Viking Age Textbooks
A chronologically arranged overview of texts available in an Irish context.
Coolahan, John, Discover the Past: Vol. 2: Roots of Our Culture, Gill and Macmillan, Dublin, 1972. Exceptionally detailed and wide-ranging handling, though predating many of the recent urban discoveries
Pierce, Tom, Ourselves and Others, Part One, Fallons, Dubin, 1974, rept. 1981. Essentially Irish/Viking relations seen in a Christian Good versus Pagan Bad.
MacGillicuddy, T.N., The Living Past, The Educational Company, Dublin, 1974. Peaceful Christian Celts versus brutal pagan barbarians. Brian Boru extolled at length.
Ó Loingsigh, Colm, Pathways in History 3, The Educational Company, Dublin, 1983. Very strong on the Irish political background to events. Good coverage of Viking towns, heavy emphasis on Clontarf.
Hernon, Liam, Footprints 2: History for Fourth standard, C. J. Fallon, Dublin, 1985. Good detailed study, with sections on towns and coins. Strong emphasis on Brian Boru’s Golden Age and his demise at Clontarf.
Ryan, Michael, Exploring History 4, Gill and Macmillan, Dublin, 1986. Has good basic information, including useful excerpts from Icelandic sagas. Townlife information is based largely on Denmark. Lengthy coverage of Battle of Clontarf.
Campbell, Liam, Working Through History 1, C. J. Fallon, Dublin, 1993. Relatively short description of Viking presence in Ireland with a heavy emphasis on round towers.
Montgomery, Brendan, Past Times: History Workbook Middle Standards Book 2, Folens, Dublin, 1993. Evil Viking raiders who are tamed by Brian Boru.
Day, Roddy, Tommy Maher, Pauric Travers, and Fionnuala Waldron, Time Traveller 3, C. J. Fallon, Dublin, 1996. Detailed discussion which concentrates on life in Viking Dublin with a story of a Norse girl and an Irish boy to carry the information. Highlights the uncomfortable nature of the Viking lifestyle vis a vis today (cold houses, unpleasant food).
Fabian, Charlotte, ed., The March of Time 2, 4th Class History Activity Book, The Educational Company, Dublin, 1996. Viking raids on monasteries and Brian Boru. No discussion of towns.
Hernon, Liam, Ages Ago: Primary History for Third Class, Folens, Dublin, 1996. Story of Viking attack on Round Tower and section on home-life in Scandinavia.
Hernon, Liam, Ages Ago: Primary History for Fourth Class, Folens, Dublin, 1996.
Good background on Vikings in general, but very little about them in Ireland. Long section on Brian Boru and Clontarf.
Ó Loingsigh, Colm, Henry Goff & Helena MacHale, History All Around Me, Edco, Dublin, 2003. Four pages, short but very thorough; Viking origins, raids, Dublin townlife, school activities.
History Quest 3, no author named, C.J. Fallon, Dublin, 2006. Very short, presentation on Viking town-life.
Leavy, Elizabeth It’s About Time: History Activities & Skills: 4th Class, Folens, Dublin, 2010. Interesting collection of excercises and links to the web.
Brassy, Richard, and Stewart Ross, The Story of Ireland, Orion Childrens Books, London, 2001. Two pages. Very simple and effective layout, aimed at very early age level.
Collectafact History, Vikings, Two-Can publishing Com., London, 1997, 2001 ed. Very British approach, but nice explanation of Hnefetafl.
Additional Reading: For children
Corbishly, Mike, An Ancient Land: The Young Oxford History of Britain & Ireland. Prehistory – Vikings, Oxford University Press, 2001. Irish section very brief. Unusually modern perspective.
Llywelyn, Morgan, and Michael Scott, Ireland: A Graphic History, Gill & Macmillan, 1995. Old-fashioned presentation which jumps from Viking attacks to Clontarf. The significance of Brian Boru is given a central role.
MacDonald, Fiona, Viking Settlers, Pan Macmillan Children’s Books, London, 1992. Nice illustrations but no information on Ireland.
MacDonald, Flora, Vikings: Dress, Eat, Write and Play just like the Vikings, QED Publishing, London, 2007. Nothing on Ireland but good hands-on project work. List of Engl words from Old Norse.
O’Brien, Brendan, The Story of Ireland, O’Brien Press, Dublin, 2007. This general history includes a short section on Vikings and life in Dublin.
Pruneti, Luigi, Viking Explorers, transl. Paul Clark, Macdonald Young Books, Hempstead, 1995. No Irish coverage at all. Mostly the Vikings on the continent.
Time-Life Books editors, What Life Was Like Among Druids and High Kings, Celtic
Ireland AD 400-1200, Time-Life Books, Virginia, 1998. Fairly extensive coverage of the Vikings. Reasonably good pictorial reconstructions of town layout of Dublin and house interiors. Lively and imaginative account of Brian Boru.
Usborne Series, The Usborne internet-linked Viking World, Usborne Publishing, London, 1993. Somewhat misleading the extent of Viking territorial conquest. The section on Brian Boru is somewhat old-fashioned.
Williams, Brenda, History of Britain: Life in a Viking Town, Heinemann Children’s Reference, Oxford, 1997. Entirely about York, no Irish material at all.