THE REMARKABLE IRISH by Mark Bence-Jones

THE REMARKABLE IRISH

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The four outstanding characteristics of the Irishman are good sense, the desire to please, independence combined with self respect, and a love of talk. Thus, Mr. Bence-Jones, an Irishman living in Country Cork and a free lance journalist whose articles have appeared in Vogue and Holiday. Mr. Bence-Jones portrays an Ireland where in society ""Dior and dog's dinners go hand in hand,"" where the gentry have lost ground because they held themselves aloof during the time of the trouble (and where some have even lost their roofs--""Old ladies are the chief occupants of roofless country houses"") and where the people remain attached to their meat tea. For the visitor, Ireland should be taken as a tranquilizer; for the inhabitant, ""Somehow it is easy to be content...even if one is poor and it is raining."" Mr. Bence-Jones writes of Ireland and America; of Irish literature, moved from saga to decadence within a lifetime; the Gaelic revival. He discusses North Ireland, its variations of prosperity and relation to Ireland proper; the Church, not so influential as people think; the new Ireland. Somehow (as when defending the Irish against intimations of collaboration with the Germans), the author gives the impression of taking a defensive stance; otherwise, this is a nicely balanced orientation and invitation to the land God colored green.

Pub Date: Oct. 17th, 1966
Publisher: McKay