This page contains some examples of our work for Four Courts Press.

One of Ireland's leading academic book publishers, Four Courts Press was founded in 1970 by Michael Adams as a small press.  From 1992, Four Courts Press expanded rapidly from its theology base, first into Celtic and Medieval Studies and Ecclesiastical History, and then into Modern History, Art, Literature and Law. 
Four Courts Press publishes some 60 titles a year and all its books are peer reviewed. Their website can be found here.

To download a PDF sample of a book please click on the book title or on its cover image, or contact Carrigboy directly here.



The Viking Age
John Sheehan & Donnchadh Ó Corráin, editors
ISBN: 978-1-84682-101-1
600pp
Four Courts Press
Hardback

The relationship of Ireland with the Viking World is one of the enduring themes of the study of the Viking Age. The Fifteenth Viking Congress addressed key issues in the debate, including viking-age Ireland, the colonization of the North Atlantic, weapons and warfare, and the development of urbanism. This book, comprising papers by more than fifty of the world's leading Viking specialists, presents a broad range of ideas and approaches to these studies, supported by archaeological, historical, literary and linguistic evidence.




Art and Devotion in Late Medieval Ireland
Rachel Moss, Colmán Ó Clabaigh OSB & Salvador Ryan, editors
ISBN: 1-85182-987-3
264pp
Four Courts Press
Hardback

The religious art of early Christian Ireland has attracted much scholarly and popular attention. In contrast the devotional world of later medieval Ireland has, until recently, been relatively neglected. This multi-disclipinary volume redresses this by examining the material culture of late medieval Irish devotion against its artistic, historical, theological and liturgical background. The contributors draw on recent advances in international scholarship to provide a broader context for the Irish material.




Studies on the Book of Deer
Katherine Forsyth, editor
ISBN: 978-1-85182-569-1
536pp
Four Courts Press
Hardback

The tenth-century illuminated gospel-book known as the ‘Book of Deer’ has been justly described as ‘one of the principal antiquities of Celtic Scotland’. Of great historical significance in its own right, the gospel-book was used in the early twelfth century to record grants to the monastery of Deer in Aberdeenshire. These property records are the oldest surviving examples of Scottish Gaelic prose and are of unique historical and linguistic importance.  In this collection of specially-commissioned essays, leading scholars from a range of disciplines, including linguistics, history, archaeology, art history, and placename studies, examine the Book of Deer, its Gaelic notes, and their wider historical and cultural context. Together they throw new light on landscape and society in Gaelic Buchan and on the Church in the North-East from Pictish times to the Reformation.




Cambro-Latin Compositions: Their competence and craftmanship
David Howlett
ISBN: 1-85182-397-2
180pp
Four Courts Press
Hardback

Howlett charts a tradition of thought and composition from the fifth century to the thirteenth, from the Romano-British writers Pelagius, St Patrick, and Faustus of Riez through a series of prose and verse inscriptions on stone to Gildas, Moucan, the author of the 'Historia Brittonum', the source of the Arthurian legend, Asser, the teacher and biographer of Alfred the Great, the hagiographers Rhygyfarch ap Sulien of Llanba-darn Fawr, Lifris and Caradog of Llancarfan, and finally to Geoffrey of Monmouth and Gerald of Wales, who presented Welsh traditions of Patrick, David, Arthur, and Merlin, of storytelling and music, to a wider European audience. The sophistication of this literature proves that the Welsh never endured a 'Dark Age', maintaining Latin culture throughout the period in which it was lost elsewhere. The encoded signatures, infixed dates, invective, wit, word play, and architectonic brilliance reveal the Welsh in two aspects, as unique transmitters of a tradition of Latin unbroken from Roman times to the present, and as tutors who laid foundations for the most spectacular literary achievements of their neighbours in Irish, English, and French.



