The Personality of Ireland: Habitat, Heritage and History
‘I well remember the excitement I felt at the first publication in 1973 of The Personality of Ireland… I knew I was reading one of the most important books of my life’
– Paul Durcan
This classic study of Irish culture, extensively illustrated with photographs, maps and drawings, and reissued with a new foreword and an updated bibliography, gives a detailed yet panoramic view of Ireland. It follows in the great tradition of French historiography, adding the testament of landscape, antiquities and folk custom to that of document-based history as a primary source of knowledge of our past. It is a justly acclaimed, stimulating work of instruction, entertainment and enlightenment.
‘The totally convincing case Evans puts forward is for a synthesis of geography, archaeology, anthropology and recorded history – an interpenetration of these sciences which he himself manages to raise to the level of historical art sono one claiming an interest in Irish history should fail to peruse [it] regularly.’
– Robert Kee
‘Owing to the reach of his mind and his skills as a writer, his works remain fresh and useful to a new generation’
– Henry Glassie
‘A classic study of Irish culture … essential reading for students of Irish history and should be compulsory for all politicians interested in Ireland’s future.’
‘A tremendously stimulating book, and one which can be highly recommended to all.’
– Paul Gosling
EMYR ESTYN EVANS (1905-1989) was born in Shrewsbury, England, of Welsh parentage. He studied under H.J. Fleure at Aberystwyth and in 1928 moved to Queen’s University Belfast, where he founded the Department of Geography and held a chair from 1948 to 1968. He helped to establish the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum at Cultra in 1963, and in 1970 became the first Director of the Institute of Irish Studies. His books include France (1937), Irish Heritage (1942), Mourne Country (1951, rev. 1967), Irish Folk Ways (1957), Prehistoric and Early Christian Ireland (1967), and The Personality of Ireland (1973, rev. 1992).