Landholding, Society and Settlement in Nineteenth-Century Ireland: A historical geographer’s perspective
This book is written by a man who came as a stranger to this island, knowing very little of its peoples or their ways. Through his phenomenal work on the mid-nineteenth century Griffith Valuation and his intensive fieldwork in every corner of the land he has made Ireland his own. Landholding, society and settlement in nineteenth century Ireland reflects the lifetime’s work of a geographer with a lively, sympathetic and subtle mind who challenges practically all our preconceptions about land and life on this island. Anchored around the interconnected themes of landholding, settlement and ways of living, it reveals not a homogenous Irish society but a human world full of diversities and surprises and does not flinch from exploring the darker sides of Irish society. In particular, it explores both the impressive material achievements and the devastating social and cultural consequences of what it has meant for Ireland to be a colonial country. Equally, this scholarly work reveals both the striking continuities and adaptations of an Irish society faced with conditions very different to any other West European society. Readers of this book will come away with understandings and insights which will greatly enlarge and enrich their vision of Ireland.
Welsh-born Tom Jones Hughes, Emeritus Professor of Geography at UCD, is a graduate of the University of Wales at Aberyswyth. He founded the Geography Department at UCD in 1950 and was elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy in 1964. He was awarded a honorary D. Litt by the National University of Ireland in 2004. He lives with his wife Mary in Monkstown, Co. Dublin.