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Island light is magical. And none more so than Ireland's. Ireland's light floods the landscape, luring the senses with a restless presence. The water surrounding and carving through the island reflects back to us the ever-changing movement of the wind-blown clouds and light. Stop for a minute and the settings change: what was straight is bent, light is dark, still is in motion. It is as though an unseen hand directs the wind, the clouds, and the light to harness our attention.
Ireland: A Luminous Beauty is a collection of stunning full-color photographs by some of Ireland's finest landscape photographers with concise text blending history, myth, and a sense of place. Many of the photographs were taken in the early morning light or as the sun set. That hour after sunrise and before sunset, with the sun low in the sky, is known to photographers as the golden hour and favored for its soft, diffused light.
We take a journey to one of the most beautiful places in the world. From the ancient stone monuments of the Boyne Valley to the treacherous stone steps of Skellig Michael; from the distinctive columns of the Giant's Causeway and the spectacularly sited Dunluce Castle ruins to lush, green countryside and fields of heather; from the limestone of the Burren (the rockiest part of Ireland) to exuberant stretches of flowers and gardens; from a moody sea and crashing surf to massive stone cliffs battered by the relentless pounding of the waves, and from steely rivers to tranquil lakes, it's all here.
The Irish respond to this dramatic environment by transforming it into one that solidifies and enriches their own sense of place. We all have this instinct to create our own space, but the Irish have made an art of it. Through the ancient, natural, and cultivated landscapes, surrounded by history and legend, we discover and celebrate the spirit of Ireland and its luminous beauty.
About the Author
PETER HARBISON, one of Ireland's most distinguished archaelogists, art historian, entertaining lecturer and writer, was for many years editor of Ireland of the Welcomes, an internationally acclaimed magazine devoted to Irish culture. Former Chairman of the National Monuments Advisory Council, Dr. Harbison is currently Honorary Academic Editor of the Royal Irish Academy, of which he has been Vice-President. He is the author of many books on Ireland's art and archaeology, including Ancient Ireland, The Golden Age of Irish Art, as well as Spectacular Ireland and Ireland's Treasures, edited by Leslie Conron Carola.
LESLIE CAROLA is a writer, editor, book producer, and paper crafter who has developed and produced more than a dozen paper craft books, including Magenta Style Paper Enchantments and Magenta Style Paper Magic. She heads her own book packaging company--Arena Books Associates, LLC--in Westport, CT.
“Leslie Conron Carola and Peter Harbison, who brought us Spectacular Ireland, have raised the bar with their elegant new book-Ireland: A Luminous Beauty-with photographs by Chris Hill, Carsten Krieger, and George Munday, three of Ireland's most revered landscape photographers. From the stunning icons of the ancient world to the dramatic landscapes of the natural world and the indelible sense of place of the cultivated world Ireland: A Luminous Beauty quietly draws us into the ever-changing magical light and wind-swept skies of Ireland, celebrating a spirit rich with imagination and style. This book is a treasure; a treat for the soul.” —Ruth Moran, Tourism Ireland
“If you can't take a trip anytime soon, just open this book for a virtual visit. It's gorgeous and filled with info I certainly didn't know. Makes me want to go back!” —Beth Goehring, Senior Director, Bookspan
“Ireland: A Luminous Beauty-a first-rate idea brilliantly executed.” —Peter McDermott, The Irish Echo
“This is a book as exhilarating to look through as it was to work on, the fun, the challenge, the joy, and the feeling of being bowled over by the unexpected-all giving an emotive image of a fascinating land both to visit and to live in. The book is just so different from all the others of its kind that it brings a smile to my face every time I browse in it, giving me a feeling that Leslie and I have produced a beautiful and exciting evocation of Ireland as it was-and is.” —Peter Harbison, co-author reflecting on IRELAND: A LUMINOUS BEAUTY, for The Irish Times
“Page after page of frame-worthy pictures provide a breathtaking and awe-inspiring look at the hills, villages, cities and glowing country scenes that constitute Ireland.” —Irish America Magazine on Spectacular Ireland
“This book successfully conveys the beauty and tragedy of Irish history and its rich legacy in art and literature. An effective introduction to the country, a visual joy, and delightful browsing, this is recommended for general collections.” —Library Journal on The Irish: A Treasury of Art and Literature