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A Reading Book in Irish History by P. W. Joyce

Some typographical and punctuation errors have been corrected. A complete list follows the text.

Variations in spelling and hyphenation have been retained as in the original.

Words italicized in the original are surrounded by _underscores_.

Words with bold emphasis in the original are surrounded by =equals signs=.

A READING BOOK IN IRISH HISTORY

BY

P. W. JOYCE, LL.D.

_One of the Commissioners for the Publication of the Ancient Laws of Ireland_

Author of

"A SHORT HISTORY OF IRELAND" "A CHILD'S HISTORY OF IRELAND" "IRISH NAMES OF PLACES," "OLD CELTIC ROMANCES" "ANCIENT IRISH MUSIC" AND OTHER WORKS RELATING TO IRELAND

LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.

LONDON, NEW YORK, AND BOMBAY

DUBLIN: M. H. GILL AND SON 1900

[_All rights reserved_]

PREFACE.

As this little book is intended chiefly for children, the language is very simple. But to make matters still easier, all words and allusions presenting the smallest difficulty are explained either in footnotes or in the "Notes and Explanations" at the end.

Advantage has been taken of the descriptions under the several Illustrations to give a good deal of information on the customs and usages of the ancient Irish people.

Although the book has been written for children, it will be found, I hope, sufficiently interesting and instructive for the perusal of older persons.

The book, as will be seen, contains a mixture of Irish History, Biography, and Romance; and most of the pieces appear in their present form now for the first time. A knowledge of the History of the country is conveyed, partly in special Historical Sketches, partly in the Notes under the Illustrations, and partly through the Biography of important personages, who flourished at various periods from St. Brigit down to the Great Earl of Kildare. And besides this, the Stories, like those of all other ancient nations, teach History of another kind, very important in its own way.

Ancient Irish Manuscript books contain great numbers of Historical and Romantic Tales; and the specimens given here in translation will, I am confident, give the reader a very favourable impression of old Irish writings of this class.

* * * * *

I make the following acknowledgments of assistance, with pleasure and thanks:--

To the Council of the Royal Irish Academy I am indebted for the use of the blocks of many Illustrations in Wilde's "Catalogue of Irish Antiquities."

I owe to the Council of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland several Illustrations from their Journal.

Colonel Wood-Martin has given me the use of the blocks of several of the Illustrations in his "Pagan Ireland."

Lord Walter FitzGerald has given me permission to reproduce the drawing of the old Chapter House door in St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, from the "Journal of the Kildare ArchA|ological Society."

And lastly, Messrs. Macmillan & Co. have permitted me to print portions of Lord Tennyson's poem, "The Voyage of Maildune."


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