Edith Somerville
Gifford Lewis
ISBN: 1-85182-863-X
544pp
Four Courts Press
Hardback

Edith Somerville, 1858-1949, was one half of the writing duo Somerville and Ross, best known for The Real Charlotte (1894) and Some experiences of an Irish R.M. (1899). This biography draws on newly available material to illuminate the woman, her work and her world, painting a vivid portrait of the vanished era of the 'big house'.



The Songs of Elizabeth Cronin
Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, editor
ISBN: 1-85182-259-3
326pp
Four Courts Press
Paperback with 2 cds

Elizabeth (Bess) Cronin, 'The Queen of Irish Song', as Séamus Ennis called her, is probably the best-known Irish female traditional singer of our time.  Seamus Ennis collected her songs for the Irish Folklore Commission in the mid-1940s, and again, with Brian George, for the BBC in the early 1950s and Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress, in 1951, Over eighty of her songs are captured on tape, but only a few of these have ever been available to the public. Now for the first time, this new publication offers the complete Bess Cronin collection (in Irish and English), with the texts of all the songs, and a biographical essay. Accompanying the book is a complete set of remastered recordings, from public and private collections, illustrating the wide range of her repertoire, which included child ballads, songs in Irish and English, and children's songs.




Joe Holmes - here I am amongst you
Len Graham
ISBN: 978-1-84682-252-0
328pp
Four Courts Press
Paperback

Here I am amongst you is an account of the folklore and repertoire of one of the most influential singers and traditional fiddlers in Ireland – Joe Holmes (1906–78) of County Antrim. It journeys into the heart of a diverse traditional life in Ulster giving a detailed and comprehensive account of the world of a singer musician in the 20th century: one which knew little religious or community boundaries – with house
dances and song sessions, mumming customs at Christmas, shinny playing, haymaking in summer. It publishes some eighty songs of love, politics, early classic ballads, songs of emigration and of local interest, together with transcriptions of over fifty dance tunes ranging from mazurkas, polkas, schottisches, quadrilles, lancers, hornpipes to jigs and reels, reflecting the varied influences and traditions of Ireland and Scotland.




Maps in those days: Cartographic methods before 1850
J.H. Andrews
ISBN: 978-1-84682-188-2
576pp
Four Courts Press
Hardback

For some years the emphasis in map-historical literature has been either on traditional cartobibliography or on various cultural, social and ideological aspects of the mapping process. By contrast, few recent books have described what early cartographers actually did. Maps in those days addresses this question. It deals with non-thematic maps of all kinds and of all parts of the world from earliest times to the mid-19th century, with particular reference to classical antiquity, the Renaissance and the Enlightenment in Europe and in countries of European settlement, especially Britain and Ireland.This book should interest researchers who use early maps as historical sources as well as connoisseurs of cartography for its own sake.




Minor Prophets: Navarre Bible Standard edition
Michael Adams, translator
ISBN: 1-85182-971-7
368pp
Four Courts Press
Hardback

Full biblical text in the Revised Standard Version and the New Vulgate together with extensive commentaries. The main feature of the English edition of this work, The Navarre Bible, is the commentary, that is, the notes and introductions provided by the editors; rarely very technical, these are designed to elucidate the spiritual and theological message of the Bible. Quotations from commentaries by the Fathers, and excerpts from other spiritual writers, not least St Josemaría Escrivá, are provided to show how they read Scripture and made it meaningful in their lives.




Murder Trials in Ireland, 1836-1914
W.E. Vaughan
ISBN: 978-1-84682-158-5
464pp
Four Courts Press
Hardback

The book describes how the courts dealt with murder, beginning with the coroner's inquest and ending with the conviction and hanging of the murderer. An implicit theme of the book is the apparent contradiction between the apparent simplicity of the courts' procedures and the complexity of the rules that determined their operation. The book relies on a range of printed primary sources, such as newspapers, parliamentary papers, law reports, and legal textbooks, and on MS sources in the National Archives such as the Convict Reference Files.




