Review – Irish Houses and Castles, 1400-1740

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Rolf Loeber
Four Courts Press, €55
ISBN 978-1846828201
Review Tadhg O’Keeffe

Rolf Loeber was a scholar of rare distinction. A distinguished psychologist and criminologist, he also had an active research interest in medieval and early modern cultural history, architecture, and literature. His death in 2017 deprived Irish scholarship of one its greatest stars. This attractive volume is a compilation of previously published work, most of it either out of print or difficult to locate today. It has four of his most significant papers on the history of elite domestic architecture in Ireland from the later Middle Ages to the middle of the Georgian period, and one long study on English colonisation in Ireland, 1534-1609, which was originally published as a small monograph.

Loeber was rigorous in his analysis of documentary sources, had a keen eye for detail ‘in the field’, and wrote with the precision one would expect of someone with his training. No student of Irish cultural history can afford to bypass his contribution to scholarship. Students of European architectural history will find much of value in his work. Four Courts Press have done his memory proud with this very fine volume.

This review appeared in CA 360. To find out more about subscribing to the magazine, click here.

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