Internet Review of Books


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Another Review of ClanDonnell
Internet Review of books says: “ClanDonnell is a work of monumental devotion.” We’re glad the reviewer saw the devotion put into the research and writing.

Click to download: 77_TheInternetReviewofBooks.pdf

Other neat phrases:

“The effort and finesse put into presenting stories in modern terms is impressive.” And

“The stories enchant and engage. Overall, David McDonnell has produced a life-work worthy of the term, and a welcome addition to the literature about Ireland.”

The complete review is at this link on the Internet Review of Books and on the pdf link above.

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Or, read it here:

"I was daunted by the sheer size of this book, with its nine hundred-plus pages and two sections of color illustrations and photos. I was curious about Ireland’s history, but worried about being able to consume the material. I discovered David McDonnell has provided a book that is both entertaining and utile.

ClanDonnell is a work of monumental research and devotion. McDonnell provides us with insight into every level of Irish (and Scottish Gaelic) history through the eyes of members of one extended clan. Thankfully, he also provides a guide and primer on Celtic and Gaelic language. As much of Ireland is now in a wave of ‘celtification’ it is important to begin looking at its history in the terms of its original language. McDonnell provides this as a way to explain the evolution of the family name McDonnell and its variants.

McDonnell begins with story-driven history on the development of clans and regional leadership. He provides a brief lesson on Gaelic pronunciation and spelling to assist us through the rest of the book. And he provides what he believes to be the originator of the family name.

One king of the eleventh century region known as Thomond [County Clare and part of Limerick] was Murtagh. One of his sons was called Domhnaill (pronounced Donnell), and nicknamed shorthand”....Donnell was a monk at Lismore at the time of his father’s death. Lismore Abbey (Lios Mor in Gaelic) was one of the most well-known monasteries in southern Ireland in its day. ...This particular monk, Domhnaill, had two sons. These were the first to take the name McDomhnaill (McDonnell), meaning ‘son of Domhnaill’.

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