Pathfinders to the past

The antiquarian road to Irish historical writing, 1640–1960

Próinséas Ní Chatháin & Siobhán Fitzpatrick, editors, with Howard B. Clarke

Hardback €45.00
Catalogue Price: €50.00
ISBN: 978-1-84682-345-9
October 2012. 200pp; ills.

Compiled in celebration of the 150th anniversary of one of Ireland’s most distinguished and long-lived cultural institutions – the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland – this collection of essays by distinguished scholars in a variety of academic fields examines the remarkable course of antiquarian enquiry from the seventeenth to the twentieth century. By placing the antiquarians in chronological order, one senses an evolving pattern reflecting social conditions and concerns over that period of time. Scholars such as Harris, Hardiman, Petrie, Reeves and Westropp have been the subject of historical comment in the past, but usually in isolation from one another. Here one can see patterns of change and development, perhaps for the first time in this context. Illustrations have been selected from the resources of the RSAI and of the Royal Irish Academy with a view to reinforcing, through images, an original approach to the advent of professional historiography in this country.

Contributors: Marie Baron, Howard Clarke, Siobhán De hÓir, Annroi De Paor, Siobhán FitzPatrick, Ann Hamlin, George L. Huxley, Aideen M. Ireland, Liam Irwin, Dorothy Kelly, Michael McCarthy, Próinséas Ní Chatháin, Diarmaid Ó Catháin, Nollaig Ó Muraíle, Muiris O'Sullivan, Elizabeth Shee Twohig, Paul Walsh.

Próinséas Ní Chatháin was professor of Early and Medieval Irish language and literature at University College Dublin and was president of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland (1997–2001). Siobhán Fitzpatrick is librarian to the Royal Irish Academy and was joint honorary general secretary of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland (1999–2001). Howard Clarke, formerly of the School of History and Archives, UCD, remains actively engaged on research projects relating to the history of towns, the Domesday survey of England, the Bayeux Tapestry and Evesham Abbey, Worcestershire.