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The rock opens and displays within a scene of revelry and joy, to which a page bids him welcome, and ushers him through a brilliant assemblage to the very throne of the Queen-fairy Una. She smiles graciously upon him; urges him to leave the world and all its woes to become one of her happy subjects; and promises him that, if he will but take the oath of allegiance, she herself will deign to be his bride. Spellbound by such an appeal, his lips are all but ready to utter the irrevocable vow.
It is by no means handsome of itself, nor are its public buildings. The chief industry is catering, in one form or another, to the largely increasing number of tourists who are constantly flocking thither. The value of Killarney, as a name of sentimental and romantic interest, lies in its association with its lakes and the abounding wealth of natural beauties around about it.
The guide-books set forth the attractions and the ways and means in the usual conventional manner, but it is useless to expect any real help from them. Yeats, the Irish poet, spent the full force of his lyric genius in the verses which he wrote with this entrancing isle for their motive. Robert Louis Stevenson is reported to have said that, of all modern poets, none has struck the responsive chord of imagination as did this sweet singer with the following lines:.
From Glengarriff to Killarney via Kenmare is a long-drawn sweetness of prospect, which it is perhaps impossible to duplicate for its sentimental charm,—an ability to appreciate which belongs to us all, even if only to a limited extent. The view ahead is peculiarly grand in its contrast with that left behind. Down the beetling precipices along which the road is clinging to its sterile sides, one traces the valley beneath until it blends with the silvery surface of Kenmare River.
Muckross is charming. It is thoroughly Irish; and reeks of the native soil and its people, wherein is its value to the traveller. The scenery around about Muckross is very beautiful, but its ruined abbey is the great architectural relic of all Ireland. The ruins consist of the abbey and church, which was founded for the Order of Franciscans by McCarthy Mor, Prince of Desmond, in , on the site of an old church which, in , had been destroyed by fire. In the choir is the vault of the ancient Irish sept.
They are three in number; what is known as the upper, the middle or Muckross Lake, and the lower lake,—the northernmost,—more properly called Lough Leane. The middle lake is also called the Torc. A winding stream, known as the Long Range, unites the different bodies of water.
The upper lake is the most beautiful of all, though the smallest of the triad. It is studded with tiny islands and girt with mountain peaks, bare and stern above, but clothed with rich foliage at their base. The middle lake is also a beautiful, though more extensive, sheet, and contains but four islands, as compared with thirty in the lower lake and six in the upper.
Cloisters of Muckross Abbey. Torc Cascade and Torc Mountain lies just to the southward, and is justly famed as one of the brilliant beauties of the region, as it falls in numerous sections over the broken rock to fall finally in a precipitous torrent of foam to its ravine-bed below. The name of this stern and jagged range sounds somewhat humourous, and in no way suggests the majesty and splendour of these hills; for they resemble the great mountains of other parts only by reason of their contrast with the low-lying land around their bases.
The celebrated Gap of Dunloe is far more deserving for its natural scenic splendour, and, in its way, rivals anything in Ireland. The popular method of imbibing the charm of Dunloe is a combination of picnic, al fresco luncheons, and donkey-riding.
The Gap of Dunloe is a grand defile, perhaps five miles in length, which can only be explored and truly enjoyed by a pilgrimage along its solitary and rugged road on foot. Its scenic aspect is gloomy and grand, with mirrored lakes, lofty mountains, and a thick undergrowth of heather and ivy. It is, however, in no manner theatrical. Through this wild glen ripples the river Lee, linking its five tiny lakes as with a silver thread.
The sun, it appears, does not shine down its length for long in the day, as it is flanked on either side by precipitous hills. The average imagination will not, however, conjure up any very dark suspicions with regard to its past, judging from the aspect of the valley between the hours of nine in the morning and two in the afternoon. Both before and after these hours there is no sunlight; and, because of the dense, long-reaching shadows which are projected across it, it was so named.
This is certainly not true with regard to his prose, which, in the following lines, so justly and appropriately describes the charm of South-west Ireland:. The tender grace of wood and water is set in a framework of hills,—now stern, now ineffably gentle; now dimpling with smiles, now frowning and rugged with impending storm; now muffled and mysterious with mist, only to gaze out on you again with clear and candid sunshine.
Here the trout leaps, there the eagle soars; and there, beyond, the wild deer dash through the arbutus coverts, through which they have come to the margin of the lake to drink, and, scared by your footstep or your oar, are away back to the crosiered bracken or heather-covered moorland. But the first, the final, the deepest and most enduring impression of Killarney is that of beauty unspeakably tender, which puts on at times a garb of grandeur and a look of awe, only in order to heighten by passing contrast the sense of soft, insinuating loveliness.
How the missel-thrushes sing, as well they may! How the streams and runnels gurgle and leap and laugh! For the sound of journeying water is never out of your ears; the feeling of the moist, the fresh, the vernal is never out of your heart Kipling says:. The island is said to contain a population of over five hundred, with no priest, no public house, and no constabulary. A veritable Arcadia! Then it was ruled by three brothers, princes of Tuatha de Danaan, after whose wives who were also three sisters the island was alternately called, Eire, Banva, and Fiola.
By these names Ireland is still frequently known to the poets. When the Milesians could not discover land where they thought to sight it, they simply agreed that the Tuatha de Danaans had, by their black arts, rendered it invisible. At length they descried the island, its tall blue hills touched by the last beams of the setting sun; and from the galleys there arose a shout of joy.
Innisfail, the Isle of Destiny, was found! He relates it as follows:. Valentia—the most westerly railway-station in Europe, says Bradshaw—is the true spot where West meets East; where the New World first receives its introduction to the Old.
The project fell through, but the island was afterward selected as the old-world end of the Atlantic cable of , and also that laid by the leviathan steamship, the Great Eastern , in The principal village on the island is called Knightstown. If favoured with a fresh westerly breeze, one beholds from the hillside a scene of grandeur unsurpassed.
The ocean engages in conflict with the rugged headlands rising hundreds of feet out of the sea, and hurls its foaming breakers with ceaseless rhythm against the base of the rocks, only to be rolled back in spray and foam. All outside is a scene of wild magnificence, while, such is the perfect shelter, the harbour itself, under all stress of weather, is as placid as a summer lake.
Lord John Manners, in his notes of a tour through Ireland, describes the Atlantic here as follows:. I do not believe I exaggerate in saying that some of the jets of foam sprung a hundred feet into the air, and then the tints!
Sometimes a clear green wave would roll its huge volume on the rocks before it broke; at others, dash greenly up to it and dissolve in wreaths of purest white spray, causing, as it broke, a delicate iris to glow on the opposite rocks; while toward the west a veil of foam overhung the coast, lighted up by the golden rays of the setting sun. No words can describe the fascination of the scene. To observe the contrast between nature and the works of man, one has only to visit the isolated premises of the Anglo-American Telegraph Company.
