Michael Dames sets out to tie the Irish landscape into the mythic tales of the Irish (mostly pre-Christian but also Christian as well). He paints a compelling image of Ireland's geography and living myth based on archaeology, and the like.
The book is organized into five parts, each part covering a province of traditional Ireland (Ulster, Munster, Leinster, Connacht, and Meath). Within each part, the geography is told in three chapters: an introduction chapter, a second chapter which contains a great deal more detail, and a concluding chapter which includes summaries of other interesting sites. In general, only a couple of closely located sites are covered in any detail for each province.
The book, however, requires that one has a reasonable grounding in Irish myth and legend. Dames does not retell the legends, but largely references them in his discussions of the land. If this is your first book on Irish myth, you are better off to set it aside for the time being, pick up Charles Squire's book, and read that first. However, once you have read that, I still recommend coming back to this book.
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Irish myth, though I might recommend other books first to the beginner.
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Chris Travers (einhverfr)
I live in a haunted house Beneath a tall and mighty tree With my wife Mia and my sons Wilhelm and Conrad Where I write software and carve runes It is a … more
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Michael Dames, distinguished archaeologist and art historian, has reached into each other Ireland's parishes for stories, legends, architecture and art to write a beautiful book. What he writes is not the usual tourist information or a geographical summary. Region by region, historical period by period, a mosaic of Irish life and customs creates a mythic whole. From mysterious runes to the Book of Kells, word pictures and photographic material create a well-defined Ireland. --Acts and Activities, January 1999