The Golden Age of Irish Art, and the time when Ireland earned a reputation as an island of saints and scholars, is the subjecy of this splendid short history. The records of the time and the best of modern historical scholarship are combined in a clearly-written overview of the period. Starting with the origins of Christianity in Ireland, before the arrival of the national apostle, it moves on to cover in detail the life, work and character of Patrick. It outlines the origins and development of Irish monasticism and introduces some of the major monastic founders. A separate chapter each is given over to the work of Colum Cille in Britain and to Columban's labours in continental Europe. The book concludes with individual chapters on three important topics of the period: the penintentials, the Easter controversy, and early Irish Christian art. Illustrated with several maps, the book ends with a very substantial bibliography of the period.
John R. Walsh, from Maghera in Co Derry, is a priest of the Diocese of Derry. President of St Columb's College for many uyears, he is now parish priest of Buncrana, Co Donegal. Thomas Bradley teaches religion and history in St Columb's College. He is married to Christine.