The manner in which electricity outstrips the sun in his daily round is here strikingly exemplified. Here Nature seems to have done her best to produce the picturesque with ocean and rock, twisted and split, pierced and tunnelled; every rock seems to have been torn in some gigantic struggle against total destruction, and left to still wage war against storm and tempest. From Slea Head a magnificent view of Dingle Bay is obtained,—its indented shores flanked by the Dingle mountains stretching away for thirty miles of wonderful panorama of islands and rocks out to and around the Blasquetts.
The Blasquetts are a group of eight rocky islands, two of them three miles from the coast. Perhaps the wildest scene on the southern coast is presented by the Skelligs Rocks, off Dingle Bay, rising as pinnacles of slate, wind-swept and bare. The cliffs seem painted in bands of cream colour, produced by countless crowds of gannets—most powerful of gulls—sitting on their nests on the ledges of cliff. At the sound of an approaching steamer, the air is filled with a swarm of puffins, or sea-parrots, which fly heavily around the crags; while, from the caves on the lower cliffs, like crowds of the smaller gulls fill the air with their shrill, screaming cry.
Limerick is a city which, by very reason of her great past and her matter-of-fact and decidedly ordinary present, presents great and disappointing contrasts. One may read the statistics in the guide-books and learn that , pigs are killed every year in the town, and of a great many other mundane things which happen here and have no interest whatsoever for him.
There is no escaping the Limerick pig. In single file, in battalions, as solitary scout, alive or dead, baconed and sausaged, he dominates the town. The name of Sarsfield, the Jacobite general, is for ever identified with Limerick. The peasantry gather it for profit, the visitors for pastime. It is found in many shallow rock pools at low tide, and grows in short, bushy tufts, coralline in shape. The son of an attorney, he was born in , receiving his education at Dublin University.
In his youth he saw service as a British soldier, but early drifted toward journalism and America. N O river in Great Britain, neither the Thames, nor the Clyde, nor even the Severn, equals the river Shannon and its lakes, either in length or in importance as an inland waterway. The native on its banks tells you that it rivals the Mississippi; but in what respect, Americans, at least, will wonder. Except that it broadens to perhaps a dozen miles in the widest of its lakes, there is, of course, no comparison whatever.
The traffic on the river is of no great magnitude compared with that on the Thames and the Clyde; but, were there a demand for such, its capacity would be far greater than either. From Limerick, one usually makes his way by train, although he may go by car or coach,—such a trip is well worth while,—and embarks upon the tiny steamer at Killaloe. The mound on which it was built is all that remains of a place that displayed, twelve hundred years ago, the greatest glory of the proud Irish kings.
Many were the events of historical moment which took place here, though, as a palace of great splendour and magnitude, it may have been exceeded by Tara and Emania. He caused his authority to be not only unquestioned, but obeyed and respected in every corner of the land. So justly were the laws administered in his name, and so loyally obeyed throughout the kingdom, that the bards relate a rather fanciful story of a young and exquisitely beautiful lady, who made, without the slightest apprehension of violence or insult, and in perfect safety, a tour of the island on foot, alone and unprotected, though bearing about her the most costly jewels and ornaments of gold.
Of the passionate attachment of the Irish for music, little need be said, as this is one of the national characteristics which has been at all times most strongly marked, and is still most widely appreciated, the harp being universally held as a national emblem of Ireland.
Even in the prechristian period that we are here reviewing, music was an institution and a power in Erin. There is a fine specimen of sixth-century architecture in the well-preserved cell of St. Lua, with its steep roof of stone and cunningly devised arches. These are said to mark the position of a ford used by pilgrims who came to visit Killaloe before the bridge, which is itself ancient, was built.
Lough Derg is reputedly one of the prettiest pieces of water in Ireland. Its shores are well wooded, and the background all around is made up of swelling upland, dotted here and there with the white houses of the peasantry, while in the far distance are the heather-clad hills of the Counties Clare, Galway, and Tipperary. Tradition has it that St.
Patrick had prevailed on God to place the entrance to purgatory in Ireland, that the unbelievers might the more readily be convinced of the immortality of the soul and of the sufferings that awaited the wicked after death. He was then let down into the cavern, whence, after an interval of several hours, he was drawn up again half-dead, and, when he recovered his senses, mingling the wild dreams of his own imagination with what the monks told him, he seldom failed to tell the most marvellous tales of the place for the remainder of his life.
It was not till the reign of James II. From Killaloe to Portumna, the Shannon flows through Lough Derg, a wide-spread waterway, an elaborate expansion of the river itself. From Ben Hill, a few miles below Portumna, near Woodford, is a splendid view of Lough Derg and the surrounding country. The lake here stretches along between the Slieve Aughty Mountains on the Connaught side and the Arra Mountains on the Munster side, whose lofty summits tower up high into the clouds.
The shores, sloping gradually down to the water, are covered with luxurious foliage, through openings in which may be seen the ruins of many an ancient castle and once stately mansion. Portumna itself is a flourishing town, but of no great antiquarian interest. The population of town and district is about two thousand. Near by is Victoria Lock, Melleek, adjacent to which are two strongly built towers, which formerly mounted eight guns, and which, in more romantic times, were erected to guard the pass of the Shannon between Connaught and Leinster.
The Stone of the Divisions, Westmeath. As a tourist resort the town appears to have degenerated sadly, a pretentious hotel establishment having been converted over into barracks for the constabulary. Industry, manufacture of the celebrated woollen tweeds, which provides employment for several hundred operators, both male and female; there are various other smaller manufacturing industries pursued by the town population.
In the rural districts, cattle rearing, both in Westmeath and Roscommon, and the pursuit of general agriculture is principally followed, and the inhabitants of these rural districts are generally comfortable and fairly well-to-do.
As a matter of fact, however, almost every stone in the prosperous little city has a historic interest and value, from the ruins of its former splendid ecclesiastical establishments to its old houses and still more ancient fortifications, and the castle erected in by King John,—a counterpart in every respect of a similar establishment at Limerick. Queen Elizabeth made Athlone the capital of Connaught.
After the battle of the Boyne, it underwent two sieges from the forces of King William. Some traces of the old fortifications may be seen, and the castle is still in perfect repair. Fleeting time has changed this modest mansion—whose ruin was deplored by Goldsmith himself—but little. The roof is off, but the walls remain, and seem still to be haunted by the shade of the Rev.
The country all around Lishoy—for that is the name of the townland in which Toberclare, this Mecca of the Goldsmith student, is situated—is well wooded and cultivated. Through Lough Ree one journeys along historical ground. Rindown Castle was built, it is said, by Turgesius, a Dane, who made of it an impregnable stronghold, as may be readily believed when one views its rocky promontory.
On this island, Queen Meave is said to have been killed, while bathing, by an Ulster chieftain, who threw a stone from a sling while standing on the shore. Knockcroghery Bay leads to Roscommon, the chief town of the county of the same name. It had its origin at the time when St. Coman founded a monastery there, and to-day may still be seen elaborate remains of a former Dominican establishment of the thirteenth century, and of a fortified castle of the same era.
