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​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."

~Morgan Llywelyn

Shed some light on your family tree,
 read about your Irish heritage!
Buy the Book!
Adams, Gerry - Before the Dawn
Behan, Brendan - Borstal Boy
Bulger, William M. - While the Music Lasts: My Life in Politics
Coogan, Tim Pat - De Valera: Long Fellow, Long Shadow
Coogan, Tim Pat - Michael Collins, The Man Who Made Ireland
Cooke, Dennis - Persecuting Zeal: A Portrait of Ian Paisley
Coote, Stephen - W. B. Yeats: A Life
Cronin, Anthony - Samuel Beckett: The Last Modernist
Ellmann, Richard - James Joyce
Ellmann, Richard - Oscar Wilde
Fallon, Ivan - The Luck of O'Reilly: A Biography of Tony O'Reilly
Fingall, Elizabeth - Seventy Years Young: Memories of Elizabeth, Countess of Fingall
Gogarty, Oliver St. John - As I Was Going Down Sackville Street
Holroyd, Michael - Bernard Shaw: The One-Volume Definitive Edition
MacMahon, Bryan, translator - Peig 
McCourt, Frank - Angela's Ashes
Norman, Diana - Terrible Beauty: A Life of Constance Markievicz
O'Casey, Sean - Autobiographies, Vols. One and Two
Synge, John Millington - The Aran Islands
Wallace, Martin - 100 Irish Lives
Williams, Niall and Christine Breen - The Luck of the Irish: Our Life in County Clare

Berleth, Richard - The Twilight Lords: Elizabeth I and the First Irish Holocaust
Cahill, Thomas - How the Irish Saved Civilization
Coogan, Tim Pat - The Troubles
Foster, R. F. - Modern Ireland 1600-1972
Herm, Gerhard - The Celts: The People Who came Out of the Darkness
Joyce, Patrick Weston - Social History of Ancient Ireland
Kenealy, Christine - This Great Calamity
Macardle, Dorothy - The Irish Republic: A Documented Chronicle of the Anglo-Irish Conflict and the
         Partitioning of Ireland, with a Detailed Account of the Period 1916-1923
MacManus, Seumas - The Story of the Irish Race
The New Gill History of Ireland, 6 Vols. 
Raftery, Barry - Pagan Celtic Ireland
Stephens, James - The Insurrection in Dublin: An Eyewitness Account of the Easter Rising, 1916
Woodham-Smith, Cecil - The Great Hunger

Cullen, Leo - Clocking Ninety on the Road to Cloughjordan and Other Stories
Donleavy, J. P. - The Ginger Man
na Gopaleen, Myles [Brian O'Nolan] - The Best of Myles

Birmingham, Stephen - Real Lace: America's Irish Rich
Coffey, Michael, editor, and Terry Golway - The Irish in America
Conynham, Capt. D. P. - The Irish Brigade
Doyle, David Noel, and Owen Dudley Edwards, editors - America and Ireland, 1776-1976
Laxton, Edward - The Famine Ships: The Irish Exodus to America, 1846-1851
Miller, Kerby, and Paul Wagner - Out of Ireland
Miller, Robert Ryal - Shamrock and Sword 
O'Carroll, Ide - Models for Movers: Irish Women's Emigration to America
Wilson, Andrew J. - Irish America and the Ulster Conflict

Colum, Padraic - A Treasury of Irish Folklore: The Stories, Traditions, Legends, Humor, Wisdom, Ballads
          and Songs of the Irish People
Dames, Michael - Mythic Ireland
Eickhoff, Randy Lee - The Raid
Gantz, Jeffrey, translator - Early Irish Myths and Sagas
Glassie, Henry - Irish Folk History: Texts from the North
Reynolds, James - Ghosts in Irish Houses: A Collection of Ghostly Folk Tales
Scott, Michael - Irish Folk and Fairy Tales Omnibus
Stephens, James - The Crock of Gold
Yeats, W. B., and Lady Gregory - A Treasury of Irish Myth, Legend, and Folklore

Binchy, Maeve - Light a Penny Candle
Dillon, Eilis - Across the Bitter Sea
Doyle, Roddy - Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha
du Maurier, Daphne - Hungry Hill
Edgeworth, Maria - Castle Rackrent
Ellis, Peter Beresford - The Rising of the Moon
Flanagan, Thomas - The Year of the French
Godwin, Parke - The Last Rainbow
Greeley Andrew - Irish GoldIrish LaceIrish Whiskey
Holland, Jack - The Prisoner's Wife
Joyce, James - A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Joyce, James - Ulysses
Llywelyn, Morgan - 1916
McCann, Colum - This Side of Brightness
Macken, Walter - Seek the Fair Land Trilogy, comprising Seek the Fair Land; The Silent People;
        and The Scorching Wind
MacLaverty, Bernard - Grace Notes
MacMahon, Bryan - The Honey Spike
Marcus, David - A Land Not Theirs
O'Brien, Edna - The Country Girls Trilogy and Epilogue
O'Brien, Kate - The Ante-Room
O'Connor, Edwin - The Last Hurrah
O'Flaherty, Liam - The Black Soul
O'Grady, Standish - The Bog of Stars
Plunkett, James - Strumpet City
Stoker, Bram - Dracula
Swift, Jonathan - Gulliver's Travels
Wilde, Oscar - The Picture of Dorian Gray

Clarke Austin, edited by Hugh Maxton - Selected Poems
Coady, Michael - Oven Lane
Faolain, Turlough - Blood on the Harp: Irish Rebel History in Ballad
Heaney, Seamus - The Spirit Level
Hoagland Kathleen - 1,000 Years of Irish Poetry
Kennelly, Brendan, translator and editor - Love of Ireland: Poems from the Irish
Montague, John - Collected Poems of John Montague
Merriman, Brian, translated by Cosslett O Cuinn - The Midnight Court
Ryan, Desmond, editor - The 1916 Poets: Pearse, Plunkett, MacDonagh
Yeats, William Butler, edited by Richard J. Finneran - Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats

Grenham, John - Tracing Your Irish Ancestors
Kelly, Fergus - Guide to Early Irish Law
Kenner, Hugh - A Colder Eye: The Modern Irish Writers
MacLysaght, Edward - Irish Families, Their Names, Arms and Origins

Aalen, F. H. A., Kevin Whelan and Matthew Stout, editors- Atlas of the Irish Rural Landscape
•     The Book of Kells
McNeill, Thomas - Castles in Ireland: Feudal Power in a Gaelic World
Marsden, Simon, with text by Duncan McLaren - In Ruins: The Once Great Houses of Ireland
O'Brien, Jacqueline, with Desmond Guinness - Dublin, a Grand Tour
O'Brien Jacqueline, and Peter Harbison - Ancient Ireland from Prehistory to the Middle Ages
O'Donnell E. E., compiler - Father Browne's Ireland: Remarkable Images of People and Places
Severin, Tim - The Brendan Voyage

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