Twenty Years A-Growing by Maurice O'Sullivan with an introductory note by E. M. Forster
New York : The Viking Press, 1933. Second printing. Hardcover. 303 pages ; 21 cm. $2.50 dust jacket with small tears around the edges. Lean to spine. Bookplate at front free endpaper. Pages are age toned and unmarked. Binding is firm.
THE BLASKET ISLANDS lie off the Kerry coast, in the extreme south-west corner of Ireland. The largest of them, the only one now inhabited, is about five miles long and for the most part less than half a mile broad—a treeless ridge of bog and mountain pasture descending in the west to a windswept headland of bare rock. Some of the islanders own cows and sheep, and turf is plentiful at the western end. But the main industry is fishing—lobster in the summer and mackerel in the winter —a dangerous and precarious livelihood. Only Irish is spoken, and English is little known. Reading is a habit only recently acquired and seldom practiced. The pastimes are singing, dancing, storytelling, and conversation.
This book is a story of one of the islanders, written by himself for his own pleasure and for the entertainment of his friends. It is the first rendering into English of a genuine account of this unique native life, and it overflows with the native wit and vigor of the people whose lives it describes.
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