From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837
Though there are some good farmsteads, the landholders in general pay but little attention to the arrangement of their offices or their internal convenience or neatness, except in those belonging to gentlemen of fortune. The houses of the small farmers are very mean, and the peasants' cabins are throughout miserably poor, in few instances weather-proof, and mostly thatched with straw; on the borders of the bogs they are still worse constructed, being covered only with sods pared off the surface, called scraws, or with rushes; yet the people are said to prefer the shelter thus afforded to that of stone and slated houses, partly from custom, partly, too, on account of the warmth retained by the smoke and closeness of the earthen buildings. The food is potatoes, milk, and oatmeal. In the neighbourhood of Philipstown, bacon forms an occasional addition to the family fare, and beer is in much demand. In Kilcoursey, most cottier families consume a bacon pig annually. Though illiterate, they are very anxious to have their children instructed, as is evident from the number of small schools in all parts. They speak English everywhere; if a person is heard speaking Irish, they invariably call him a Connaught man. Their clothing is of the coarsest materials, manufactured at home. The women prepare the yarn for the manufacturer, and execute many of the details of agricultural industry. The use of cotton in lieu of linen and woollen has become very general, particularly for female dress.
From a sad, comfortless childhood Giles Truelove developed into a reclusive and uncommunicative man whose sole passion was books. For so long they were the only meaning to his existence. But when fate eventually intervened to have the outside world intrude upon his life, he began to discover emotions that he never knew he had.
A story for the genuine booklover, penned by an Irish bookseller under the pseudonym of Ralph St. John Featherstonehaugh.
FREE download 23rd - 27th May
Join our mailing list to receive updates on new content on Library, our latest ebooks, and more.
You won't be inundated with emails! — we'll just keep you posted periodically — about once a monthish — on what's happening with the library.