Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Five best books on Ireland

Frank Delaney's novel Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show was recently published by Random House.

For the Wall Street Journal he named a five best list of books on Ireland. One title on the list:
How the Irish Saved Civilization
by Thomas Cahill
Doubleday, 1995

Dreadful title, outstanding book. This is the work that most assists a deeper understanding of Ireland's spirit. If the question is "How did an island of 33,000 square miles daub such a wide green stripe across the globe?," Thomas Cahill has the answer. His learning matches the depth of field, and his powers of overview and summary can settle eons of debate. "Whether insoluble political realities or inner spiritual sickness is more to blame for the fall of classical civilization is, finally, beside the point," he writes. The point, he says, is that Irish monks, drinking deep from the Latin and Greek of what was called "civilization," gave it out to the world from their scriptoria in the Middle Ages and thus prevented its death. The book is in itself an illuminated manuscript.
Read about the other books on Delaney's list.

Read an excerpt from Thomas Cahill's How the Irish Saved Civilization.

--Marshal Zeringue