My Lady Of The Chimney Corner - Alexander Irvine 1913 The Century Co vintage HB

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Condition:  Acceptable: Signs of wear and consistent use. See images for the condition of this book.

Blurb: "In this autobiographical work Irvine narrates briefly the childhood and marriage of his parents, setting the basis for the book as a series of recalled oral tales, and events he was there to experience, all showing some way or another the vibrant personality, optimism, and the somewhat dissident religiosity of his mother, Anna. She is a wonderful character in reading, as is his father Jamie and the family friend and stonecutter Willie Withero.
As with all stories set in Ulster, sectarianism (between Protestants and Catholics) is a major factor in the fabric of society, and here Irvine shows the disillusionment those in his life had for the divide; Willie tells the newly wed couple of his habit of wearing an orange accessory on the 12th of July and a green on St Patrick's Day, and we are shown throughout Anna's peculiar adversity to church, only attending for family funerals, and for patronising proselytisers, despite her childhood Catholicism and her ardent love for the Bible and God. In a similar vein, the reader interested in religious studies will revel, as I did, in the episode of a renowned wandering beggar becoming near-Sanctified after his moral redemption in the eyes of the Antrim community, and respected for his stories of faeries. Banshees and faeries feature solidly in the community's dialogues.

Before reading this book a cursory read of Irvine's biography online would be helpful, as he alludes to events and periods of time that are not explained.

A brilliant book full of charming, intimate stories, and packed with the wisdom of a housewife close to God and Christ, who stood strong through so many years of poverty.

"Here's to the three that niver brad, th' priest, th' pope, and th' mule!"