It is recorded that the peasants of Kilkenny West retaliated by killing the destroyers. Here, also, are the remains of several Celtic crosses. Entering the Shannon proper again at Lanesborough, one finally reaches Carrick-on-Shannon, in itself uninteresting enough, but a centre from which a vast amount of profitable knowledge may be obtained. The nave, with its hundred and thirty-five semicircular arches, which separate it from its aisles, is perhaps the best and most characteristic Norman feature, if we except the square heavy tower.
In , the English sacked these sacred precincts, and even—it is said—stripped the monks of their gowns. In it was turned into a fortress and besieged by the army of the Earl of Tyrone. He died in the neighbourhood in the year , at a very advanced age, notwithstanding that he had been in a state of intoxication during probably seven-eighths of his life. From this we may infer that, if liquor was not more potent in those days, it was at least less expensive.
I T may not be recognized, it certainly is not a widely known fact, that Galway at one time—however extraordinary it may now appear—arrived at a pitch of mercantile greatness superior, with the single exception of London, to any port in what is now known as the British Isles. The old town is throughout of Spanish architecture, with wide gateways, broad stairs, and all the fantastic ornaments calculated to carry the imagination back to Granada and Valencia.
Then the town, with its monks, churches, and convents, has a completely Catholic air; and the population of the adjoining country have preserved something of their picturesque national costume. From the earliest times, especially about the fourteenth century, and until a later period, extensive trade was carried on betwixt Spain and Ireland.
Galway was always one of the principal ports frequented by foreigners. The result of this was that mansions in Spanish style arose and were filled with Spanish furniture; while the ladies used in their dresses the bright colours and light textures of Spain. It is reasonable, too, to suppose that in many instances Spanish servants, seamen, and even workmen, formed alliances with the natives of the soil, and thus the population became, not only in dress but in blood, allied to their foreign visitors.
Many of the houses built for the merchant princes of Galway still remain, though in a dilapidated state, and have come to be occupied by the poorest inhabitants. Just how far one may go in promulgating a theory, in a book such as this, remains an open question. With regard to the Spaniards in Ireland, it is not so much conjecture as to the time of their advent, or their numbers, as it is with the causes which led up to it. This we all know and recognize, and, with this end in view, huge warehouses and quays were built to accommodate a vast ocean-borne traffic which was to come and make it the rival of Liverpool.
One may walk along these quays to-day and see the ruin of all this enterprise, for Galway, despite its seventeen thousand inhabitants, is a town which bears, in its every aspect, the appearance of a place that has already sunk into irretrievable decay. As a gateway to Connemara, Galway still exercises great influence on the prosperity of the west of Ireland, and, moreover, has an historic interest which cannot fail to be attractive to the tourist for all time to come.
In ancient times Galway was the most famous port in Ireland, and had a very extensive trade, especially with the ports of Hispaniola. Many Spanish merchants, sailors, and fishermen settled here, until, at one time, probably one-fourth of the population of the town was pure Spanish. They built their houses after the Spanish pattern, and mingled with the native Irish population; but not, however, without leaving upon it the ineradicable mark and powerful impress of their own character, and imparting the superstition, the temperament, and the physical qualities of their race.
Moreover, it is said that a large portion of the famed Armada was wrecked off the Galway coast; and that, in addition to those already there, these survivors settled and multiplied. One notes this as he strolls through the market, where the women are selling fish, for the most part consisting of sea-bream, red mullet, conger-eels, and lobsters.
In their complexions, their dark hair and eyes, their high cheek-bones, and their carriage,—in the mantilla -like way in which they wear their shawls, and in the brilliant colours of their costumes,—they bear a striking resemblance to the fisherwomen of Cadiz and Malaga. The men are even more strikingly Spanish. The speech is curious, too. It is Gaelic, but it is full of Spanish idioms and terminations. These people live for the most part in a village called the Claddagh, whose population formerly kept itself quite distinct from its Irish neighbours.
The people married only among themselves; had their own religion; in a measure, their own municipal government; and pursued their own way without any reference to what went on around them. Of late, however, this exclusiveness has, to a large extent, been broken down.
The Galway fisheries are still, and always have been, an important economic factor in the life of these parts. Nowhere else in the island can such a sight be seen as in the salmon season may be observed from Galway Bridge, when the water in the river is low. One looks over the bridge into the water, and sees what is apparently the dark bed of the river; but drop in a pebble, and instantly there is a splash and a flash of silver, and a general movement along the whole bed of the stream.
Then one comes to know that what apparently were closely packed stones are salmon, squeezed together like herrings in a barrel, unable to get up-stream for want of water. This salmon fishery, together with the fisheries on the coast, constitute the staple industries of the district; and, as a business proposition, might appeal largely to some company promoter were he able to corner the supply and control the traffic.
There is no dearth of anecdote about Galway. Some of it is fact; much of it doubtless is not; but there seems no reason why one could not expand a short chapter of its history into a great book were he so inclined. The Lynches were, and are, the most numerous and important of the Tribes of Galway. The name is said to be aboriginal or at least Celtic, and again tradition has it that all the Lynches are descended from the daughter and heiress of a certain lord marshal of the county of Galway in the year One of the party, as providentially happens in most such cases, revealed the horrid transaction to the mayor.
He tried and condemned his son to death, and appointed a day for his execution. It was imagined by his relatives that, through their intercession, and the consideration of his being an only son, he would not proceed to put the sentence into execution. He told them to come to him on a certain day, and they should have his determination. It was commemorated by the cross-bones in Lombard Street. Further records have it that the stone bearing the cross-bones was not put up for many years after the transaction, when it was erected on the wall of St.
At any rate, the circumstance is one of significance and plausibility, or it shows once again how the seed of coincidence takes root and thrives many thousands of miles from the land of its first growth. Galway has ever been an important commercial centre, and rightly enough points out the fact that to be as proud and honest as a Galway merchant is to be reckoned as one of the upright of this world.
It is a curious fact that, notwithstanding the maritime resources of Galway, salt was one of the commodities imported to it from Spain, and so highly was the import prized that John French, who was mayor in , bore the distinguishing appellation of Shane ne Sallin.
There is no reason to doubt but that this is so, judging from appearances and experiences with which one comes in contact to-day. Historians, anthropologists, and antiquarians have attempted before now to draw comparisons between the inhabitants of Galway and those of Spain.
The circumstance has been authenticated and remarked frequently; but it is interesting, if not valuable, to have a native first-hand opinion on the subject. Of the spoken speech of Galway much has been written, and with good excuse, for Spanish idioms and words still come to the surface here, as does the French tongue in certain parts of Scotland.
The writer recalls an incident in the experiences of an ardent automobilist, which took place in the neighbourhood of Galway:. He was driving down an extremely steep hill, and was barely able to keep the automobile in hand. Take care! That is, so far as his or her dress is concerned; and, truth to tell, it has all but disappeared from here, for it is only of a bright summer Sunday, or some local feast-day, that the Irishman, dressed as in the chorus of a comic opera, is ever seen.
In Galway itself, on an important market-day, he is still to be seen, and forms a picturesque note to the surroundings which the sentimentalist would indeed otherwise miss. He is found in knee-breeches and tail coat, high caubeen with a pipe stuck in it, and long home-knit stockings, accompanied by the Galway women in short scarlet petticoat and close-hooded cloak.
