WHY did the Romans never try to conquer Ireland? Why did the king of Spain give his name to an Irish county? And how did brandy change the course of Irish history?
The answer to these questions – and many more – are contained in Ireland’s forgotten past: a history of the overlooked and disremembered, which comes from the pen of well-known author, historian and Rathvillly native Turtle Bunbury.
There is barely a square foot of Ireland where something of historical importance has not happened at one time or another. This book looks into lesser known stories from our history, reaching back to prehistoric times to make sense of the strange Stone Age monuments and ancient mines that dot the island, as well as more modern anomalies like the disused railway lines that run through the west of Ireland.
Bunbury explores unexpected corners of the past to offer an informative and entertaining glimpse into 36 lesser-known tales from Irish history, from the eruption of a massive volcano in Co Armagh 60 million years ago to more recent events, including the side-effects of plantation and conquest.
In his inimitable sparkly style, Bunbury explores the people and events that played major roles in Ireland’s fascinating past but have since been almost forgotten. These alternative annals include tales of spymasters and scientists, battlefields and brothels, tailors and traitors.
The book paints a surprising, witty and engaging new portrait of an Ireland you thought you knew.
Turtle Bunbury’s books include the award-winning Vanishing Ireland series, Easter Dawn, The Irish Pub, The Glorious Madness – tales of the Irish and the Great War (shortlisted for Best Irish-published Book of the Year 2014) and 1847 – a chronicle of genius, generosity and savagery, which Oscar-nominated film director Lenny Abrahamson described as “vivid, surprising, hugely entertaining”.
As well as appearing on TV shows such as The genealogy roadshow on RTÉ, BBC One’s Wogan’s Ireland and the 2018 US series of Who do you think you are? , Turtle has spoken at events such as the Chalke Valley History Festival, the Festival of Writing and Ideas and All Together Now in Ireland, the St Patrick’s Day Festival in Savannah, Georgia and the 2016 IBAM Celebration in Chicago.