Irish and English

Essays on the Irish linguistic and cultural frontier, 1600–1900


James Kelly & Ciarán Mac Murchaidh, editors

Hardback €49.50
Catalogue Price: €55.00
ISBN: 978-1-84682-340-4
October 2012. 288pp.

'This is a revolutionary book … a fine book … the editors’ introduction is as nuanced, as fair-minded, and as clear as you will find. It is also exceptionally well-written, both with a clarity that is exemplary and with a style which is pleasurable', Alan Titley, Irish Literary Supplement (Fall 2013).

‘A vibrant collection of essays which display the work ongoing in Irish history … it is easy to dip in and out of its pages and find your own areas of interest in this very coherent volume. This very handsome collection is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of development of Irish language and culture in the early modern period', Brendan Scott, Breifne (2013).

‘This valuable volume of ten erudite essays and an excellent introduction … shed[s] invaluable light on why a widely spoken community language with a rich literary heritage spanning a millennium went into free fall … several of the essays attest to the vibrancy in the eighteenth century of a literary culture that circulated in manuscript form', Cormac Ó Gráda, Dublin Review of Books (November 2012).

‘[These] scholarly essays chart the ebb and flow of Irish and English over the centuries and give an invaluable insight into what one might call the back-story of Ireland’s two official languages … the material can be, on occasion, a challenging undertaking for the casual reader; however, it is also very rewarding … essays offer intriguing narratives into Ireland’s cultural heritage', Pól Ó Muirí, Irish Times.

‘An important strength of this book is that non-Irish-language readers have access through translation to original quality research first published in Irish, as well as Irish-language scholars’ in-depth knowledge of relevant sources in the languages … The standard of these essays and the quality of the writing are high throughout. A range of tables, maps and illustrations provide an extra valuable dimension to an excellent work that deserves its place in every library collection and course reading list dealing with language shift in Ireland’, Pádraig Ó Siadhail, Canadian Journal of Irish Studies (2016).

‘The meticulous footnoted introduction is a valuable introduction to the period. Concise, readable and scholarly, it is difficult to think of a better article for students studying pre-famine language shift in the Irish context … there is much feasting for the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century scholar … a sturdy volume that adds greatly to our understanding of the cultural formation of Modern Ireland, a seminal period, poorly understood and understudied until now … [the book is] worth [purchasing] for the quality of the scholarship on offer, bringing together some of the brightest and best young – and not so young – scholars working on Irish-language materials … [it is] a large and impressive volume of work that expands and deepens our knowledge of the period 1699–1900. For that we can be grateful to all concerned', Brian Ó Conchubhair, Irish Economic and Social History (2013).

‘James Kelly and Ciarán Mac Murchaidh have collected these ten essays “to break new ground by exploring the attitudes, actions and contexts” that impacted the fate of Irish … This collection makes a welcome contribution to its field, modelling methodologies for further exploration and pointing directions for expanded study’, Valerie McGowan-Doyle, Renaissance Quarterly (2016).