A Short History of Ireland

  • by Jonathan Bardon
  • Narrated by uncredited
  • 22 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In the wake of its 30th birthday celebrations in 2006, BBC Radio Ulster marked the beginning of a new broadcasting era by embarking on the station's most ambitious project to date: a recounting of the history of Ireland.For easy digestion, the story of the island is told in a series of 240 short documentaries - starting with the Ice Age and the arrival of the first humans through to the outbreak of the Second World War.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Three and a half?

The tone is good, the narration charming, the repetive "This is a short history of Ireland in 240 episodes" every 5 - 15 minutes is highly annoying. The small episodes chop up the content a bit too much for my taste, but I suppose that's a consequence of it being presented via radio.

All of that would take it to a 4 for me, but the distressing part is that the history is mostly about who fought against whom. The oral history of Ireland is covered in the first 5 - 10 minutes; early and pre-conquest Celtic art isn't mentioned at all; the difference in belief, clerical requirements, status of monestaries and abbies, and relationship to the elite families prior to the take-over by the Latin rite is barely mentioned; the impact of Celtic/Gaelic concepts of kinship on the shape of society; the society, culture, and politics of pre-conquest Ireland is hardly mentioned; and, at least through the coverage of Cromwell's activities, there's precious little of even a mention of day-to-day life, even within the elites.

The later part of the presentation may give more attention to culture and society, but the first half (as far as I got) is almost completely battles and massacres.
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- Anne

Good but...

...hearing the phrase, "This is a short history of Ireland in 240 episodes" 240 times will drive most people insane. I made it up to about 40 before giving up. This was doubly frustrating as the content was enjoyable and informative. Surely these "links" could have been expunged before turning a radio series in to an audiobook.
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- Martin

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-14-2008
  • Publisher: BBC Worldwide Limited