2nd hand good condition
Henry O’Neill is best known as an artist, archaeologist, publisher and polemicist, as seen through his various books. But they give a mere inkling of the impressive compendium of work that O’Neill did throughout a long and active career spanning 40 years and more. We find out a lot more through the sketch-books of his that survive, and realised what an incredible amount of travelling and sketching he did through his interest in castles or tower-houses, though he also covered a wide variety of other monuments, from prehistoric times almost up to his own day.
O’Neill has, however, been largely airbrushed out of Ireland’s antiquarian story because he came off second best to his great adversary George Petrie in the controversy about Irish round towers which raged throughout much of the 19th Century. O’Neill was convinced that they were of pagan origin, whereas Pertrie argued correctly in favour of Christian associations. Nevertheless, even if he failed in academic argument, O’Neill must – along with Petrie, G.V. Du Noyer and W.F. Wakeman – be ranked very highly among Irish antiquarian artists of the late Georgian and Victorian periods, hence the need to restore his reputation in this volume.