The Irish Franciscans, 1534–1990

Edel Bhreathnach, Joseph MacMahon OFM & John McCafferty, editors

Catalogue Price: €19.95
ISBN: 978-1-84682-210-0
Catalogue Price: €60.00
ISBN: 978-1-84682-290-4

June 2009. 464pp; colour ills.

‘This book is the first comprehensive history of the Franciscans in Ireland to be published … this book provides a full account of the Irish Franciscans in terms of the history of the order and its legacy, religious, cultural and material', Books Ireland (December 2009).

'This collection of essays, arranged chronologically, explores how Irish Franciscans have made history and how they have written history. The book deals with two anniversaries – the foundation of the Irish College at Louvain (Belgium) and the foundation of the Order itself almost 400 years earlier', Michael Merrigan, Ireland’s Genealogical Gazette (December 2009).

‘[This book] is the work of a team working under skilled editorial guidance … the book is produced and illustrated with all the exemplary care that readers and scholars have come to expect from the publishers. The book can be recommended, and anyone with an interest in modern Irish history will be well rewarded … this is a richly detailed book', Peter Costello, The Irish Catholic (Jan 2010).

‘Part I of this volume forms a sequential overview of the history of the Irish Franciscans and the Poor Clares, while Part II offers more detailed examinations of the legacies bequeathed by the generations of Irish Franciscans considered in part I in terms of scholarship, architecture, metalwork and missionary activity … this is a handsomely illustrated and attractively produced volume', Geraldine Parsons, The Tablet (19 June 2010).

‘This collection surveys the Irish Franciscan experience … the collection combines useful surveys with specialist topics (e.g., chalices, architecture) … recommended', T.P. Power, Trinity and Wycliffe College - University of Toronto, Choice (September 2010).

‘[An] extremely valuable work … there are useful essays on Franciscan chalices, architecture, and an assessment of the legacy of the Louvain College … there are also some fine illustrations', Andrew Hadfield, Renaissance Studies (November 2010).

‘All these essays offer important new elements to existing knowledge … this is a publication fit for both commemorative and academic purposes and a credit to its editors, who have done a fine job not only in bringing these essays together but also in ensuring their elegant presentation, complete with an ample photographic section, glossary, and bibliographical detail', Thomas O’Connor, Catholic Historical Review (January 2011).

‘Composed of eighteen chapters by different specialists, The Irish Franciscans provides the best overall introduction to the development of the Franciscan Order in early modern, modern, and contemporary Ireland … Sixteen pages of coloured plates, maps, black-and-white pictures, graphs, lists, and thumbnail biographies enhance the scholarship. The work contains a significant listing of archival sources, a thirty-page bibliography, a glossary of terms and an index … The Irish Franciscans helps fill a huge void, both chronologically and thematically, in our understanding of the history of the Order … excellently researched and covering a wide swath of material, the book opens up further roads for investigation and points the way for Franciscan history generally as it develops into a much wider interpretive and methodological field of inquiry', Joseph P. Chinnici OFM, Archivum Franciscanum Historicum (2010).

‘This collection marks a considerable advance on our appreciation of the broad Franciscan presence in early modern Ireland and its diaspora. A series of detailed, sharply focused studies, often rooted in original research in materials in several languages, offers fresh insights which cumulatively serve further to delineate the Irish Franciscan profile … These essays afford a solid overview of Franciscan life in Ireland over five centuries, with a helpful glossary to aid readers navigate this particular field', Brian Mac Cuarta SJ, Irish Economic and Social History (2011).

‘[Brings together] an impressive team of contributors from across Ireland and one from the Catholic University at Leuven in Belgium … this formidable volume presents the fruits of impressive scholarship focused on an organisation that contributed a great deal to Irish life over the centuries. It should be read by all historians interested in Irish society since 1534', Henry A. Jefferies, Irish Historical Studies (2010).

‘Presents not simply a history of the Franciscan province, but a prism to examine diverse strands that combined in the making of modern Ireland. This is not a complete history of the Irish province, but it as near as it is possible for such an immensely complicated subject … this collection, as Ignatius Fennessy observes, builds on the labours of the earlier Franciscan scholars, but points the way towards an exciting agenda for future research … this splendid volume demonstrates the immense value of collaborative thematic research. The editors are to be commended not just for this enterprise, but for the potential it and the Ó Cléirigh Institute afford to the study of the history of religion and society in America', Dáire Keogh, Studia Hibernica (2009/10).

‘An encyclopaedic survey of the history of religious in the Franciscan family from the reign on Henry VIII to the late 20th century … The portrait that emerges from the collected essays is of a resilient Franciscan foundation in Ireland, one that was able to withstand political persecution, social unrest, famine, cycles of reform and debate and uneven support from Rome … the collection’s achievement in documenting in a single volume the complex history and rich cultural legacy of Franciscan priests and brothers in Ireland since the 16th century', Amy L. Koehlinger, H-WRBI (July 2012).