Goodly Barrow: A Voyage on an Irish River
By: T.F. O’Sullivan
‘Not so much a book to be read as a wine to be savoured. … The blend of scholarship and imaginative sensibility is rare.’ – Sean O’Faolain
Goodly Barrow is a long-unavailable classic that charts the history and character of Ireland’s second-longest river, from the Slieve Bloom Mountains to the sea in Waterford. T.F. O’Sullivan’s riverine narrative embraces legend and song, literature and anecdote, viewing Irish history through the prism of the waterway: from the early tribal kingdoms of the Celts, to the Vikings and Normans who made passage up the estuary, leaving a legacy of castles, abbeys, monasteries and towns; from the Tudor and Cromwellian settlements on the fertile plains of Carlow and Kildare, to Quaker bridge-builders and Huguenot refugees. It opens up a little-known part of Ireland’s countryside and heritage, and is an invaluable guide for boaters and armchair travellers alike.
‘This book gladdens the heart with a sense of the richness of Ireland, past and present. It is one of the most delightful books about Ireland, and about rivers here or elsewhere, that I have come across.’ – Benedict Kiely, Irish Times
‘T.F. O’Sullivan, with his remarkable grasp of history, ancient and modern, his awareness of architectural felicities and practical knowledge of the Irish language, is the ideal guide for this particular voyage.’ – John Ryan, Irish Press
T.F. O’SULLIVAN served as Irish ambassador in eleven foreign capitals, including Washington and Paris, and was awarded the Legion d’Honneur by the French government. His fascination with place and love of boats and inland waterways led him to the Barrow valley. This book, first published in 1983, is his testimonial. He died in 1999.