Vikings Of Ireland

The traditional view of popular history, that Ireland was repeatedly threatened by Vikings, first Norwegian and then Danish, who were nearly defeated by Brian Boru, masks a much more complex and interesting story. For instance, there were more attacks on Irish monasteries by native Irish, including monks from rival monasteries, than there were ever Viking raids. Fearsome and threatening the Vikings were; but Irish kings, including Brian Boru, were intermarried with leading Norse families, who founded almost all of Ireland's towns, and often acted with them. This complex and fascinating tale is told in the 'Vikings' and 'Brian Boru' chapters of Rutherfurd's first Irish book.




 

 

 

Did You Know?
Potatoes were made illegal in France for 24 years ! The French became convinced that the South American vegetable could cause a whole host of diseases, including leprosy, so in 1748, the cultivation and consumption of potatoes was strictly outlawed. It wasn’t until an imprisoned medical army officer named Antoine Auguste Parmentier survived in his prison cell subsisting solely on a diet of potatoes that acceptance of the food began to shift. After being released from prison, Parmentier went on to write a thesis about its health benefits, helping to overturn the law and re-introduce the potato to the French public in 1772. Within 20 years, potatoes became one of the most popular, and indeed, important foods in France. Even the ornamental royal gardens in Tuileres Palace in Paris - originally filled with flowers and exotic plants - were converted into potato fields.




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