A new Oxford Companion to Irish History is out, this time in a revised, handy paperback edition. Originally written by a team of 87 specialists with 1,800 entries on Irish history from ancient times to the 21st century, this book would have seemed difficult to improve upon. But as editor S.J. Connolly - an author and professor of Irish History at Queens University, Belfast - explains in a preface "the appearance of a second edition provides the opportunity for a variety of additions and improvements." Mainly, the new edition offers expanded articles and entries on the visual arts, as well as what Connolly calls "Irish prehistory." This new edition also allows those who missed the first release of this valuable resource to pick it up this time around. As with the first edition, well-known people and events are re-examined in light of challenging new research. Meanwhile, women's history, public health and other topics often ignored in past histories are explored. Useful maps and a subject index are also included. All in all "The Oxford Companion to Irish History" is a good (and reasonably priced) addition to any Irish book lover's reference shelf. ($24.95 / 650 pages / Oxford)
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