Connemara: A Little Gaelic Kingdom

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Born in Yorkshire , he studied mathematics at Cambridge University.

Connemara: A Little Gaelic Kingdom by Tim Robinson | The Times

After a career as a visual artist in Istanbul , Vienna and London he settled in the Aran Islands , off the coast of County Galway , and began a detailed study of the landscape of the west of Ireland. He has won two Irish Book Awards for his Connemara books.


  • Connemara by Tim Robinson.
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His two-volume study of the Aran Islands, Stones of Aran , is a much-praised compendium of topographical and culture lore, described by Michael Viney as "One of the most original, revelatory and exhilarating works of literature ever produced in Ireland. Through Prehistoric Eyes A beautiful edition of this essay reprinted from Setting Foot on the Shores of Connemara with a fold-out of six colour photographs including spectacular shots of the midwinter solstice sunset aligned with a Bronze-Age stone row in the Twelve Bens discovered by the author.

November ISSN Edited with introduction, map and notes by Tim Robinson.

The Aran Islands, J. Synge Penguin Books, Edited with introductory essay and notes by Tim Robinson.

Product Description

ISBN 1 69 4. Tipperary, Texts and images linking constructions made by the artist Timothy Drever in London in with subsequent writings and maps by his alter ego Tim Robinson in Ireland. This elegantly produced book evolved out of the installation of the same name shown at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in ISBN 0 07 X. ISBN 0 12 6. Paper 48 by 69 cms, image 31 by 50 cms.


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This highly rural province of Galway County in west central Ireland, roughly 60 by 40 miles in area, is beautiful in its range of bog lands and heather meadows between a rough Atlantic coast and the worn-down, ancient Maumturk Mountains. Plus, I imagined lots of similarities in geography and ways of life between the fishing and farming communities of the rocky western coast of Ireland and those of the most eastern coast of Maine where Ive lived for 23 years.

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The author, Tim Robinson, comes from Yorkshire but lived in western Ireland for 20 years, first in the Aran Islands of Galway Bay and then in the coastal village of Roundstone, where he makes an income selling maps he lovingly created. As he did with his prior book on the Aran Islands, he delves deeply into the flora and fauna, physical terrain, and modes of human living in the sites he visits, tapping into the living memories, available oral and written histories, the testimony and studies of scientists, and analyses of the roots of the Gaelic words used to name geographical formations large and small.

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Connemara bog with Maumturk Mountains in the distance Ballynahinch Castle, first built in for the Martin family I learned a lot of things both worthwhile and trivial. As Robinson explores more solid terrain between the mountains and the sea, he gains a sense from the records of stones and bones how marginalized and oppressed the common people here were over the centuries, first under regional chiefs and then under exploitive barons placed over them by the English monarchy. Later in this chapter he climbs a hill overlooking the bog and gets a sense of transformations of the landscape on a larger scale and includes this perspective in closing: Our awarenesses as individuals last between, say, a tenth of a second and a century; we can just about catch the dart of a water-skater and the symptoms of global warming.

As another example of his special vision, this passage comes from passing by remnants of abandoned habitation on a still lake mirroring a crag called Cashel Hill: One could be looking down through the great holes and rents in the skin of the earth at the impossibly lovely upside-down land that is the foundation of this one.

Listen to this, just one of many passages I could pick the author is searching for one of Connemaras holy wells on the island of Inis Ni, with an itinerant man of the area: We had to grope around in the chaos of orange seaweed for some time before Beartla was sure we were looking at the right puddle of brine, but once we put our hands into it there was no doubt about its singularity: it is a round hole about ten inches across and the same in depth, as smooth as a pot, as Beartla put it.

Book review: Connemara: A Little Gaelic Kingdom

He tells countless stories about English and Scottish overlords and Irish managers in Connemara once the English established control over Ireland for several centuries. That is, the Irish are an indigenous people.

But I now believe the story of Irish independence is not so similar that to the American Revolution of the s, but more akin to that of India or other countries in which the colonized people, not the colonists, won independence. In sum, the parts of the book that describe and tell the story of the land, place names, plants, and native history are amazing. The Irish Language in Tim Robinsons Connemara Trilogy For the title of the last volume in his Connemara trilogy, Tim Robinson looked to Patrick Pearse and his dream of a little Gaelic kingdom nestling in the intricate coves and islands in the southern part of the region.