Book Review: Hospitality in Medieval Ireland, 900–1500

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Book Review: Hospitality in Medieval Ireland, 900–1500

Postby finnobreanan on Sat Oct 01, 2011 3:49 am

Open the book "Hospitality in Medieval Ireland, 900–1500" (I know, sounds like an exciting read, doesn't it?). Then you can count on falling asleep within the first few pages. How Catherine O’Sullivan could take such a vital and interesting topic and turn it into one of the most boring books I have ever read in my life is beyond me. She either writes the entire source into her text or includes the entire text into every footnote (some footnotes take up a full 3/4 of a page). She doesn't expand or evaluate the texts to draw good conclusions. Don't get me wrong, I love books with good resources and footnotes, but to simply print the entire thing with little or no evaluations?
So, some might say, "She is an Archivist afterall, they just copy documents", well, I'm an archivist also, and there is something called "Archival Editing". You don't have to include every single repetitive source to get your point across. She takes a lively exciting topic and turns into a dull repetitive droan. There are absolutely wonderful sources that she quotes from and it makes a good reference work, but don't waste the 13.45 Euroes on it (I think I paid 50 when it came out). Check it out from the library, or Brendan Griffin can use it as Sominex!
Finn O'Breanan
Wood Kerne

"...The O'Brennans, a sept of thieves without any right or title, ... were a perpetual disturbance to the peace of the county,"
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Re: Book Review: Hospitality in Medieval Ireland, 900–1500

Postby brendan on Sun Oct 02, 2011 4:56 pm

I had considered buying this but baulked at the eur50 price tag. Now I am glad I didnt...thanks for the review!
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Re: Book Review: Hospitality in Medieval Ireland, 900–1500

Postby Grey Wind on Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:04 pm

Always a shame when a promising book falls flat and can't deliver on its promise.
Shame really, as it's an area that I could certainly do with some decent reading material on!

Thanks for the warning!
'Will no one avenge me of the injuries I have suffered from one turbulent priest?'
- Henry II, Duke of Normandy, Count of Anjou, 'Invincible' King of the English

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