All the latter wear this dress, by the way. There is practically not a woman of the working class in the town—certainly not one in the Claddagh fishing quarter—who does not cling to this bit of colour, as thick as a blanket and very fleecy. Indeed, all Connemara is remarkable for the clean, neat, and whole clothing of its people, who are otherwise poverty-stricken.
It is only in great towns, where the poor clothe themselves in slop-shop stuffs and cast-off garments of the upper classes, that they are ragged and unkempt. Homespuns and tweeds, such as we are accustomed to see only in smart coat and skirt costumes, or expensive shooting suits, are the daily wear of every one.
They cost little,—only the keep of a few hardy mountain sheep, from which the wool is obtained, the loan of a spinning-wheel from a neighbour, and the small fee of a local hand-loom weaver. The tourists, i. This particular pattern has been the marriage-ring of the Claddagh fishing tribes for many centuries. Indeed, every peasant matron in the county wears one. A more interesting monument than any memorial stone in the abbey, or, indeed, in Sligo, is Misgoun Meave, which dominates the whole neighbourhood, the traditional burial-place of Queen Meave.
On the top of Knocknarea, a hill over one thousand feet high, stands an immense cairn of stones, almost like a second peak to the hill. Here, overlooking a wide range of beautiful seacoast and country, tradition states that the famous Irish Queen of Connaught, after she had buried three husbands, chose her tomb. Like Boadicea, she led her own armies in person, and seems, according to the wild legends told of her exploits, to have been an Amazon of terrible reputation and dauntless courage.
She had the red-gold hair that may still be seen in Connaught,—a heritage popularly supposed to have descended from her,—and wore it flowing like a mantle over her. Her beauty was considerable, her temper ungovernable, and her virtue, apparently, doubtful. She was often accompanied to battle by her stalwart sons of middle age; and her own years are reported to have counted well over a century before death at last loosened her iron grip on blood-stained Connaught. One can well understand how such a woman, dying, chose to be buried where, even in death, her sightless eyes might look down upon the land of lake and island, forest, hill, and sea that had been hers so long.
A lively French writer, who travelled in Ireland in the early part of the nineteenth century, was evidently much smitten with the fair sex. In the early morning, one sees five or six young ladies, perched upon a jaunting-car, go two miles from the city to refresh their charms by a sea bath, and in the afternoon, if there be no assembly, they go from shop to shop, buying, laughing, and chatting with their friends. There are many in this city who grow old without knowing it.
All of which seems a simple and innocuous enough amusement. In spite of which, however, no very apparent coquettishness on the part of Galway young ladies is to be noted to-day,—at least, it has not been observed by the writer of this book.
Perhaps that merely points to a lack of susceptibility on his part. A mouth that, under the light of morning or evening, is something to suggest either the vastness of this world of human beings, or the anticipation of the greater vastness of that other world beyond, which haunted the imaginations and thoughts of the pious Catholics of that region.
These few lines serve to give a most truthful word-picture of Galway Bay; and also a glimpse of the brilliancy with which Mr. Continuing, Mr. There was a second house behind that in which we lived, which was usually unoccupied. From its roof you could see one of those beautiful scenes that, once seen, haunt one ever afterward. Beyond the town you could catch sight of the sea; and there, on certain evenings, you saw the fleet of herring-boats as they went out for their night-watch and night harvest of fish,—a sight that was more like something of fairy-land than of reality, though I dare say the poor crews found much grimmer reality than romance in their hard and laborious night-watches.
Between them and the mainland the sea is often so rough as to make it impossible for small boats to undertake the crossing. The principal food of the inhabitants is dried fish, naturally a home product. The chief patron saint of Munster, aside from St. He had already been converted by certain Christianized Britons, and had travelled to Rome before the arrival of St.
Patrick among the Irish. After his return, he became the disciple and fellow labourer of that great apostle, and was ordained by him as first Archbishop of Munster, with his see fixed at Emely, long since removed to Cashel. He possessed, according to the chroniclers, the wonderful art of making men, not only Christians, but saints, and for this great ability King Engus bestowed upon him the isles of Aran in Connaught, where he founded a great monastery.
The rule which St. Albeus drew up for them is still extant in the old Irish manuscripts. In his old age, it was his earnest desire to commit to others the care of his dear flock, that he might be allowed to prepare himself in the exercise of holy solitude for his great change.
For this purpose, he begged that he might be suffered to retire to Thule, the remotest country toward the northern pole that was known to the ancients, which seems to have been Shetland, or, according to some, Iceland or some part of Greenland; but the king guarded the ports to prevent his flight, and the saint died amidst the labours of his charge in , according to the Ulster and Innisfallen annals.
More one could not wish to know unless he were profoundly interested, and less would not even satisfy him if he became at all enamoured of these islands, so full of dreary old places and quaint customs, to say nothing of the wealth of tradition and legend which hangs about it all. Westward, the nearest land is America, where so many stalwart sons of Galway—and daughters, too—have migrated.
Here the peasants still reverently believe in the far-famed land of Hy or O,—Brazil, the paradise of the ancient pagan Irish. It is only seen occasionally, owing to the long enchantment, which will, they say, now soon be dissolved. The inhabitants seem always young, taking no heed of time, and lead lives of perfect happiness. Among the chief—and assuredly unique—reliques of these few square miles of terra firma are the ruins of the old fortified Castle of Ardkyne, in which are built the remains of the great church of St.
Enna, chief of the Oriels, who, upon his conversion, abandoned his secular rule, and eventually settled not later than A. Above the village is the stump of a round tower, and, on the ridge, the oratory of St. The window in the east wall has its head and splay of a single stone. The narrow north doorway has inclined jambs. If the name refers to the apostle of Connaught, St. Benen of Armagh, it must be a dedication, as he died in The building may with confidence be assigned to the sixth century.
On the Aran Islands there are no bogs, but one has, instead, to dodge his footsteps in and out among pebbles and rolling stones of every size and shape. It is, undoubtedly, the most noteworthy object in Aran. It consisted originally of a triple line of works, but the two inner lines, of horseshoe shape on the verge of a bold headland, are those best preserved. These are the chief features of the great island, with the Temple Brecan, which has a chancel of rude ancient masonry, a choir which more nearly approaches our own time by four or five hundred years and is still modern, and a sacred enclosure devoted to the burial of saints, of which the Irish calendar seems quite full.
On Inisheer are the remains of an ancient place of worship dedicated to St. Cavan, brother to St. Kevin, the legend of whose life everywhere confronts one in County Wicklow. There is another to St. Gobnet, abbess of the sixth century. I T has been suggested before now that the domain of Achill Island, off the coast of Mayo, that wonderland of natural unspoiled grandeur, be preserved as a sort of national park.
People would then visit Achill Island at all seasons of the year the climate is remarkably mild in winter for the pleasure and interest afforded by the contemplation of its wild fauna. We should, in short, have an object-lesson of what Ireland and most other parts of the British Isles were like under prehistoric conditions. From this it will be inferred that there is every encouragement for such a procedure, did the powers but take their rightful initiative.
