What a momentous day it's been today. I didn't plan it this way, I can assure you, but the first two copies of my new book, Mythical Ireland: New Light on the Ancient Past arrived at my publisher The Liffey Press. And the new Mythical Ireland website went live too. On the same day. And it's Samhain!
A huge amount of work has gone into both projects. Planning for the new website began in the autumn of 2016, with work beginning in summer of 2017. Serious hours have been put into this project by Patrick Casey and Roisin Marsh of Inkerman Technologies. In addition, a considerable amount of candles were burnt as this author edited and compiled the text of the website and indeed edited and prepared the images. I hope you like the fruits of our collective efforts. The new site is fully browsable by smartphones, tablets and mobile devices. The old black background that has been a feature of the old website for 17 and a half years is gone.
At lunchtime I headed towards Clontarf, Dublin, to the headquarters of The Liffey Press, where two advance copies of my new book, Mythical Ireland: New Light on the Ancient Past had arrived. It's always very exciting to see your book for the first time, and I was full of eager and nervous anticipation when arriving.
But I needn't have been. It's a beautiful production. It's full of colour images (over 160) and is more richly endowed with photography than my previous books. It has the same dimensions as Island of the Setting Sun and Newgrange: Monument to Immortality. My family came with me (including my daughter Tara, who celebrates her birthday today). Thanks to my eldest daughter, Amy, for taking the photo of the official handover. And indeed to my wife Ann for the shot taken below.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the new website. I will post details about the official launch of the Mythical Ireland book shortly. Thank you all for your ongoing support.
Enter the ‘Ancient Sites’ section of this blog for a fascinating and wide-ranging exploration of the megalithic and sacred sites of Ireland. Find out all about the Stone Age and prehistoric ruins and learn more about the possible functions and alignments of these sites. Visit the great temples of Brú na Bóinne, the Hill of Tara, the ancient cairns of Loughcrew among many others.
Explore the ancient myths, legends and folklore of Ireland and their meaning. Read the epic Táin Bó Cuailnge, or the place-name myths in the Dindshenchas. Learn about how the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Milesians came to Ireland and how the early texts describe various invasions of prehistoric Éire. Hear about Fionn and the Fianna, and discover how some myths might contain information about astronomy and the stars.
There is no doubt that the ancient megalith builders had a substantial knowledge of the movements of the sun, moon, planets and stars through the heavens. Learn more about just how complex and impressive this knowledge was. There is evidence that the people of the Neolithic knew about the 19-year Metonic cycle of the moon, as well as being able to predict eclipses.