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Wolves in Ireland: A Natural and Cultural History

By: Kieran Hickey (Author)

163 pages, 8 plates with 13 colour photos and colour illustrations; b/w photos, b/w illustrations, tables

Four Courts Press

Paperback | May 2013 | #209328 | ISBN-13: 9781846824234
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £13.95 $17/€16 approx
Hardback | May 2011 | #196446 | ISBN-13: 9781846823060
Out of Print Details

About this book

From prehistory to the present day, the wolf has always loomed large in the human imagination. An iconic symbol of the untamed and the wild, the wolf, as Ireland's last great predator, has always provoked fear, excitement, and wonder. Wolves in Ireland examines a vast array of sources relating to wolves in Ireland. Wolves in Ireland considers archaeological remains, name evidence (place and person, both in Irish and in English), and folklore. It also looks at the historical records of wolves in Ireland, including wolf attacks on livestock (and more rarely people) and describes how the extermination of wolves took place, with the last wolf being killed, most likely, in 1786. The causes of extermination are discussed in detail, including legislation, the role of bounties and professional wolf hunters, and deforestation. Wolves in Ireland closes by assessing whether the Irish wolf could have been a unique sub-species and considers the controversial possibility of re-introduction.

"[...] a fascinating book [...] which traces the history and lore of the species from ancient times into the modern era and the death of the last known survivor."
- Frank McNally, 'An Irishman's Diary', Irish Times

"Hickey has written a history with abundant material on the zoology, folklore, history and cultural legacy of the wolf in Ireland [...] the natural historical detective work is impressive."
- Séamus Sweeney, TLS

"Wolves live on in our language, place-names and folklore. now, a definitive account of this lost animal has appeared; Wolves in Ireland is the fruit of two decades of meticulous research [...] This work of scholarship, despite its wealth of detail, is entertaining and readable. With Gary Wilson's photographs of Dublin Zoo's wolf pack, the book will appeal to naturalists, hunters and local historians."
- Richard Collins, Irish Examiner

"Hickey is clearly well-versed in the natural history and cultural importance of the wolf [...] [this book] is no doubt an invaluable resource for anyone researching native irish species or fans of these maligned predators."
- Susan Morrell, Sunday Business Post

"A fascinating overview of the wolf in Ireland through the ages. Hickey redresses the demonization of this iconic animal."
- Ciaran Mc Mahon, Team leader, Dublin zoo

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Kieran Hickey is a lecturer in the Department of Geography, NUIG. He is the author of Deluge: Ireland’s weather disasters, 2009–2010 (Open Air, 2010).

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