|The flap inside the cover of Island of the Setting Sun
This absorbing book is a joy to read, and I have given it pride of place on my favourites' shelf. Written in an easy story style, it yet presents an immense amount of innovative, intense, and wide-ranging research into the extraordinary Neolithic monuments of central eastern Ireland. Alignments are described that stretch across the ancient landscape, from the estuary of the river Boyne, to Newgrange and Tara, taking in many other standing stones, mounds and raths. As we read of these stones and cairns, all described with clear and methodical astronomical descriptions relating them to the cycles of the seasons and the events of the ancient sky, a stunning picture emerges of Neolithic technology and astronomical knowledge, and the will to lay out the events of the sky across the very land of Ireland, uniting earth and sky. But there is more than careful measurements in this book, the authors also tell of folklore and place names associated with these alignments, and do so in a careful and considered manner which brings the wonder and possible meanings of these myths to life. The book is an honest and powerful step into the world of the ancestors, their science and their beliefs, and will serve, I have no doubt, as an important milestone into our understanding of the ancient past, one which other researchers will hopefully build on for years to come. Well done, both!
See the review here
Reviewers on Amazon.co.uk have given the book five stars:
Island of the Setting Sun
....is a gentle eye-opener of a rare kind!
What an amazing adventure it is to read this precious book!
It takes you along to go on a marvellous journey through time and space in the middle of Ireland's Boyne Valley- and this is where I've found the book.
Now, I am wandering in the foosteps of two devoted authors through the lovely and mysterious countryside.
This book carefully invites you to a world, that has always been there: right in front of your doorstep and up in the night sky.
It opens the gates to mythological and astronomical realms and it makes you want to linger.
Chapter by chapter you are drawn into the magic of a mystery being solved and, gifted with an open mind you will find that mythology and science are congruent layers of history.
Guided by a most beautiful companion: artwork.
Look at the powerful paintings and the atmospheric photographs!
They truly seem to capture the pure energy of sacred places, moon and stars of ancient times.
Thereafter- your world will never be the same again and you will want to learn more about it.
I recommend this piece of art from my heart to everyone who is also a careful observer of our time.
It is a blessing for all of us who ever wondered why.
An enthralling guide to the ancient sites, related astronomical links and people of ancient Irish history.
This book is beautifully presented with informative, well written chapters and is complimented with fantastic illustrations and original artwork.
It enables a wonderful, historic and cultural discovery of the Boyne Valley region and also shares in-depth knowledge of the wider ancient Irish legends. More than just a guide book, it also proves invaluable on a creative level. The starlit pathway that is shown to ancient Ireland shares inspiration that can only have been written by someone with a great affinity with the area.
The ancient sites are introduced with links to each other and lines drawn to astronomical points dating back over 5000 years ago. It relates solstice to the ancient sites and introduces the people that were central to the legends around the area. It is a captivating and enlightening read. I truly recommend it.
This amazing book brings many strands together, spanning thousands of years. It not only documents monuments going back to the Stone Age in the Boyne Valley area of Ireland, but takes the reader on a much wider ranging journey.
Anthony Murphy and Richard Moore have collaborated in researching this book and both have used their particular talents to make it into a captivating read and a visually beautiful book. Each chapter is introduced by double page reproductions of Richard's outstanding paintings; the well written, researched and thoroughly referenced text by Anthony is enriched by maps, plans and his unique photos.
Archaeology and astronomy are some of the tools that help us understand the meaning of the monuments, hilltops and ancient roads. But just as important are mythology and legends, place names, surviving local stories and beliefs which lead us to a much clearer picture of these enigmatic relics of the past.
These strands help the reader to understand the relationship between what has survived into our time and to weave a fuller and more rounded picture of this rich heritage - and it also encourages the reader to visit these landscapes and look up at the sky.