In the early days of the Murphree Homeplace website one of our features was the Murphree Homeplace Library. Our library relied heavily on Morgan Llywelyn's book, The Essential Library for Irish Americans. That page was dropped during various site updates but, due to popular demand, we are bringing back the book page.
There are many wonderful new books on Ireland which we will post as time permits but Ms. Llywelyn’s book is still relevant today and you will still do well to start your Irish American library with her book. Plus you can get it for a bargain now. Click on the book below and check out the amazing prices at Amazon!
Aside from being one of the great writers of novels about the romance and adventure of Irish history, Ms. Llywelyn is a lover of all things Irish and well-read in Irish fact and fiction. Her book is an instructive, opinionated, annotated list of books for anyone in America who is Irish or Irish at heart. We highly recommend this book as the foundation for any Irish library. After reading Ms. Llywelyn's reviews of each of the titles below you will know what to expect from each of the books and you will know where you want to begin building your library.
Excerpts From Morgan Llywelyn's Introduction to
The Essential Library For Irish Americans
"Ireland has an enviable reputation for literature. Long before Christianity introduced the written word, Ireland's Celtic bards were its living books. They were entrusted with the history and genealogy of their race, together with the wealth of folklore and mythology that had been handed down from generation to generation.
On St. Patrick's Day, it is said everyone claims to be Irish. But throughout the rest of the year a growing number of Americans are tracing their Irish roots and rediscovering their heritage. The books chosen for this library have been carefully selected for that readership, as well as for anyone who loves to read. Each one of them in some way illuminates Ireland, Irish America, or the condition of being Irish.
Any recommended reading list is subjective. I personally have read every book on this list, and have selected the ones I would like to put in my guestroom for a visiting Irish American friend. Imagine them lined up on bookshelves and stacked on the bedside table, waiting to give you a broad-spectrum view of this land so many love.
Your bed is made up with fresh linen and a plump duvet. There is a gentle turf fire glowing on the hearth and a good reading lamp close to hand. Settle in, make yourself comfortable . . . and begin."