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***An Innocent in Ireland

by David W. McFadden

Reviewed January 20, 2004.
McClelland and Stewart, Toronto, 1995.  310 pages.
Available on for $18.95 in paperback.

David McFadden had read H. V. Morton’s In Search of Ireland as a child, so he set out to follow Morton’s route around Ireland to see if it had changed in sixty-five years.

I enjoyed this book, since I had visited many of the places on McFadden’s route when we went to Ireland.  Whenever McFadden described a place I’d been, it brought me right back. 

McFadden had a different approach to travel than we did.  While I focused more on castles, he emphasized ancient stone circles and tombs and beehive huts.  He was more interested in talking with the locals than in seeing beautiful scenery, though he was clearly moved by the scenery, since he had a theory that the ancients built stone circles where the scenery was the most stunning.

The “Innocent” in the title is perhaps a misnomer, since he picked up a beautiful Spanish traveling companion early in the trip.  However, the addition of her perspective made his conversations all the more interesting.  Many of the conversations were about the conflict in Northern Ireland, which, thankfully, has calmed down since 1995.

I’ll want to browse through this book again if I ever get another chance to visit the Emerald Isle.  It’s a nice book for armchair travelers or others who want to get a little taste of Ireland.

Copyright © 2004 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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