The Aran Islands are among the most finely wrought land-masses in the western world. Their antiquity, diversity and cultural richness have made them a source of fascination for writers, romantics, naturalists, linguists, archaeologists, anthropologists and artists, provoking a variety of responses now inscribed upon Ireland's history and literature. An Aran Reader encompasses folklore, fiction, botany, ethnography and autobiography from a wide variety of writers - from Giraldus Cambrensis to Tim Robinson, James Joyce to Derek Mahon, Liam O'Flaherty to Mirtn Direin, Lady Gregory to Seamus Heaney, 'This captivating anthology catches both the essence of the Romantic view of Aran and the impossibility of exaggerating very much about these three incredible rafts of windswept limestone. An Aran Reader has passages of vivid description and narrative that left me almost breathless.- Michael Viney, The Irish Times 'From prehistoric times the Aran Islands have attracted the curious, the missioners, the adventurers ... a fascinating and beautiful anthology.' - The Sunday Press

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