Summary: Covering Neolithic prehistory to the Celtic Tiger, A Traveller’s History of Ireland by Peter Neville provides a short history of Ireland.
Thoughts: Ireland is a very old country with a very long history. Trying to write a short history is a difficult challenge. I didn’t come away with as coherent of an understanding as I hoped, but it might be impossible. Part of the problem, though, was the author seemed to be arguing with other historians in this book — not that helpful for the reader who doesn’t already know the history of Ireland. Given the title, I expected more of a tie-in between contemporary tourist sites and the stories in the book. It helped me as a tourist to have this overview, but it wasn’t a direct link between the places I saw and their stories.
Appeal: This is the best book I found for a quick history of Ireland before a trip.
Challenges: A Traveller’s History of Ireland by Peter Neville is Book 4 of 4 of the Ireland Reading Challenge — yay! I’m going to go over on that challenge.
Have you read this book? What did you think?