Author: Cole Moreton
Edition: First Edition. Hardback. Dust Jacket.
Number Of Pages: 304
Release Date: 02-03-2000
Details: The Great Irish diaspora, that began in the 1840s with the potato famine soon saw the island's population of eight million reduced to less than four million, continued well into the 20th century, and has only finally been reversed with the arrival of tourism in the West of Ireland. Cole Morton here traces one of the last of those tragic emigration stories, from one of the very remotest places in the West: Great Blasket, off the Dingle peninsula in County Kerry. The last chapter in the ancient history of the Blaskets began on Christmas Eve, 1946, when a young man on the island, Seainin ("little Sean"), collapsed in bed with a terrible headache. There was no doctor, no policeman, not even a priest on the island to help. The only telephone was down. And on Christmas Day, Seainin died, "with his aunt whispering the Act of Contrition into a dead ear". And with that, the islanders realised that their lives on Blasket were no longer tenable. It is the kind of story that has been told before, and by natives of the islands as well, in their unique, poetic style: in Peig Sayers' memoirs, for instance, or Muiris O Suilleabhain's Twenty Years A-Growing. But Morton's account is equally worth reading, imaginative and sensitively written, as it follows the O Cearna family all the way from Blasket to the mainland, and eventually to America, the New World... It is pleasing, too, that the author does not pretend to some mythical Irish ancestry of his own, as is so fashionable nowadays with politicians and creatives on both sides of the Atlantic. Instead he states clearly that he is neither American nor Irish, but comes from East London. Good for him. --Christopher Hart
Package Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.7 x 1.3 inches
Item Note: Dust jacket and volume in VG condition.
Item Condition: UsedVeryGood