Story of Ireland, The (2011)
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The Story Of Ireland is a five-part landmark history of Ireland presented by Fergal Keane (Wild Africa, Great Railway Journeys). Ireland is living through a significant period in its cycle of history – since the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, the island has been at peace. This is unprecedented in the history of modern Ireland and so seems like a perfect time to reflect on the Irish as a people and as a modern European nation. The story of Ireland is vivid, exciting and immensely varied. It is far more than the sum of old clichés and myths which set the Irish as a people who were prisoners and victims of history. This series sees Ireland as an international island which is both changed by and helps to change the world beyond her shores.]]>
Top Customer Reviews
"The Story of Ireland" is an intelligently written narrative, beautifully filmed, and deftly presented by Keane. Ancestors are mentioned: the Uí Néill, Brian Boru, Aoife MacMurrough, Richard De Clare (Strongbow), among others. Many if-onlys are explored: if only the Spanish and Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, had united effectively in 1601; if only the French had landed in County Cork with Wolfe Tone in 1796 ("We were near enough to throw a biscuit ashore," wrote Tone in his diary); if only Michael Collins had lived in 1922 instead of the prude-sycophant Èamon De Velara, who, as Keane points out, commiserated with the Third Reich via his condolences after Hitler finally committed suicide. Even the premise that the Irish are a defiant people is scrutinized, strong in confronting challenges from without, but then facing abuse from Church authorities. The advent of ultramontanism in the mid-19th century laid a foundation for later corruption under De Velara's government, with no division between Church and State.
Keane moves from the lyrical myth of St. Patrick, to the near past; recent ghosts haunt.Read more ›
Fergal Keane is a wonderful host and guide through the five hours of this series on Ireland. The two-DVD series was produced by the BBC and RTE (the latter which is nowhere defined, but stands for "Raidió Teilifís Éireann")
Along with the printed volume, I found this series to be very helpful in giving me a broad overview of Ireland from prehistory to the present (through 2011). Given how woefully ignorant I am of Gaelic language, British and Irish history and Irish culture, this combo set gave me just the right amount of (read "dangerous" amount of) information to predicate our trip to Ireland later this year.
The DVDs allow the producers to do something the text could not: Bring in a wide variety of visual images about the topics, including places in Britain and on the Continent relevant to the story. That was very helpful.
Keane also is able to interview a large number and wide variety of scholars and experts throughout the five Episodes. I found almost all of those interviews helpful and enlightening.
My few complaints should not dissuade you from buying these DVDs. The photographer had to be enamored with water and waves. That, and shorebirds flying over water and waves. OK, I know Ireland is surrounded by water, along with all the lakes and rivers and such -- but half the time spent on proving that photographically would have brought the idea home sufficiently.Read more ›
Effectively this is in many ways a straight telling of the history of Ireland from ancient times of the megalith builders through to Roman times and how Ireland has been so intertwined with that other island so nearby. And it's really Keanes ability to dispassionately discuss so much of the interaction between the isles that sit to the west of continental Europe that did so much to make this series for me. The way he shows the to-ing and fro-ing of peoples, ideas, armies and religions. Speaking on a purely personal level this is my first attempt at learning more about Irish history and I'm glad it was presented the way it was.
As time moves on the action moves more and more from the battlefield (Vikings, Normans, French and plenty of others 'had a go') to the political boardrooms and corridors of power the action does, obviously, become less thrilling from an outright excitement factor but there is a tension of a different kind as the many powers extant in Ireland jockey for position and power. The series bring us up to speed - circa 2010 or so - and at the same time as it is spending time on the political and social machinations you realise it is also taking time to discuss cultural achievements such as literature. The way the whole thing is blended together is extremely well balanced and well rendered.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an excellent over view of the long history of Ireland, nicely narrated, just a good production all around.Published 4 months ago by Leslie Jones
A lot of information. Next time I watch it I will have a notebook handy.Published 7 months ago by Rebekah
Fergal Keane is brilliant. Understated, eloquent, sympathetic but not blind to the whole story. This is a film every Celt and non-Celt should watch, especially if the believe... Read morePublished 8 months ago by wordweaver
As others have wrote, one of best series on Irish history, it is worth your time and your money. If you want to learn about Irish history wonderful take on Irish history. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Dylan McNamara