21.6 x 13.8 pp. 170 pp. 1992 pbk repr. of 1980 edition
Holy wells have been a feature of the religion of the Irish people for longer than records have existed, and while pilgrimages to them are not as common as in the last centuries, many wells are still visited, particularly on the Saints’ or ‘Pattern’ Days, and even now new wells occasionally appear.
In this survey Dr Patrick Logan, author of The Old Gods, Irish Country Cures and Fair Day: The Story of Irish Fairs and Markets, describes many of those wells that are still visited, detailing the features of the pilgrimage and the benefits obtained, together with the legends attached to the wells, the saints they are dedicated to and their Pattern Days, the sites, trees and stones associated with them, and fish that some of them have; he also gives information about the holy islands that have wells.
This collection does not attempt to describe every holy well in Ireland – an impossible task with so many – but Dr Logan has gathered together a collection of the most representative and interesting ones that visitors, pilgrims, and historians, as well as the local people will find it fascinating to read about.
‘What the author has done is to collect . . . a huge amount of important material about the wells, their history, the saints to whom they are dedicated, and their accessories, so to speak, such as the sites, the fish that some still nurture, and even such fascinating things as "swearing stones" and "cursing stones" . . . . A volume that is much needed and that will be a source of fascination to scholars and local historians alike for many years to come.’ Cork Examiner
'Dr Logan has succeeded in packing a great volume of interesting and useful information into this book.' Irish Independent
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21.6 x 13.8 cm. xiv, 291 pp. + 16 pp. with 33 illus.
During his life, W.B.Yeats formed only a few literary friendships from which he received as much as he gave. One of the foremost was his association with George William Russell. ‘A.E. was my oldest friend’ he confided to an admirer on Russell’s death in 1935. ‘We began our work together.’
This engaging, carefully researched book charts the history and evaluates the significance of the first twenty-three years of that work. It begins with the early months of 1884 when Yeats and Russell first met at the Arts Schools in Kildare Street, Dublin, and ends with their divisive quarrels in 1907 about the policies of the Abbey Theatre.
Taking as its focal point Yeats’s summary of the association – ‘between us as always there existed that antagonism that unites dear friends’ – the book sensitively gauges the pressures that each man exerted on the other. It also examines the way these pressures both affected their respective imaginative developments and shaped the course of the literary movement.
'What Kuch sets out to do, he does scrupulously and with such attention to detail, minutiae even, that his scholarly apparatus takes up nearly a quarter of the book. It is indeed "carefully researched".' Derek Mahon in The Irish Times
A Non-Book for Those who, in Revolt Today, Could be in Command Tomorrow
Dolmen Editions XXII viii, 255pp. 27.2 x 18.4cm
We are faced today with a number of seemingly insoluble quandaries in the fields of both Religion and Science, amongst which may be included the problem of a God that seems to all appearances to be either demonic or incompetent, of a Universe that is apparently expanding in relation to nothing but itself, of the structure of Space-Time, of the significance if any of Death, and of the everlasting conflict between the ways of thought known as realism and Idealism.
In collating various pronouncements in all of these areas that have been besetting us during the present significant century, the writer has come to a surprising conclusion that modern Science may be providing an answer to some of the quandaries of religious belief, and on the other hand, that theology in many ways is capable of coming to the rescue of the Physicists, enmeshed as they are in a tangle of contradictory facts.
A solution is probably found in the abandonment of our traditional conception of an inanimate Universe which nevertheless is explosive and kinematic, in favour of a new view of its dimensional character. The edition is limited to 1050 copies signed by the author.
Denis Johnston (1901-84) was in his turn a lawyer, playwright, war correspondent, and one of the early executives of British Television. After World War II he held a number of chairs and professorships at American Universities and Colleges until his retirement in 1973, after which he combined further teaching with the writing of this book, to which the varied aspects of his professional life have all contributed. His study, In Search of Swift, appeared in 1959, and his account of his time as a war correspondent, Nine Rivers from Jordan, in 1953. His Dramatic Works appeared in three volumes from this company (1977, 1979, 1992).More info →