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This book is more than the cultural atlas of its February 4, 2011
Reviewer: Emeritus Professor of Geography Robin Glasscock from Republic of Ireland  
This book is more than the  cultural atlas  of its subtitle. Insomuch as it covers almost all aspects of the geography and history of the Iveragh Peninsula  it is nearer to a regional monograph in the old tradition of French geography. It is substantial not only in terms of its format and size  it weighs in at 3kg  but in the range of its content and the quality of its illustration. The joint editors have managed to weave together over 50 contributions from recognized experts in their fields  into a coherent  interdisciplinary  scholarly and very readable account. This could not have been achieved without support from institutions  University College Cork  the ordnance Survey and the National Tourism Development Authority among them  and the large number of individuals listed in the Acknowledgements.    Throughout  the quality of maps and illustration is outstanding. Endnotes are useful for further references and there is a comprehensive index. John Crowley  geographer  and John Sheehan  archaeologist  both at University College Cork  are to be congratulated along with their cartographic editor  Mike Murphy  the University Press and its printers in Spain on producing a fine book. It is a worthy successor to the earlier writings on the area of  among others  Robert Lloyd Praeger  Frank Mitchell and Estyn Evans  and it deepens our understanding of the landscape  history and heritage of this distinctive corner of Atlantic Europe.

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This book is a celebration of the famed Ring of Ke July 22, 2010
Reviewer: CHOICE current reviews for Academic Libraries from Republic of Ireland  
This book is a celebration of the famed Ring of Kerry in southwest Ireland from prehistoric times to the present. The use and range of illustrative material makes this book a visual delight. Recommended for all libraries supporting Irish Studies

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Iveragh A Cultural Atlas of the Ring of Kerry is February 9, 2010
Reviewer: Australian Journal of Irish Studies from Republic of Ireland  
Iveragh  A Cultural Atlas of the Ring of Kerry  is in effect a follow up to The Iveragh Peninsula: An Archaeological Survey  published in 1998 also by Cork University Press. Both books study Ireland s largest peninsula  which extends out in to the Atlantic Ocean far enough to make it the westernmost point of Europe  and which constitutes one element of the county of Kerry. The Archaeological Survey was a big thorough book  documenting in text  image and diagram  almost field by field  Iveragh s extraordinarily rich inheritance of material remains of past settlement. Now in 2009 we have The Iveragh Peninsula: A Cultural Atlas of the Ring of Kerry  courtesy of State  institutional and private financial backing. It is a truly wonderful 512 page book  beautiful  and quite heavy  to hold  to feel and to look at  and greatly rewarding to read.

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Cork University Press has a long and glorious hist December 4, 2009
Reviewer: Tintean The Australian Irish Heritage Network from Republic of Ireland  
Cork University Press has a long and glorious history of documenting the parish and the county  and this book is perhaps the apogee of such enterprises. It looks like a very handsome coffee table book  it is much more. It is a very digestible summary of research on every aspect of the physical topography  social and cultural life of the Iveragh Peninsula in West Munster.

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The Iveragh Peninsula A cultural atlas of the Ri November 17, 2009
Reviewer: Frank Lewis Saturday Supplement Radio Kerry from Republic of Ireland  
The Iveragh Peninsula   A cultural atlas of the Ring of Kerry is a very beautiful and hugely informative publication . It is a treasure and a reservoir for anybody remotely interested in Kerry. Over 500 pages .it includes hundreds of photographs .. over 90 new maps as well as historic maps  some never published before. This publication should be in every house and it should be read in every house. It should be an integral part of the syllabus at primary  secondary and third level. Dozens of copies should be in every branch and mobile library in the area.  It is essential reading for all economic  social and cultural activity.       Frank Lewis  Saturday Supplement  Radio Kerry 14th November  09

