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The Encyclopaedia of Ireland Brian Lalor (General Editor)
Published by Gill & Macmillan, 2003

The Encyclopaedia of Ireland is the most ambitious reference work ever published about Ireland. Meticulously detailed, it is a treasure store of information, education, entertainment and enlightenment. Its range is astounding as it covers the entire spectrum of Irish achievement in all fields of human endeavour throughout recorded history.

The Encyclopaedia contains a full A-Z listing of over 5,500 articles on all things Irish, past and present, written by experts in the various fields. The text, specially commissioned and written for the Encyclopaedia by over 900 different contributors, is complimented by more than 700 illustrations, mainly in colour.

The conventional subjects are all here: literature and language, history, geography, economics, sociology, the arts and music. But other subjects, such as science, engineering, astronomy, and sport, often neglected in Irish reference books, are also given their due place.

Although written by experts, the Encyclopaedia is aimed at a general readership and the editor states that the intention was to make it so accessible that a child would enjoy looking through it. The overall package is very reader-friendly and at 1,218 pages provides plenty of scope for ‘dipping-into’ whenever the mood takes.
The enormous breadth of its contents will appeal to researchers and trivia fiends alike.

As with any work such as this there will be divided opinion on the merits of what is included and excluded but this encyclopaedia stands as the most comprehensive single-volume reference work ever published about Ireland.

The Encyclopaedia of Ireland is a celebration of Irish achievement in all fields of human endeavour. Never before have the accomplishments of an entire people been encapsulated so comprehensively, meticulously and succinctly on the pages of a single book.
Unique in scope, in conception, in ambition, in execution, in the vast array of facts that it contains, in the distinction of its design, in its total commitment to quality – there is no book about Ireland remotely like it’ Gill & Macmillan

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