Artist Lar Dooley has reviewed Mythical Ireland: New Light on the Ancient Past. Below is the text of his review.
I am the kind of reader who gets bored reading in a linear fashion, nope with me it's look at the photos, because they're stunning, then start at Chapter 1, but revert to relevant chapters first, then back to the beginning, then get lost. This is that sort of book. Open any page, and you will get lost in the magic, the myth and the mystique of ancient Ireland, as told by Anthony Murphy, whose site Mythical Ireland is a huge resource and a huge research tool, for anyone interested into the history of this small island, whose diaspora is spread worldwide, and each and every person of Irish Heritage, or even not of Irish Heritage, should have this book to hand.
It's not too late to buy that 'forgotten Christmas Present', or that replacement 'New Year Present. It's never too late to buy a book, and this one is stunning, from the very first page. Actually, even better, buy it directly from Anthony Murphy or Mythical Ireland and you will treasure your very own signed copy, one of which will take prominence wherever I travel and 'happen' to bring it with me. I often 'pinch' photos, comments and posts from Anthony, and I take pride in actually admitting where these comments are from, because each comment, and each post is a microcosm of the true beauty of our ancient past, as seen through the eye, the lens, or the imagination of a master storyteller, par excellence.
What a mine of information, theory and imagination, but what a huge effort, both in all the visits, to all the sites, at all the relevant times. It was a pleasure being involved in a couple of the journeys, and being recognised in print is a blast, but actually understanding all the effort, all the man hours, all the early starts and late homes, all the background knowledge from countless readings of countless books, just makes one realise what a mammoth task this book is, but also how it treats our ancestors and our ancestry with utmost respect and delivers a history lesson and a mythological masterpiece of ginormous proportions.
My recommendation is simple, get your hands on this book right now, because the first edition will be a great investment. Many of Anthony's first editions of his previous books are for sale at hugely inflated prices, so, even as an investment, the First Edition of this book is a sure fire hit. However, this book is a complete gem, from cover to cover. The photos are sublime, the comments are first class, the chapters are set out in logical fashion and the whole book is testament to an author whose has written books before, who has a site with 40,000 plus avid followers, and whose presence at any event in the archaeological or historical structure of Ireland, brings an immediate buzz of recognition. Treat yourself, or treat a special friend, or treat a very special relative to a copy of this book and you will never be short of something to talk about again, a simply sublime collection of fact, fable, fiction and historical intrigue which will live in the memory of all who read it.
Congratulations Anthony, this book will sell and sell and sell, well done.
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.