History and archaeology
‘Designed to appeal to tourists as well as general readers with an interest in castles or the history and archaeology of the region … it is lavishly illustrated with colour and black and white photographs and drawings, and will be enjoyable to any visitor to Dunluce or castle fan’, Reference & Research Book News (October 2012).
‘Dunluce Castle in county Antrim is an iconic structure … The history of the castle and the archaeological evidence to support the story are both told in Colin Breen’s latest and excellent book. The author is adept at tracing the rise of the MacDonnells, their complex relationships with the neighbouring O’Neills and the succession struggles that so bedevilled Gaelic Ireland … As one might expect, the text is copiously and handsomely illustrated. This is a book that will appeal to both the general reader and the specialist alike. Not least it will inspire many of its readers to visit the iconic site of Dunluce Castle', Pat McCarthy, Books Ireland (November 2012).
‘The scope of the book is exhaustive and it is profusely illustrated … this book is a significant step forward in our knowledge of this site', Gillian Eadie, The Archaeological Journal (2013).
‘… a detailed reassessment of Dunluce in the context of recent research. Breen expertly creates a narrative that blends the history and architectural development of the castle … Of considerable interest is the new information on the results of Breen’s excavations at the castle and at the adjacent deserted town … The book includes an interesting chapter dealing with issues concerning tourism, conservation and development of the castle. The many well-reproduced illustrations in the volume include antiquarian paintings and drawings that highlight the precarious and visually arresting location of the castle', Archaeology Ireland (Autumn 2012).
‘These are exciting times for Irish archaeology. Investigation into sites, buildings and artefacts surviving from the later medieval and early modern period (c.1200–c.1700) have yielded important new discoveries that have helped us to rethink the social world of Ireland and the British Isles. Colin Breen has been at the forefront of such pioneering work … What is most important about this book, however, is not the castle itself but the evidence of the now-dead town that accompanied it, unearthed in an archaeological dig that began in 2008 … Breen and his team have done us a great service in bringing to light this settlement that tells us so much about life in early modern Ireland'. Andrew Hadfield, Times Higher Education (November 2012).
‘Breen must be praised for this well-illustrated book which analyses an iconic monument and brings a summary account of an important excavation to press with commendable speed', Rory Sherlock, Journal of Medieval Archaeology (2013).