Achill is a veritable unknown wonderland. Not that it is actually unexplored, that it is vast, or that it is inaccessible. Achill Island is the largest island on the Irish coast, in shape not unlike an irregular triangle, and contains an area of fifty-five square miles.
To the north is the deeply indented Black Sod Bay, with its myriad smaller bays, while to the south is Clew Bay, populated with numerous tiny islets, and the high-held head of Croagh Patrick. Tradition has preserved the record thus:. He remained here for some days he thought, and, on his return, was greatly surprised to find no vestige of his house or of his acquaintance.
In vain did he seek after his father Fion, and his Fonne Eirion; in vain sounds the buabhal, or well-known military clarion, to collect those intrepid warriors. Long since had these heroes been cut off in battle; long had his father ceased to live! Instead of a gallant race of mortals which he had left behind, he found a puny and degenerate people, scarce speaking the same language.
In a word, it appeared that, instead of two days, he had remained near two centuries in this mansion of the blessed. Sleivemore has a height of 2, feet and Croghan 2, Both rise abruptly from the sea, after the manner of the castellated peaks in the fairy books, which, with their component castles, mostly do not exist out of books.
Its square keep still stands. The arm of the sea on which it was built was so deep that vessels rode at low water under the very walls of the castle. One night, however,—so the legend goes,—the bones of the famous sea-queen were stolen from their resting-place, and conveyed, with those of thousands of her descendants, into Scotland, to be ground into fertilizer.
The theft was of course perpetrated in secret, and in the night-time. If the crew had been seized by the peasantry, with their singular cargo, not a man of them would have lived to tell the tale, for the Irish regard with peculiar horror any desecration of the graveyard. According to a recent census, the population of Achill and Achill-beg, the baby islet off the southern limb of its parent, has decreased nearly ten per cent.
The two villages of the larger island, Keel and Dooagh, seem populous enough, as is also the Protestant community of Dugort. The island, in general, is exceedingly unproductive, though the sea yields a wonderful harvest to the fisher folk. There is but a narrow margin between the well-being and distress of the inhabitants, but signs are not wanting that whatever, in exceptional periods, may have been their condition, at present they are relatively better off than many of their compatriots in the west of Ireland.
Off the western Irish coast, from Connemara and Mayo, there are yet to be found remote islands with an exceedingly primitive civilization. Achill owes much of its interest to the fact that it exhibits a similar state of things, in many points little altered by contact with the mainland.
The people, the cabins they inhabit, and their manner of life show very little change, in spite of the introduction of a good many articles of manufacture which a generation or two ago were quite unheard of. He says:. There are fine yellow sands, where children may make dykes, fortresses, and mountains of moderate height There is fishing, either in smooth or rolling water, for those who love the indolent rocking or the rough rise and fall of the sea; precipitous and fretted cliffs, carved with the likeness of some time-eaten Gothic fane by the architectonic ocean; rides, drives, and walks amid the finest scenery of the kingdom.
But if nature, now majestically serene, now fierce and passionate, be more to you than bicyclettes and German bands, you can nowhere be better than at Achill. The Settlement, or modern Dugort, is a group of cabins above the shore, which owed its creation to the Rev. Edward Nangle, a clergyman of the Established Church.
Some seventy acres of land having been bought, two or three cottages were erected in , and in the following year Mr. Nangle settled at what is now the bright little village of modern Dugort. Whatever opinion may be held as to the value or wisdom of his undertaking, Catholic and Protestant alike, now that the dust of the battle has settled, will agree that Mr.
Nangle had in him the stuff that heroes are made of. His immediate oversight was withdrawn about , though for the rest of his life he took an active share in promoting the continuance of his work. Just south of Achill, in Clew Bay, is Clare Island, which has been likened to the pirate islands of the transformation scenes of the theatre. Certainly the description is a good one, as it is a spot typically suitable in shape and outline for hidden treasures, shipwrecks, and blood-letting galore.
Here she actually did live, hoarded her arms and munitions, concealed her treasures, and imprisoned her captives, hence it is with reason that the description lives to-day. Next to the headlands of Kerry, Connemara is the westernmost part of Ireland. To feel sure of the former, however, it will be necessary for him to bespeak it in advance if he travels here in the season.
In fact, there is a scarcity of both, and one has to take his fill of the wild, natural beauties of the rock-bound coast scenery, the bracing atmosphere, and the wholly unspoiled charm of the place, which, in spite of the advent of the great hotels before mentioned, has not yet become travel-worn. The scenery of lake and sea, of bracken-clad hills and plains, and of great sombre, gloomy mountains makes up an ensemble of surpassing beauty.
The centres of population are few, far between, and of minute dimensions. The railway line from Galway ends at Clifden, a town so unimportant and quiet that, in itself, it does not warrant remark. It was founded in the reign of George IV. Of all the landlocked bays of this region, none equals Killary Harbour, which is simply the elongated estuary of the tiny river Eriff. The hamlet of Leenane is the metropolis of these parts, and is so very small and unimportant that it would hardly be remarked, except for the fact that no other of even the same rank lies within a radius of twenty miles.
The situation of Leenane is charming, at the head of Great Killary. Between Galway and Clifden is Recess, a point of vantage from which to visit much that is characteristic of the scenery of Connemara. For this reason, it is manifestly presumptuous to attempt to give its proper rank to its great wealth of natural attractions among the various collections which Ireland possesses.
The scenery about Recess is a picturesque combination of lake and river and mountain; but, to the southward, there are wild and rugged bits of coast and red bracken-covered hills, which look to-day exactly as they did in times primeval. Lough Glendalough, which lies immediately before Recess, is but the foreground of a lovely picture which it will take many days to dissect and fully appreciate. It certainly matters little, since they are a wonderfully impressive background viewed from either point.
It must be a well-booted and strong-limbed pedestrian who will essay the task of ascending these famous mountains. Benbaun is the monarch of the Bens, and is 2, feet in height. There are no great centres of population here in the bleak northwest of County Mayo, and there are no architectural remains of note; but there is local colour, and much of it, for one who would study the poor Irish peasant on his native heath.
Killala Bay is flanked on the west by Downpatrick Head, which rises two thousand feet sheer above the sea-level. The holy man himself—. The present cathedral was entirely rebuilt in the seventeenth century, and has no architectural importance. Close by, on a knoll, about which the village is built, is a round tower, eighty-four feet high and fifty-one feet in circumference.
It is pleasant and delightful in all of its aspects, and in its neighbourhood are some very interesting architectural remains. There are, as is often the case, a Roman Catholic and a Protestant cathedral in the town, and an Augustinian monastery, a ruin of a fifteenth-century structure, also many attractive vistas and spots most worthy of the brush and pencil of the artist. These attractions pall in the mind of the local spreader of publicity, who extols only the size and varieties of fish which may be taken in the river Moy and other near-by waters.
