From Library Journal
Retired broadcaster Wallace's (Little History of Ireland; Little Book of Celtic Saints) slender volumes contain brief biographies of major figures in Irish history and literature. There is some overlap of content between Lives' 100 subjects and Writers' 80 entries, since almost a third of those covered in Lives are writers. Lives begins with the fifth-century St. Patrick and ends with the contemporary rock band U2. Writers, which runs from Jonathan Swift (17th century) through Roddy Doyle (b. 1958), is unfortunately limited to authors writing in English, which results in a skewed impression of which writers are important in this bilingual country. Among missing Irish-language authors are Peig Sayers and Muiris O'Suilleabhain; English-language absentees include Hugh Leonard and James Plunkett. Wallace's works, originally published in Belfast, include British expressions not always clear to American readers. Entries tend to be sketchy, with gaps resulting in lack of clarity. These volumes provide an awareness of important names in Irish culture but not enough solid information for library purposes, which are better served by works like the Oxford Companion to Irish Literature (1996) and History (1998). Denise J. Stankovics, Rockville P.L., Vernon, CT
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Martin Wallace is the author of Famous Irish Lives, A Little Book of Celtic Saints, and A Little History of Ireland.