Irish Farming Life

History and Heritage

By Jonathan Bell, Mervyn Watson

This lavishly illustrated book examines Irish rural society and its basic social unit - the family farm - as well as important issues such as neighborly ties and the use of hired labor. It discusses ways in which recent history is communicated by country people in oral testimonies, local songs and poems, and in rural events, such as plowing matches and threshing festivals. Museum and heritage center displays are examined, showing how the historical narratives presented by professionals are also based on value judgments and stereotypes, as well as valid historical data. The book does not neglect the negative aspects of rural life, but overall its intention is explicitly celebratory, presenting past experience as a victory over almost impossible odds, and a triumph of decency, intelligence, and generosity. *** "Bell and Watson declare that 'there is little doubt that community life in rural Ireland has been greatly weakened by depopulation, farm consolidation and mechanization. However, the sense of belonging that comes from . . . a shared heritage, symbolically reaffirmed in festivals and other heritage products, is alive and well.' The illustrations and photographs are treasures unto themselves. Bravo!" - The Celtic Connection, June 2015 [Subject: History, Irish Studies, Agricultural Studies]

Publication Date: 11/14/2014
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781846825316