|Publisher:||Cambridge University Press||Published:||December 1st 2017|
|Series Title:||Cambridge Medieval Textbooks||Pages:||410|
Medieval Ireland is often described as a backward-looking nation in which change only came about as a result of foreign invasions. By examining the wealth of under-explored evidence available, Downham challenges this popular notion and demonstrates what a culturally rich and diverse place medieval Ireland was. Starting in the fifth century, when St Patrick arrived on the island, and ending in the fifteenth century, with the efforts of the English government to defend the lands which it ruled directly around Dublin by building great ditches, this up-to-date and accessible survey charts the internal changes in the region. Chapters dispute the idea of an archaic society in a wide-range of areas, with a particular focus on land-use, economy, society, religion, politics and culture. This concise and accessible overview offers a fresh perspective on Ireland in the Middle Ages and overthrows many enduring stereotypes.
Clare Downham is a Senior Lecturer in Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool. She did an M.A. in Medieval History at the University of St Andrews and then completed an M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Anglo-Saxon Norse and Celtic at the University of Cambridge. In 2004, she was awarded a John O'Donovan scholarship medal in Celtic Studies from the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies and her first book Viking Kings of Britain and Ireland: The Dynasty of Ivarr to AD 1014 was published in 2007. She has published over fifty articles on British, Irish and Viking history.