Oliver Sheppard (1865–1941)
John Turpin
ISBN: 1-85182-573-8
256pp
Four Courts Press
Hardback

The period from the 1890s to the 1930s was one of important cultural and political change in Ireland. The sculpture of Oliver Sheppard represented this from the Celtic Revival to the Irish Free State. He made his name in the early 20th century with his celebrated public sculptures of James Clarence Mangan (St Stephen's Green), The Pikeman (Wexford) and The Death of Cuchulainn - the national memorial to the 1916 Rising (General Post Office, Dublin). An active figure in the Irish art world, he was a member and Professor of Sculpture of the Royal Hibernian Academy. This is the first full-scale treatment of his work, based on the sculptor's own archives.



The Life and Work of Harry Jones Thaddeus, 1859-1929
Brendan Rooney
ISBN: 1-85182-692-0
304pp
Four Courts Press
Hardback

Harry Jones Thaddeus received his artistic training in his native Cork, in London and in Paris before embarking on a remarkable career that took him all over the world and introduced him to some of the most prominent figures of the age.His sitters included Franz Liszt, the duke and duchess of Teck, W.E. Gladstone, Michael Davitt, the khedive of Egypt and two popes, Leo XIII and Pius X. He also produced landscapes, literary and religious pictures, and was responsible for arguably the most dramatic image of the Land War in Ireland. This is the first detailed study of Thaddeus, an accomplished and distinguished artist and an extraordinary characte
r.



The Cathedral of Saint Fin Barre at Cork
David Lawrence & Ann Wilson
ISBN: 1-84682-023-5
200pp
Four Courts Press
Hardback

William Burges was one of the most intriguing and eccentric figures in the history of 19th-century architecture and decorative arts. In 1863 he was awarded first prize in the architectural competition to rebuild St Fin Barre's cathedral in Cork, with the stipulation that the cost of the new building not exceed £15,000. By 1881 £100,000 had been spent on a magnificent limestone structure in the architect's favourite style, Early French. A unique archive, of drawings, paintings, plaster models, and of documents of every kind, allows the authors to piece together a detailed account of the erection of this building.



The St Andrews Sarcophagus
Sally M. Foster, editor
ISBN: 1851824154
294pp
Four Courts Press
Paperback

Foster''s work consists of the proceedings of a conference on the topic of the St Andrew''s Sarcophagus, described as one of the most beautiful and fascinating monuments of pre-Romanesque art in Europe. This is the first book devoted to the subject.



The Dublin region in the Middle Ages
Margaret Murphy & Michael Potterton
ISBN: 978-1-84682-266-7
608pp
Four Courts Press
Hardback

This is the first major publication of the Discovery Programme’s Medieval Rural Settlement Project. The book is a study of the medieval region that contained and was defined by the presence of Ireland’s largest nucleated settlement. Combining documentary and archaeological data this volume explores the primary settlement features of the hinterland area. In addition to presenting a timely examination of urban-rural interaction, the volume contributes to wider debates on topics such as settlement landscapes, the role of lordship and the productivity of agriculture



European Influence on Celtic Art
Lloyd Laing
ISBN: 978-1-84682-175-2
248pp
Four Courts Press
Hardback

After decades of speculation and confusion about the nature of Celtic art, current studies reveal hidden meanings, symbols and codes that early medieval artists incorporated into individual artworks such as manuscripts, brooches and intricately carved stone monuments. This book discusses how visual imagery, ornament and techniques of production were drawn from international sources, notably the Classical world, Frankish Gaul, Byzantium, the Eastern Mediterranean and Viking Scandinavia. From the Iron Age to the twelfth century powerful patrons – kings, warriors and church leaders – drove the art forms that deliberately conveyed strong messages about society and beliefs.



Insular Inscriptions
David Howlett
ISBN: 1-85182-567-3
288pp
Four Courts Press
Hardback

The author presents from stones, mosaics, walls, brasses, inscribed artefacts, colophons etc. scores of compositions from twenty centuries, illustrating the thoughts of inhabitants of these islands in Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Irish, Welsh, English, Norse and French The inscriptions are identical in form and structure with compositions both literary and diplomatic analysed by the author.