This shows, at least, that tradition and legend alike die hard in the minds of the people, and when Mr. Yeats tells us that men have told him that they have seen the girths instantaneously rot and fall from horses; and that few, if any, who enter the Black Valley ever come out alive, we realize fully how close we are, even in these times, to the age of superstition in Ireland.
Sligo itself, with its ten thousand souls and its important and matter-of-fact seafaring trades, is a centre for journeying afoot or awheel amid many charming scenes of lough and lake and sea and shore. Enniskillen is the metropolis of Lough Erne. Locally it is known as the Island City by reason of its being apparently surrounded by the all-enfolding waters of the upper and lower lakes.
The colours borne by the two Enniskillen regiments at Waterloo are still preserved in the parish church. Until the days of James I. Of the old castle, which has braved so many fights, only a small portion remains, and is incorporated in the modern military barracks, which, in one way, indicate the importance of Enniskillen.
But a short three miles from Ballyshannon is Belleek, with its famous china factories which produce a peculiarly lustrous egg-shell ware much admired for its simplicity and crudeness of form, but very transparent and light. Here, too, are another series of rapids,. A Detail of Sligo Abbey. They are marvellously effective, however, for the river falls nearly feet in three miles or less.
Sligo itself, in spite of its commercial importance, is not greatly appealing in its interest, if one excepts its old abbey, now a ruin, but once an exceedingly ambitious Dominican establishment. Founded in , it was destroyed by a fire in , though immediately rebuilt. Its Gothic is of that superlative quality known best in the superb monkish erections of the Continent of Europe.
There are various monuments yet to be seen therein of local and historical interest, but the chief attraction is what remains of the beautiful cloister, fairly perfect as to preservation, and surrounding three sides of a rectangle. There are forty-six arches, each about four feet and a half in height, all elaborately carved, and quite different one from another. By an ancient and inalienable right, the abbey grounds are still used as a Roman Catholic burial-place.
T HE Bay of Donegal, and indeed the whole Donegal district, is mellowed and tempered by the everflowing Gulf Stream, which, so the scientists say, were it diverted by any terrestrial disturbance, would give to the entire British Isles the temperature and climate of Labrador. As this event is hardly likely to take place, and certainly cannot be foretold, the interest in the subject must rank with that which one takes in the announcement of the statisticians, for instance, that an express-train travelling at sixty miles an hour would take millions of years to reach Saturn, were it once headed in that direction and had the elevating and sustaining qualities of an air-ship.
The cliffs of Slieve League, which form a jagged, many-coloured precipice, rise at a sharp angle from the northern shore of Donegal Bay to the summit of the storm and wave-riven mountain, a rock wall 1, feet high. It is a grand and noble headland, as a glance at the map will show, and is one of the most lofty elevations seen from Bundoran and the southern shores of the bay; moreover it is accounted unique in all the world, by reason of its marvellous colouring.
Bundoran is a bustling, thriving place, but of the tourist order pur sang , with golf-links, electric lights, and up-to-date hotels, and, for that reason, if for no other, is a place for the genuine lover of the road to avoid. Donegal itself is an improvement.
It is a small but attractively placed town at the head of its own bay, and, in spite of its being a coast town, it is more allied with agricultural interests than with trade by sea. The guide-books tell one little of Donegal, and so much the better. Donegal has the usual accompaniment of a castle, but, in this case, it is a sixteenth-century descendant of a former stronghold. Killybegs, between Donegal and Slieve League, on the north shore of the bay, is one of those picturesque coast villages on a landlocked tiny bay, of which so many examples exist in the British Islands.
To the southward are the heights of Slieve League, Malin Beg and Teelin Head, and, if one will brave the waves to the extent of rounding these headlands by boat, he will then experience something of the feeling which inspired the following lines, which, if rather pretentious, are in no way fulsome:. Some one has compared these variegated cliffs to the effects to be seen, elsewhere, only in the Yellowstone Park and the canyons of Arizona or Colorado. The festival of St.
Adamnan, eighth in descent from the great King Nial and from Conal, the ancestor of St. Columbkille, is kept with great solemnity in many churches in Ireland, of which he is titular patron, and in the whole diocese of Raphoe, in the county of Donegal, of which he was a native.
The abbatial church of Raphoe was changed into a cathedral soon after, when St. Eunan was consecrated the first bishop. Columba, and became its fifth abbot. In he was appointed ambassador to King Alfred of the Northern Saxons, to demand reparation for the injuries committed upon Irish subjects in Neath. It was St. Adamnan who first prevailed upon the Church authorities in Ireland to celebrate Easter at the true and appointed time. When he died, he left among his effects a treatise on the right time of keeping Easter, which disposed his people sometime after to forsake their erroneous computation.
He wrote, too, the life of St. Columbkille, and also certain canons, and a curious description of the Holy Land as that country stood in his time. This book furnished the Venerable Bede with his principal memorials. In this work on the Holy Land, St. Adamnan mentions the tombs of St.
Simeon and of St. Joseph at Jerusalem, and many relics of the passion of Christ, as well as the impression of the feet of the Saviour on Mount Olivet, covered with a church of a round figure, with a hole open on the top, over the impression of the footsteps. The guide-books tell but little concerning this wild land of promontory and cliff, and with some reason, too, for there is little or no population there, except the fisherfolk and a rather primitive race of agriculturists.
Donegal is assuredly a land of intermittent beauty, and the hill-encircled loughs and the verdant glens of Donegal Bay give way here to a stern, relentless gray stone formation, with here and there patches of green and purple which indicate nothing so much as the lonesomeness which is inevitable under such conditions. It is doubtful if Tory Island—which is but a mere name, even to the few who know it at all—will ever be inundated by any large flow of travel.
If it was, there would doubtless be little accommodation provided for them, for the simple reason that it does not exist, though the island is possessed of a population of some hundreds of men and women and children, with schools and a church—in fact two, which are ever a point of contention and argument among their respective constituencies.
This is not a particularly vivid statement, to be sure, but it is true and temperate, and far more likely to fit in with the views of the casual observer than the rather florid word-paintings of other parts of Ireland which have been offered by rhapsodists of all shades of opinion. Columbkille in The Cathedral of Derry is a plain Gothic structure far inferior in rank and splendour to those of its class in other lands, and dates only from the early seventeenth century.
The episcopal palace occupies the site of St. The information reached Derry too late to secure the safety of the city. I happened to make the mistake of reading reviews before picking up this book, and my advice to anyone reading this review would be to pay immense amount of attention to approach and circumstance. Do not look at it as a bible for management , but to view management decisions that Alex Fergusson took based on situation.
I definitely picked up a thing or two. The mantle the manager of a football team carries is very akin to the decision of a business owner. Ferguson is a proven entity in leadership. Possessing an ability to see what others often overlook. Ferguson consistently demonstrates the importance of harnessing this skill achieving that which few dare to dream. Read every book by one of life's great thinkers and even greater listeners. Sep 30, Leif Halverson rated it did not like it.
Been absolutely bored out of my nut reading this one. One incredibly bland book. Feb 01, Zablon rated it really liked it. Excellent insight into the history of the best football club and wonderful principles about life. Jun 17, Nripesh Pradhan rated it really liked it. It's nigh impossible to have a managerial reign like that of SAF in this modern era of the premier league that is all about short term success and quick results.
