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Errislannan: Scenes from a Painter's Life

Errislannan: Scenes from a Painter's Life

Alannah Heather

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The voice in Errislannan is immediate, affectionate and unobtruding - the narrative, illuminated by shards of memory, restores a personal and collective past. It is a singular journey of self discovery, and an enduring masterwork, resonant as its subject’s canvases

Errislannan, or Flannan's peninsula, juts out into the North Atlantic on Europe's western extremity south of Clifden, Connemara, Co. Galway. The home of Alannah Heather, it gave shape to her life, and to this book.

The Heathers were minor Protestant gentry and estate-owners who occupied Errislannan Manor for five generations from the 1790's to the 1960's. The author tells their story, using family diaries and letters salvaged from a coach-house loft before the auction, and enlarges upon it in this remarkable self-portrait, articulating a childhood and landscape peopled by cottagers and fisherfolk, islanders and evangelicals, and a richly eccentric body of relatives.

Their history reveals Ireland's in microcosm - touching upon the Great Famine and subsequent diaspora, the 1916 Rising and civil war, the Alcock and Brown landing on Derrygimlagh bog, and the more intimate dramas of unrequited love, bereavement and isolation, in a perpetual cycle of exile and repatriation.

Aslant of an Anglo-Irish upbringing, Alannah Heather's career as an artist took her to the Slade and London in the 1920's, to St Ives on her marriage in the 1940's, and to Sark in the Channel Islands, with painterly excursions to Bruges and Budapest during the 1930's, returning time and again like a salmon to its beloved spawning-ground in Connemara.

Additional Information

Author Alannah Heather
Publisher Lilliput Press
Publication date 1 Jan 1993
Format Paperback
ISBN/EAN 9781843510123

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