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More than 40 contributors have come together to br September 22, 2009
Reviewer: Archaeology Ireland from Republic of Ireland  
More than 40 contributors have come together to bring us an impressive volume dealing with one of the most attractive landscapes in Ireland.  The Iveragh Peninsula a cultural atlas of the Ring of Kerry  hb  59/ 50  is yet another of those highly illustrated  colour rich and sumptuous productions from Cork University Press.  Iveragh  the largest peninsula in the country and featuring the highest mountainous terrain  is a popular destination for tourists from all corners of the world.    Edited by John Crowley and John Sheehan  the book presents a most comprehensive view of Iveragh  beginning with its geological origins and continuing through to contemporary developments in the landscape.  Such a multi layered landscape requires a multi disciplinary approach to disentangle it and present it in this format.    The presentation of the text is supported by stunning photographs  detailed maps and drawings of the highest quality  which describe in various degrees of detail the cultural background to Iveragh.  Some of the photographs almost transport the reader to the location.  Frank Coyne s double page image of the rock art overlooking Lough Brin and Valerie O Sullivan s take on the snow capped Magillycuddy s Reeks are particularly arresting shots.  The book contains over 50 individual chapters  case studies and features covering all sorts of topics  including archaeology  folklore  mythology  place names  art history  geography  cartography and zoology.  This book is a superb medium for the communication of this landscape and I am sure it will tempt many to visit the area whenever it stops raining

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this sweeping new book is a fascinating blend of September 7, 2009
Reviewer: Mary Leland Irish Examiner from Republic of Ireland  
this  sweeping new book is a fascinating blend of geography  history and places of cultural interest in the Ring of Kerry....  ...The magic of this book lies in the way in which contemporary trends  in marketing  farming and such cultural developments as  for example  the Cill Rialaigh artists  retreat at Ballinskelligs   are linked to the great historic events and personalities  from the MacCarthy kings of Desmond  to Daniel O Connell  or from the dolmens  cairns and standing stones to the sculptures in Sneem  from the arrival of the Milesians to the introduction of the Irish parochial systems  from Jack B. Yeats and Paul Henry to Saint Fionan of Lough Currane  from Kenmare lace to the War of Independence...Editors John Crowley and John Sheehan  cartographic editor Mike Murphy and consultants Hick Hogan and Helen Bradley share the honours of this publication  readers will have its vast pleasures.

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....This is a wonderfully detailed wonderfully August 28, 2009
Reviewer: Peter Costello The Irish Catholic from Republic of Ireland  
....This is a wonderfully detailed  wonderfully illustrated  wonderfully informing account of one samll corner of our island. One would wish such a book could be done for every place. Sponsored by FEXCO  a large local employer and by several state sgaencies  this veritable encyclopedia is the work of some 52 contributors...Adjectives desert one when dealing with a book of this kind. It is just not a book to read  but a lovely thing to own and cherish if one has any interest at all  not just in the ten thousand year human history of Kerry but the million year old aspects of   our own place ....