But the interesting question isn't just how could SAF could win so many trophies as he did, it isn't just how he could conjure winning teams one after the other. The most difficult task Ferguson had was to eliminate any signs of complacency, which so frequently accompanies success. This book gives a glimpse of the discipline that served It's nigh impossible to have a managerial reign like that of SAF in this modern era of the premier league that is all about short term success and quick results.
This book gives a glimpse of the discipline that served as the foundation of the glory the fans were accustomed to. It's the inner fortitude to relentlessly follow routine, the mental clarity to be unperturbed by the media and the glamour and the unshakable confidence to believe in one's own philosophy, especially in the hard times, that made SAF's reign legendary.
This book is a great lesson in the all conquering power of focus and discipline, the need to be ruthless with oneself to conquer the weakness that tempts us to take the easy way route. It's not hard, you just have to do it everyday. Apr 14, Jeff Kim rated it it was amazing Shelves: all-time-favourites , biography-memoirs , influential. I was skeptical about reading this book Afraid I'll find an egocentric man perhaps? Boy was I wrong.
This was an influential read. You don't have to be a football fan. Or a Manchester United fan for that matter to enjoy the book. Any person in a position of leadership Or aspiring to be one will find the book worthwhile. This book is an effort by Sir Alex Ferguson to crystallize and articulate his management philosophy, drawn on lessons from his time at the helm of Manchester united And Aberde I was skeptical about reading this book Afraid I'll find an egocentric man perhaps?
This book is an effort by Sir Alex Ferguson to crystallize and articulate his management philosophy, drawn on lessons from his time at the helm of Manchester united And Aberdeen at before that Nothing revolutionary here. And discipline. And great attitude. And professionalism It is a timely reminder of going back to the basics. I enjoyed the book. I think it is more about his work ethic and how he worked with people to rebuild the clubs he managed. Having a longer term sustainable plan and getting others to follow you there.
He gives you practical advice by example, not theory from management books. Having followed his career from the time he joined Manchester United in , it is interesting to see how he approached the rebuilding of the club. A wealth of information for anyone who works or wants to work with people. We I enjoyed the book. We are all at some point in our lives in a leadership position of some sort, whether it is at work or our kids etc. I've gained a lot from the book and can highly recommend it.
He was definitely one of the best in his job, but too conservative a person for my liking. Both are 2 sides of the same coin. I found the beginning of the book more interesting, but other parts were more boring and took me more time to read. Jul 30, Happy Msale rated it really liked it. A wonderful book on leadership. Nov 02, Alex Smith rated it it was amazing. This was a very engaging read. Being a life long Manchester United fan, it was an amazing insight into the mind of the man who was at the helm during the most successful period of this great club.
Jan 15, Ye Lin Aung rated it really liked it Shelves: read If you love football and Man Utd, this is such an invaluable book. Besides all the great leadership tips written in candid style, based on his immensely successful career as a player and a coach, Sir Alex also shed some of thoughts purely for football. It also makes me think so much more about how hard it is to run, manage a club, to prepare, play If you love football and Man Utd, this is such an invaluable book.
It also makes me think so much more about how hard it is to run, manage a club, to prepare, play a match. Also the epilog by Michael Moritz is fantastic. Oct 08, Venky rated it it was ok Shelves: management-leadership. If you harbour extraordinary anticipation and are effusively enthusiastic about buying this book, then be forewarned!
This is a dampener. Distilling tried and tested wine, Sir Alex has tried, albeit in utter vain to package it in a new designer bottle. But unlike his pedigree in choosing wines, or for that matter football clubs to manage, this attempt at conveying or trying to convey his experience in the facet of leadership falls flat just as did the move in appointing poor David Moyes as a r If you harbour extraordinary anticipation and are effusively enthusiastic about buying this book, then be forewarned!
But unlike his pedigree in choosing wines, or for that matter football clubs to manage, this attempt at conveying or trying to convey his experience in the facet of leadership falls flat just as did the move in appointing poor David Moyes as a reluctant leader at Old Trafford!
At times the book reads as though it is an undisguised paean to the exploits of Christiano Ronaldo, the second best footballer on the Planet currently although some would argue that he is the numero uno. Whether Sir Alex means it as a subtle overture to his former footballing hero for a homecoming or whether it is a genuine delight at enjoying the dazzling skills of the Portuguese wonder, is anybody's guess.
Consider this startling passage for instance: "That's why Beckham became a master of taking free kicks from between 25 and 30 yards from goal; and Giggs from between 18 and 23 yards As for Ronaldo, he'd be able to score from free kicks if he took them from behind the moon". Orbital and dizzying praise indeed!
But to be fair, the book has got its merits as well, although too few and far between. Insights on listening, experience and management provide a few glints of value and practical markers for any aspiring professional. The book, by the way is co-authored by Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital and he also is responsible for providing its most ingratiating chapter. An extended epilogue which has Sir Alex being viewed from the 'lens' of Moritz is nothing but an unabashed exercise in pandering and pleasing.
Sir Alex is compared to some of the leading icons in Silicon Valley and Manchester United, to the companies led by those stalwarts. By the time one trudges through till the end of the epilogue, the feeling is one of extreme relief! Despite being a die hard fan of the Red Devils and an unashamed admirer of Sir Alex Ferguson, I have to admit that this book is a serious let down.
There is a marked absence of sequence, flow and connect. It is more a collection of random interviews sans the inverted commas than a concerted and dedicated effort to disseminate some useful facets of leadership and management. Jan 02, Anoochan added it. This book is such a pleasant surprise!
What it's not - Another glorified account of Manchester United, an insight into the scandals from Sir Alex's time, a pure football book It is an honest insight into the mind and manners of a football genius and a leader. With some simple and hard hitting lines, Sir Alex explains his philosophy of communication, motivation and leadership.
He reflects repeatedly on the virtues of a difficult upbringing and how the ethos of hard work and dedication helped hi This book is such a pleasant surprise! He reflects repeatedly on the virtues of a difficult upbringing and how the ethos of hard work and dedication helped him through out his life. The book is rich with anecdotes and Sir Alex is candid in his opinion about people, both successful and not so successful. For anyone who wants to understand the recipe for becoming successful and the efforts needed to keep yourself invigorated to stay on top for long; must read this book.
Aug 04, Harry Lee rated it really liked it. There were times when SAF was the manager that I wished we had another manager, especially when MU went through a poor period. It is clear that I am an idiot. They have spent millions but yet have not been able to get back to the same level. Some things money can't buy. So in his second book, we get his story but this time with a focus on how he led, how he thought through. Success and longevity.
Despite my allegiance to Chelsea FC, this book is not only a fascinating look at Sir Alex' reign of dominance at Man U, but a prime example of the many virtues of leadership, and I much relate to the pragmatic fabric of his Glasgow-born soul. Clever anecdotes included, this book is more an exhortation of determination and an exposition of accumulated wisdom than a tome of footballing triumph.
