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Book Description

March 9 1999
Morgan Llywelyn, aside from being one of the great writers of novels about the romance and adventure of Irish history, is a lover of all things Irish, well read in Irish fact and fiction. Now she gives generously of her love and knowledge in a list of books recommended heartily and wittily. More than simply a list, The Essential Library for Irish Americans is an education in the Irishness of Ireland. Here at last is an instructive, opinionated, annotated list of books for anyone in America who is Irish or Irish at heart.

Chosen for their accuracy and their pleasures, these books are described in clear, concise language that is in itself a pleasure. Ms. Llywelyn does not summarize the contents, but rather tells of the experiences that are in store for readers of each individual book. Arranged in broad categories, such as biography and autobiography, history, poetry, and fiction, her beguiling commentary and the books she recommends promise hours of delight for anyone willing to open his heart to the Irish American experience.

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Product Description

From Library Journal

American-born Irish historical novelist Llywelyn (1916, LJ 2/15/98) has compiled an annotated bibliography of works she feels anyone interested in Irish studies ought to read. Descriptions are provided for titles in categories including biography, history, folklore, novels, and poetry. Many works are recent publications, such as Thomas Cahill's How the Irish Saved Civilization (LJ 3/15/95), but standard Irish classics are well represented, e.g., Sean O'Casey's Autobiographies, J.M. Synge's Aran Islands, and Cecil Woodham-Smith's The Great Hunger. Novelists include James Joyce, Walter Macken, James Plunkett, Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, and Maeve Binchy; poets include Seamus Heaney, John Montague, and W.B. Yeats. As with similar "must read" lists, one can argue for the inclusion of other works, but this compilation is one person's opinion. One notable omission, however, is any collection of short stories. Nonetheless, Llywelyn provides the basis for a solid grounding in Irish studies. Recommended for public and academic libraries.ADenise J. Stankovics, Rockville P.L., Vernon, CT
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Since 1980 MORGAN LLYWELYN has created a body of work chronicling the Celts and Ireland, from the earliest times to the present day. Her critically acclaimed novels, both of history and of mythology, have been translated into many languages. She lives in Ireland.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well researched, highly readable, reference April 6 1999
By - Published on
Morgan has once again used her background as a historical researcher combined with an easy flowing style to give the most succint encapsulation of at least 100 books, covering several genres. Better than reading a review in the New York Times. It allows you to be knowledgable of the context and contents of these wonderful books as if you have already read the book, but tugs at your intellect to read the whole story. It provides insights about many of the authors and their works that could only have been written by one who loves the written word.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read leading to more great reads Jan. 19 2000
By Kelly M. Frahm - Published on
This book helped me further explore my interest in Irish history. It is very difficult to sift through the thousands of sub-standard to awful texts written on Ireland and her people, and this book has helped find the books truly worth reading. I haven't found a bad book that was recommended by The Essential Library.
4.0 out of 5 stars Grand History Jan. 7 2013
By M. C. Mooney - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I learned more Irish history reading Ms Llywelyn's briefs than in any complete text. The legends, stories heard in my youth from aunts and uncles came to life between these covers.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Satisfied April 1 2013
By Aleicia Gunther - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was very excited to see that this was a book donated to a library and it was in very good condition. I received my order very timely. I am very satisfied.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource for anyone interested in Irish history Sept. 21 2012
By Colleen M. Kennedy - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Morgan Llywelyn provides a superb annotated bibliography of resources for anyone who is interested in learning more about Irish history. She includes contemporary as well as classical authors of non-fiction and fiction dealing with Ireland.

There are only two additional resources that I would recommend for anyone interested in the Irish struggle for independence.

The first is the novel Trinity and its sequel Redemption both by Leon Uris

Personally, I preferred Thomas Kinsella's translation The Tain: Translated from the Irish Tain Bo Cuailnge over The Raid: A Dramatic Retelling of Ireland's Epic Tale (Ulster Cycle) by Randy Lee Eickhoff, however, I do understand that the Kinsella version is no longer readily available for purchase.

I definitely recommend this book as a necessary resource to everyone who studies Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the Irish Diaspora.

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