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The Iveragh peninsula is one of our most glorious August 17, 2009
Reviewer: Rosita Boland The Irish Times from Republic of Ireland  
The Iveragh peninsula is one of our most glorious and beloved landscapes  and a new book puts the whole area into a     geological  historical and social context    THE PEOPLE OF the Iveragh peninsula are lucky. That would be the part of Ireland more commonly known as the Ring of     Kerry  where huge vistas flood the horizon at every turn of the road. The Iveragh residents are not only fortunate because     they live in a beautiful place: they re additionally lucky to have a superb new book to consult about the place where they     live.    The Iveragh Peninsula: A Cultural Atlas of the Ring of Kerry was three years in the making and has 52 contributors  ranging     from historians and archaeologists to mountaineers  poets and sports journalists. Edited by John Crowley and John     Sheehan  the book examines the peninsula from a number of perspectives. There are as many layers within it as strata in     the Kerry stone   history  geography  social history  culture  folklore.     When one looks around  one sees a continuously moving picture not just of the present but of our past.  That sentence      from Brendan O Sullivan s chapter on contemporary change and planning in the Iveragh peninsula  could be applied to the     book as a whole.    The Iveragh peninsula occupies the area that lies south of Killarney  roughly flanked by Killorglin and Kenmare. It s a     140 000 hectare area that incorporates some of the country s most famous lakes  mountains  and coastline  and one of     Ireland s two Unesco World Heritage sites  the Skelligs. One of the reasons Cork University Press decided to put     considerable resources into the book is that the area receives so many visitors. Even if you don t live there  you re likely to     have spent time in this part of the world  thus they are rightly hoping The Iveragh Peninsula will appeal to a wide audience.    It all starts with geology. Only discovered in 1992  the footprints of tetrapods  four legged vertebrates  on Valentia Island     are the world s oldest reliably dated evidence of amphibians walking on land  which is pretty thrilling. The photograph in the     book looks a little as if a goat has been trotting across freshly washed sand; neat little regular prints. They re actually stone     tracks  150 of them discovered in sandstone by a Swiss geology student when he was mapping the northeast coast of     Valentia Island. The tracks would have been made by a creature that  according to the accompanying artist s impression      looks a little like a crocodile with a large paddle shaped tail. The creature would have lumbered across an ancient flood plain      resting its large tail every now and then. Afterwards  the fresh tracks were covered and preserved by a fine sand  brought     there by floods. The area is now the country s only geological National Heritage Area.    Elsewhere  mountaineer Dermot Somers writes a personal essay about his knowledge of the mountains he has been     climbing all his life. To Somers  Broaghnabinnia  is a sturdy thug of a mountain. There is no easy or elegant way up or     down.  Archaeologist Tom s   Carrag in writes about mountain pilgrimages  and holy places of the peninsula and poet     Paddy Bushe takes as his subject landscape  myth and imagination. He looks at place names in the Amergin poem  several     of which are in and around the Waterville area  including a sea rock still known locally as Carraig  anna.  Two houses and     one beauty salon in Waterville are named after it   Bushes writes.  It is not certain whether their owners are aware of the     name s provenance  but its continued use is some sort of testament to the enduring power of the myth.     Several chapters use maps to focus on and highlight a particular subject. Thus  in archaeologist Frank Coyne s piece on rock     art  there is a useful accompanying map that gives locations of the approximately 120 sites on the peninsula. There are     also wonderful photographs illustrating several of these sites  showing concentric circles carved into stone with dramatic     backgrounds  empty of any sign of human habitation.    Looking at a series of maps has a cumulative effect. You get to read the layers of history as you turn the pages. For     example  in the same luscious pieces of land that so many tourists now throng to  such as Kenmare town  there was once     a workhouse. During the Famine  there were so many people seeking refuge in it that in 1847 the medical officer there     described the place as  an engine for producing disease and death . The Kenmare workhouse  built to shelter 500  is now a     private residence.    The Great Famine map reveals how Iveragh  more vulnerable than other places in Ireland due to its remoteness and high     population density  struggled to cope. On the maps  you can see where workhouses  relief committees and coastguard     stations that provided relief were located  and where the temporary hospitals were set up. In the same chapter  there is a     map depicting the dramatic population changes within the decade 1841 1851.    In a county that had many landlords  times may have changed  but many of the original planted gardens still thrive  such as     the 2 000 acre estate of Derreen  which gets its own chapter.    Prior to the Famine  butter production was prevalent on the peninsula  one of the side products of the famous Kerry cow.     Made on local farms  the butter was carried to the Cork butter market in firkins along a series of mountain tracks. The     butter sold there made its way all over the world. Colin Sage and Flicka Small  authors of a chapter on the food culture of     the Iveragh peninsula  recount that Iveragh butter  ended up being consumed everywhere from the colonial plantations of     the West Indies to the pioneer settlements of Australia . Many of the existing green lanes of rural Kerry  some of which are     now part of the Kerry Way  are still known locally as the  butter roads .    Remoteness is relative. Iveragh may be a long way from some parts of Ireland  but it s the closest point to Newfoundland.     Hence  Valentia was the location of the first successful transatlantic cable link. The American financier Cyrus Field  whose     idea it was to lay a transatlantic cable  had it sealed with a substance called gutta percha  a waterproof organic substance     that came from Malaysia. In Denis Linehan s chapter on the telegraph cables  he recounts that when the underwater cable     was successfully laid  enterprising hawkers in New York sold earrings made of gutta percha and breast pins of little pieces of     cable wire.    Iveragh s dramatic landscapes have inspired generations of people to try and capture it in different ways. Mary Butler  who     died in 1934 aged 83  was a member of a local landlord family. In 1910  she replied to a public appeal from Bertram Windle      then president of UCC  who was looking for people in Munster to record the locations of antiquities in their area. He did not     have much success  but from Mary Butler he did get 19 careful watercolours of archaeological monuments on the     peninsula  some of which are reproduced in the book. The originals are all now held in UCC  along with the accompanying     letters she wrote to Windle. Among the many other visual artists who have interpreted the landscape  and whose images     are included here  are Jack B Yeats  Paul Henry  Pauline Bewick  and  latterly  the painters who have worked at Cill Rialaig.    You may not be able to eat the Iveragh scenery  as the expression goes  but if you re considering tackling the Tour de     France  you might be interested to find out what the winner of the 1958 R s Tailteann  Mick Murphy  ate while training for     the challenging 1 494km race. GAA correspondent Michael Foley  in his chapter on the sporting heritage of the peninsula      records that Cahirciveen born Murphy retreated to the Nadd mountain prior to the race. While there   he subsisted on     grated carrot  raw eggs  turnips  potatoes  honey  juice extracted from the stems of nettles  goat s milk and cow s blood .  @The Irish Times

