Recently, I came across a new edition of “The History of Clonmel” by the Rev. William P. Burke published late 2010 and thought it would make a great first review. I found it informative and a must read for Irish history enthusiasts. The book is written by Canon Burke, a son of one of the leading industrialists in Clonmel during the 1800s. It follows the history of Clonmel from the feudal times to the siege of Cromwell, through to the dawn of the 20th century.
Content – The historical coverage is excellent and the extensive references to individuals and families who were part of the town from the beginnings through to 1907, the book’s original publication date, is one of a kind. If you have family in Clonmel and want to look back at the history this is a fantastic book. It provides a unique view of Irish history through the eyes of a small town in Tipperary.
Readability – The new edition is very well put together. The hardback cover shows the Mainguard in Clonmel. The edition is 525 pages and printed on good quality paper in a text size and layout that makes it a pleasure to read. The text is taken from the original 1907 work and there is a forward written especially for this edition by Margaret Rossiter, a Clonmel based historian.
Price – The book was originally published in 1907 and was republished in a limited print run in 1983. Today the first editions are nearly impossible to find and when they are found, they sell for thousands. Even the 1983 prints are relatively hard to find and often cost over 500 euros each, thus making the new edition an excellent price at 50 euros from The Book Market at Market Place, Clonmel. www.thebookmarket.ie
Price – While the price is excellent compared to other difficult to find versions of this book, it is still higher than your typical paperback novel.
Readability - The research is excellent, but can be a bit dry for general reading as is evident by pages 228-232 which lists nothing but mayors of the town from 1424 through 1906.
If you love Irish history and/or have ancestors from Clonmel, Co. Tipperary this is the book for you!