The Egan Irish Harps

Tradition, patrons and players

Nancy Hurrell

Hardback €45.00
Catalogue Price: €50.00
ISBN: 978-1-84682-759-4
April 2019. 302pp; colour illustrations

'[T]his monograph is particularly impressive for its elegant presentation of Nancy Hurrell's extensive, meticulous and original research. The care she has taken to present her work clearly and engagingly leads to a balanced, nuanced view of Irish harp history, which is very accessible for the general reader but nonetheless invaluable to the academic researcher.

[...] In this new monograph, Nancy Hurrell fills many gaps of knowledge to create a work that will clearly be the standard reference work for the future. She doesn’t just set out the historical, cultural and musical context but – using a wide range of source materials – she painstakingly recreates Egan’s world for the reader [...] The monograph includes the first ever catalogue of one hundred Egan harps, sixty of whom the author has personally examined and measured', Siobhán Armstrong, President of the Historical Harp Society of Ireland.

'A really impressive piece of work! I think it will be the standard reference for many years', Simon Chadwick, assistant director of the Historical Harp Society of Ireland.

'Hurrell's in-depth study of Egan's ornate and iconic revivalist harp is both substantial and fascinating ... With clarity, perception and vigour, Hurrell gets to the heart of her subject in easily flowing prose. The elegant jacket and quality illustrations make it no less desirable. A must for your library.' Alex Rider. Harp: United Kingdom Association Magazine (2020).


'Hurrell initially explores the harp as a symbol of national identity and the cultural role of the Gaelic harp ... She looks at not just harps but harpists, and gives surrounding context to the instrument and the music played on it ... Hurrell has done a wonderful job of documenting tthis history, generously illustrated and lucidly written in great detail. It provides not just an exhaustive hostorical account of one kind of instrument, but supplies a missing section of the development of music in Ireland up to the present day.' Gary Hastings. Folk Life, VOL.58, NO.1, 67-75 (2020).