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The Iveragh Peninsula or Ring of Kerry enjoyed a July 22, 2009
Reviewer: Eve Kelliher The Kingdom from Republic of Ireland  
The Iveragh Peninsula  or Ring of Kerry  enjoyed a  starring role when it was the location of the annual  world famous charity cycle recently and it is now set to  take centre stage yet again thanks to a new book.  The Iveragh Peninsula: A Cultural Atlas of the Ring  of Kerry was launched at Tech Amergin in Waterville  on Friday  by John A Murphy  Emeritus Professor  of History  University College Cork  and Ceann  Comhairle John O Donoghue.    Given its status as a peninsula projecting into  the Atlantic  the history and culture of the Iveragh  Peninsula have been moulded by external influences  as well as by regional and national ones   according to the authors of the  John Crowley of the  Department of Geography  University College Cork   and John Sheehan of UCC s Department of  Archaeology.     Its story is multi layered  involving the imprint  of mythological as well as historic settlers and  invaders   stated the authors of the new book.   The peninsula has witnessed significant periods  of transition  perhaps none more so than in the present  era.      This book seeks to deepen and illuminate our  understanding of its landscape  history and heritage.   Although not a conventional atlas  the publication  contains many historic and newly commissioned  maps from over 40 contributors.      It provides the reader with a broad range of perspectives  on the peninsula and the human interactions with it since prehistoric times to the present  day   said Mike Collins publications director of  Cork University Press  which publishes the book.     It also combines many different approaches  towards understanding the distinctive character    both physical and human   of this unique landscape.   The publication comprises over fifty individual  chapters and case studies and it opens with an exploration  of the physical and environmental setting of the peninsula.  Subsequent chapters deal with its development  over the millennia and the influences that have  shaped it.    Iveragh s past and present are considered  using  the evidence of disciplines such as archaeology  arthistory   cartography  folklore  geography  geology   history  mythology and zoology.    The range of topics that arise from this approach is  tremendously wide  and occasionally surprising.

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