Skip to content

On the Edge: Ireland’s off-shore islands: A modern history

 16.95

by Diarmaid Ferriter

SHORTLISTED FOR THE ONSIDE NONFICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR 2018

On the Edge: Ireland’s off-shore Islands: A Modern History

The islands off the coast of Ireland have long been a source of fascination. Seen as repositories of an ancient Irish culture and the epitome of Irish romanticism, they have attracted generations of scholars, artists and filmmakers, from James Joyce to Robert O’Flaherty, looking for a way of life uncontaminated by modernity or materialism.

But the reality for islanders has been a lot more complex. They faced poverty, hardship and official hostility, even while being expected to preserve an ancient culture and way of life. Writing in her 1936 autobiography, Peig Sayers, resident of Blaskets island, described it as ‘this dreadful rock’. In 1841, there were 211 inhabited islands with a combined population of 38,000; by 2011, only 64 islands were inhabited, with a total population of 8,500. And younger generations continue to leave.

By documenting the island experiences and the social, cultural and political reaction to them over the last 100 years, On the Edge examines why this exodus has happened, and the gulf between the rhetoric that elevated island life and the reality of the political hostility towards them.It uncovers, through state and private archives, personal memoirs, newspaper coverage, and the author’s personal travels, the realities behind the “dreadful rocks”, and the significance of the experiences of, and reactions to, those who were and remain, literally, on the very edge of European civilisation.

About the Author

Diarmaid Ferriter is an Irish historian, broadcaster and university professor. He has written eleven books on the subject of Irish history, and co-authored another. Ferriter attended St. Benildus College in Kilmacud in Dublin and University College Dublin.

The LitVox Bookshop

Our bookshop’s range grows by the day. Moreover, we pride ourselves on being able to track down and obtain any book our customers want. Our recommendations service is open for all to use. If we recommend books to you through this service, we’ll be able gather up those books and send them to you no matter where you are in the world. If you’re buying your books as a gift, we can gift-wrap them in a lovely bundle and send them wherever in the world you wish! We can even hand-write your greetings card with your personal message.

Remember that if you’re buying books as a gift, we also offer a wide-range of book prints, gifts and greetings cards for readers of all ages! Check out our print studio and gift-shop today. If you have any special requests for your order or need further gift inspiration, just contact our team at hello@litvox.com, we’re ready and waiting to help!

Weight 0.2 kg
Dimensions 12.8 × 2 × 19.7 cm

You may also like…

  • Between Two Hells: The Irish Civil War

    Between Two Hells: The Irish Civil War

     24.95
  • A Nation and Not A Rabble

    A Nation and not a Rabble: The Irish Revolution 1913–23

     15.00