“Beyond the green land, the pubs and the auburn hair, is a rich culture dating back nine thousand years, including invasions by just about every nation in Northern Europe. The Irish have survived as a people, perhaps because of the genetics of hope, the richness of tale-telling and laughter, and the scent of peat in the air.”—Jay Ben Adlersberg
The Emerald Isle is known for its gorgeous countryside, and rightfully so. From the rugged cliffs of the Atlantic coast to the lush meadows and lakes of the interior, Ireland is rich in imagery both awe-inspiring and serene. The vibrant streets of such cities as Dublin and Belfast, where modern architecture rubs shoulders with Georgian townhouses and Norman stonework, testify to the island's 21st century resurgence as the cosmopolitan 'Celtic Tiger.' From the remains of a Bronze Age ring fort to the soaring modern Spire of Dublin to the stallions of the National Stud, Ireland is a land of surprising variety.
The rich color images collected here weave together the portrait of a land where Paleolithic monuments, medieval castles, quiet fishing villages, and bustling cities all exist alongside each other. From the eerie, astonishing hexagonal stones of the ‘Giant’s Causeway’ in County Antrim to the cozy atmosphere of the town pub; from breathtaking wild landscapes to the exquisite gardens of stately homes; each page offers a new glimpse of Ireland’s multifarious beauty. The prehistoric tombs of Newgrange, the Gothic peaks of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the sublime scenery of Connemara National Park, and countless country villages, all are here. With a keen visual sensibility, Jay Ben Adlersberg captures the tiniest details and the most magnificent vistas that are at the island’s heart and that make Ireland one of the world’s loveliest places to travel—or to call home.
Here, too, is a journey through Ireland’s history. The soaring modern Spire of Dublin monument, the elegant campus of Trinity College, the ancient seat of Ireland’s kings at Tara—each evokes a different moment in Ireland’s many-layered past. Written in the land itself, Ireland’s history appears here in the slope of a thatched roof, in the grass-grown remains of a Bronze Age ring fort, in a field tilled for centuries. Finally, here is the soul of a land where, out of the hardships of the past, have come arts and culture alive with creativity and resilience, from traditional flute and fiddle music to a diverse literary tradition from which thirty poems and literary excerpts have been chosen to accompany Adlersberg’s images, including the romantic prose of James Joyce; the humorous boyhood memories of Frank McCourt; the celebration of natural beauty in the poetry of W.B. Yeats; and the folk tales of Douglas Hyde; as well as numerous others whose writings capture the unique spirit that is Ireland.
Samantha Bowser supplies the rich and nuanced captions for the more than two hundred photographs.