Tuesday, 16 July 2013

A "master storyteller" lures readers into mysterious past

A new review of 'Newgrange: Monument to Immortality' has been published by Tinteán, an Irish heritage magazine in Australia. The review is hugely positive. Here are some extracts (you can read the whole review by following this link):

Far removed from the usual dry language of archaeology, this book shows Anthony Murphy as a master storyteller who is adept at luring the reader with him into the mysterious past.

Modern astronomers argue that, without pens, paper and calculators, ancient peoples could not have followed other complex star or moon cycles, but Murphy makes a good case that they probably could have done and would have found them useful.  

Other issues such as a possible use of the powerful tunnel/light motif in shamanistic ceremonials concerned with death and rebirth are explored by Murphy, but probably the strangest tale about Newgrange that he tells concerns George William Russell’s ‘Dream of Angus Oge’.

Finally Murphy explains the importance of Newgrange in his own spiritual journey after the destruction of the 9/11 terrorist attacks shook his faith in humanity. He has visited the site many times, ultimately winning a place among the select few who now witness the winter solstice within the monument today.

For anyone who has visited the site, or is interested in the ancient history of Ireland, this would be a valuable book with its many illustrations and accessible, but highly scholarly, explanations.

Murphy draws many lessons from the building of Newgrange that are important to the difficulties faced by modern societies, particularly Ireland.

I have extended my thanks to the magazine editor and the review author. See the whole review on the website of Tinteán magazine.