This new edition of Tomás Ó Criomhthain’s last work, Dinnseanchas na mBlascaodaí, was prepared from the author’s manuscript 1935. It had been out of print for many years. The new edition is illustrated by the artist Tomás Ó Cíobháin’s pencil drawings. He spent some summers in the Blaskets preparing his work, and the result is an often understated but powerful enhancement of Ó Criomhthain’s text.
Ó Criomhthain’s descriptions of the Blasket Islands’ placenames are remarkable for their depth of knowledge of the flora and fauna of the Islands. His commentaries are a testimony to a culturally rich, imaginative, inventive community whose existence depended on an intimate relationship with every nook and cranny of their physical environment. Ó Criomhthain makes both the landscape and seascape come alive through his honed, vivid and very witty literary style. The Dinnseanchas is a minor masterpiece and one of the literary classics of the Blaskets.
It has a resonant contemporary appeal as people and communities seek to re-integrate themselves with the natural environment.