Jan 09, Charlie Serocold rated it liked it. A fairly quick read. Enjoyable - although primarily because it contained some interesting insights into the personalities of some of the players, the managers and the owners. There are some good examples of how to get the best out of players and how to handle difficult personalities and, ultimately, there's no doubt that Sir AF's winning record is simply outstanding.
A little rambling. Pretty straight-forward stuff as far as the "learn to be a good leader by doing what I did" theme. Work hard. Have an attention for detail. Genuinely care about your people. Listen and observe. Nice to read some of the behind the scenes details but just okay as a book.
Oct 01, Simon Fisher rated it it was amazing. This book is a must read for anyone in leadership or management. Ferguson's success speaks for itself and the book captures a lot of how he achieved that success through building and rebuilding successful teams and offers tips that can be applied to any field.
Dec 03, Anil Prabhu rated it liked it. Was expecting more out of this book but it turned out to be his autobiography part 2. Feb 29, Mika rated it it was amazing. Sir Alex Ferguson was, is and will always be one of my heroes. By reading this book I have learned a lot, not just about his life and thoughts but also about football and managing and leading.
Jul 25, Mike Futcher rated it liked it. An interesting read, though more for Manchester United fans than for those looking to study principles of leadership. As a Salford lad who was fortunate with regards to football, at least to come of age during the time Sir Alex Ferguson was winning everything with the club, it was good to take a trip down memory lane and to be reminded of players and matches I had not thought about in a long time. Ferguson's book is not an entirely candid, let alone forensic, accounting of his tenure at United, An interesting read, though more for Manchester United fans than for those looking to study principles of leadership.
Ferguson's book is not an entirely candid, let alone forensic, accounting of his tenure at United, and it limits the lessons of the book when the writer plays some cards very close to his chest. If you weren't a fan of the club, you would never know, from reading Leading , that Fergie and Roy Keane had such a bitter end to their relationship. Furthermore, the sensitive matter of the Rock of Gibraltar racehorse would have been discussed in a more courageous book, as a worrisome example of the divides that can be caused between managers and owners when side-business interests are allowed to fester, but here there is not a single mention.
Ferguson, commendably, does not throw players under the bus after the fact regarding the two Champions League final losses to Barcelona in and , he says that "two or three players ignored our plans and played their own game" but does not specify who pg. He is reluctant to criticise the Moyes transition though some of the more abstract statements about new leaders "eager to stamp their imprint on everything" pg.
Of the Jaap Stam sale, he has the following equivocating summary: "It was the right decision for United, even though Jaap continued to play well for several years after he left Old Trafford and, in retrospect, his sale was premature" pg.
In general, though, Ferguson gets the balance right in this retrospective of his career. Certainly he had more successes than failures and it's natural that Leading would focus on them, and be reluctant to dissect the more painful of the failures. Ferguson was at the top of the tree for more than two decades in one of the most competitive, high-stakes sports in the world, and there's value in listening to his impressions of that time.
He cuts loose on owners and agents and, on a happier note, he was right, eventually, that Ole Solskjaer's managerial talent was "bound to be recognised by a more appreciative owner" pg. For the United fan, then, the book is worthwhile, but for principles of leadership it is harder to say.
Ferguson's co-writer, Michael Moritz, writes in the over-long epilogue that it is "easy to make too many trite analogies" pg. There's certainly none of the grift or hustle that usually accompanies books about how to lead or inspire or suchlike. Ferguson writes that he doesn't "pretend for a moment" that the lessons he learned in his career "can be easily transplanted elsewhere, but I hope that readers will find some ideas or suggestions that can be emulated or modified for their own use" pg.
It's always good to think critically about one's own approach and level of professionalism, whatever your role or circumstances, and Leading can induce that. Much of the advice might seem obvious — and much of the anecdotal colour only of interest to a United fan — but there is a lesson to be learned from the fact that such a successful man can be driven by such simple and uncompromising principles. Feb 11, Ayush Saran rated it it was amazing. I was first introduced to the sport of football early on in my childhood at the tender age of just 6 and although I don't exactly recall my very first United game seen live, I do recall instantly falling in love with football and Manchester United, and much of that love had to do with the team assembled in the 00's and Sir Alex Ferguson, a true revolutionary of his time.
Not many coaches can boast of a long managerial career and achieving top status in all formats of the game over more than a 3 I was first introduced to the sport of football early on in my childhood at the tender age of just 6 and although I don't exactly recall my very first United game seen live, I do recall instantly falling in love with football and Manchester United, and much of that love had to do with the team assembled in the 00's and Sir Alex Ferguson, a true revolutionary of his time.
Not many coaches can boast of a long managerial career and achieving top status in all formats of the game over more than a 3 year span. Sir Alex has precisely done that in his spell at Manchester United, bringing the city from North-West London ultimate glory in the sport. An illustrious career spanning 26 whole years Around 5 times the average span of a manager in today's time , winning all domestic and European cups on the table, Sir Alex Ferguson's clinical footballing mind and tactics were only part of the reason for him to enjoy this level of success.
It goes without saying that Sir Alex's knack for being a natural leader and understanding of the organization he's been appointed to lead had much to do with this unprecedented magnitude of success. This book, written by him, is a wholly management based book, with a splash of football. Unlike a traditional sport book, this book focuses on the fundamentals of management in general which govern a strong organization.
SAF takes anecdotes and experiences from his own personal life to elucidate important subjects. Regarded highly for his man management, the reader gets a first hand understanding of the relationship between player and manager and how to work together to get the best results for the club. The story behind Cantona's recruitment, Beckham's worldie against Wimbeldon form half-line, unleashing the would-be best player Cristiano Ronaldo to his fullest and seeing through player transfers are just some of my personal favourites.
It really gets you thinking, because the way the situations are described in the book, you often find yourselves in similar positions, not necessarily in just football. A simple glance at the contents would make anyone think that this book had nothing to do with football. As a football fan, the best part of the book is the various references from the past which he uses to solidify his point, often referring to historic moments and matches that we've all witnessed and the entire reading experience comes full circle.
Some really fundamental lifestyle choices such as discipline, hardwork and conviction, portrayed through examples of Ronaldo mastering the freekick, or Beckham putting an extra 1 hour of practice to perfect his art, or Evra understanding his importance as the gel that holds the dressing room together, or even cultivating new talent, in the guise of the class of '92 and how that became a secret recipe for success, which many tried to remake, but failed to do so.
This book is the perfect pick for anyone interested in management and football, although even anyone not familiar with football will find it interesting. To quote one of my friends, "I knew it's going to be a good book, when the first chapter is all about "Listening" ". There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one ».
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|Appreciative leadership ebook torrent||The scenery around about Muckross is very beautiful, but its ruined abbey is the great architectural relic of all Ireland. Christopher Kayes. Many of the inhabitants, who number above a thousand, speak only the ancient Irish language. The building may with confidence be assigned to the sixth century. On time, as advertised! Against this backdrop real life examples are woven, with suggestions to improve brain power. After briefly managing Scotland following the death a former Scottish football manager and player who managed Manchester United from to|
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