterns of settlement and colonization, the recurrent religious strife, and the establishment of new political entities. And in a special section, it investigates the interaction between Irish history and literature, demonstrating how the importance of language to everyday Irish life has engendered a body of fiction that is virtually a history of Ireland itself.
With over two hundred photographs, a variety of helpful maps, and many beautiful color plates, this history brings to life the conflicts, settlements, and traditions that constitute Irish history, making it wide-ranging and highly readable for anyone fascinated by this colorful island nation.


  • Since publication of the hardback in 1989, the book has sold 115,000 copies in its illustrated editions, as well as a further 55,000 in unillustrated editions
  • Fully illustrated throughout in colour and black and white
  • Written by an expert team of well-known experts under the editorship of Roy Foster, one of the most important scholars of Irish history, and author of Yeats: The Apprentice Mage
  • Covers Irish history from pre-Christian times to the present-day troubles, and also the relationship between literature and history
  • Reissued in attractive new covers, as part of an Oxford Illustrated Histories promotion focused on British history

About the Author(s)

Roy Foster was born in Waterford, Ireland, in 1949 and educated in Ireland and in the United States. A graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, where he was a Foundation Scholar in History, he subsequently became Professor of Modern British History at Birkbeck College, University of London, as well as holding visiting fellowships at St Anthony's College, Oxford, the Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton, and Princeton University. In 1991 he became the first Carroll Professor of Irish History at the University of Oxford and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy since 1989. His previous books include Charles Stewart Parnell: The Man and His Family (1976), Lord Randolph Churchill: A Political Life (1981), Modern Ireland 1600-1972 (1988), The Sub-Prefect Should Have Held His Tongue: Selected Essays of Hubert Butler (1990), Paddy and Mr Punch: Connections in Irish and English History (1993), and W. B. Yeats: The Apprentice Mage Vol. I (1997).

Table of Contents

    List of colour plates; List of maps; 1. Prehistoric and Early Christian Ireland; 2. The Norman Invasion and the Gaelic Recovery; 3. Early Modern Ireland, c.1500-1700; 4. Ascendancy and Union; 5. Ireland Since 1870; 6. Irish Literature and Irish History; Further Reading; Chronology; Acknowledgements; Index.

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