Np: Beaux Arts Editions, (1993). First Edition. Hardcover. Quarto; pp; 368, index; Approx. 200 color and black and white plates; green cloth lettered in gilt in a pictorial dust jacket; A tasteful gift inscription on the front free fly leaf else a very good copy; An encyclopedic treatment and a treasure for the devotee of Irish Culture. Very good / very good. Item #19006
The glorious legacy of Irish art and literature has survived centuries of foreign invasion, famine, and civil war to offer a rich portrait of a proud and complex country and her people. Beginning with the ancient Celtic sagas preserved for centuries in an oral tradition, to the recording of these pagan epics and the Christian gospels by early Christian scribes in some of the most magnificent illuminated manuscripts of all time, the legacy continues down to the Dublin of James Joyce and the Belfast of Seamus Heaney. Literature in the finest tradition has long been acknowledged as one of Ireland's most precious gifts, but less well known is the extraordinary depth and beauty of Irish visual art. The Irish: A Treasury of Art and Literature, is a lavishly illustrated overview of Irish culture. It reveals the breadth of the Irish experience through selected texts and images that mark momentous developments in art, religion, politics, and everyday life. The selections evoke the tone and texture of Irish life from the pagan legends, the flowering of Christianity, and the "golden age" of Ireland, to the terror of the early invasions, the brutality of the conflicts which clouded the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the massive emigration following the great famine of the nineteenth century, the Celtic Revival of the arts in the early twentieth century which drew much of its inspiration from the landscapes of the past, to the continuing struggles in Northern Ireland today. The carefully chosen texts of stories, plays, poetry, essays, letters, and political documents combine with images of ancient sites, precious objects (both religious and secular), illuminated manuscripts, paintings, drawings, and prints to convey the passion, eloquence, and diversity of Irish cultural history.