The Islandman

The Islandman

The Islandman

The Islandman

Synopsis

Tomas O'Crohan's sole purpose in writing The Islandman was, he wrote, "to set down the character of the people about me so that some record of us might live after us, for the like of us will never be seen again." This is an absorbing narrative of a now-vanished way of life, written by one who had known no other.

Excerpt

The book here translated was first published in 1929, and had an immediate success among readers of Irish. It was the first attempt by a peasant of the old school, practically uneducated in the modern sense, though highly trained in the tradition of an ancient folk culture, to set out the way of his life upon his remote island from childhood to old age. This attempt had an interest of its own, but the fascination of the result was greatly enhanced by the unique individuality of the writer, who, though sharing to the full in the character and interests of the community in which he grew up, was peculiarly adapted by the whole bent of his mind to act as an observer as well as a vigorous participant in all the events of his isolated world. That little world-- the island group of the Blaskets lying off the extreme point of the peninsula of Corcaguiney in West Kerry--he nowhere attempts to describe. And it may be of use to the reader unacquainted with that part of Ireland to have before him some brief account of the natural environment of the life depicted in this book. The peninsula of Cor. caguiney runs out west into the Atlantic between the two bays of Dingle and Tralee. It is a wild world of intertangled mountains, culminating in the great mass of Brandon, beyond Dingle. West of Mount Brandon again two hills, the pointed shape of Croaghmartin and the long body of Mount Eagle, divide the two parishes of Ventry and Dunquin, and beyond Dunquin, to the north, lies the parish of Ballyferriter. In the old days the approach to Dunquin, to which parish the Blaskets belong, was by the hill pass that climbs between these two summits. But in the days of the great famine a relief road was constructed round the promontory of Slea Head under Mount Eagle, and the heavier traffic now takes that way. Going by the . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.