Ireland was born in a fusion of two tectonic plates 440 million years ago. The northern half, and what would become Connemara, lay on the edge of a continent called Laurentia, which is now in North America and Greenland; the rest of Ireland originated in the shores of a continental fragment called Avalonia, which is now part of Baltic Scandinavia. It is wondrous to look upon the landscape of Ireland and think of it as having such disparate geological roots.
The third volume in Tim Robinson’s trilogy on Connemara is packed full of such extraordinary and engaging information. But the book is almost impossible to categorise: it is geography and geology, history and mythology, biography and sociology. It is agriculture and pisciculture and linguistics and music; it is