This book tells a history of Ireland through the examination of 100 key words from the Royal Irish Academy's Dictionary of the Irish Language, the most comprehensive dictionary of Irish in existence. The book is aimed at a popular audience and is intended to increase awareness and understanding of the Irish language for the period spanning the seventh to the seventeenth century, but it assumes no prior knowledge of the language on the part of the reader. It is divided into themes, including writing and literature, food and feasting, technology and science, the body, and other worlds, and each entry will explore a word or group of words related to a particular idea or object, such as `home', `death', `people' or `book'. Entries are short, c. 500 words, and self-contained, so that readers can dip into the book where they please.
Sharon Arbuthnot worked on the supplement to the Dictionary of the Irish Language (2013) and is currently a research fellow on the Text and Meaning project at Queen's University Belfast. She is an expert on early Irish glossaries and lexicography. Her two-volume edition of Coir Anmann `Fitness of Names' is published by the Irish Texts Society. Maire Ni Mhaonaigh is a Reader in the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of St John's College. She is general editor of Boydell and Brewer's Studies in Celtic History series, and co-investigator with Gregory Toner on a five-year, AHRC-funded project `Text and meaning: contributions to a revision of the Dictionary of the Irish Language'. Gregory Toner is professor of Irish at Queen's University Belfast. He has published widely on medieval Irish literature and placenames, and has been principal investigator on a series of funded projects, including the electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language (www.dil.ie). He is Honorary General Editor for the Irish Texts Society. Joe McLaren is a freelance illustrator and graduate of the University of Brighton.