Irish Eccentrics

A Selection

By: Peter Somerville-Large

Publication Date: February 1990

(1 customer review)


Irish Eccentrics: A Selection by Peter Somerville-Large

Ireland’s history has long been illuminated, and enlivened, by bizarre, colourful, extravagant, unfettered individuals: ripe country-house eccentrics, saints, scholars, bucks and hell-rakes, duellists, abductors, rhymers and miracle-makers. These factual and fascinating biographical sketches make for ‘delightful reading’ (Frank Muir).

First published in 1975, this new edition of Irish Eccentrics includes fresh material and is now in its second printing.


‘Mr Somerville-Large writes with erudition’  Tim Heald, The Times

‘A delightful compendium of sheer nuttiness. If, as sociologists suggest, eccentricity is a luxury, Ireland is portrayed in this book as one of the most luxurious countries anywhere.’  Malcolm MacPherson, Newsweek

‘Mr Somerville-Large has probed the annals of dim Anglo-Irish families to produce a rare gallery of human curiosities. All human life is here with a vengence, and in these affectionately presented pages its vagaries know no bounds. ‘ William Trevor, The Guardian

‘Peter Somerville-Large has parcelled up as colourful a batch of nature’s sports as could be found a whisker this side of lunacy, and has written about them in a witty detached prose style which admirably sets off their extraordinary behaviour.Delightful reading.’ Frank Muir, The Spectator

‘It is a thoroughly researched miscellany spanning many hundreds of years, but mostly focusing on the 17th-19th centuries. The chapters are divided topically and are mostly freestanding – so you can put it down for a while and come back without much detriment. ‘ Customer review

Also available as an ebook

1 review for Irish Eccentrics

  1. Lilliput Press

    “I stumbled across this book years ago in the stalls of a bookstores in Dublin and I read on a yearly basis. I really enjoy the entire book, but I most enjoyed reading about the famous duelists like Buck Whatley, Fireball MacNamara and Tiger Roche. It’s a very off-the-wall book that the reader who is interested in the Irish cultural history shall really enjoy.” BUD O’BAER

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Weight 0.5 kg
Dimensions 136 × 215 mm
Publication Date

February 1990


Paperback, 286pp