This engrossing and charming work by a noted scholar, widely regarded as a classic in its field, explores the vital Irish past, noting the diversity of folk customs and traditional activities in rural Ireland, from early Celtic migrations through centuries of English and Scottish influence, up to the sudden appearance of mechanization. Readers will find here a wealth of observations on country ways and the essentials of Irish life, among them how to thatch a roof, churn butter, cultivate and harvest crops, make pots and pans, build furniture and fences, fish and navigate streams, and much more. Also described are a host of customs associated with weddings, wakes, festivals, funerals, and other aspects of Irish country life. Of this book, the Times Literary Supplement of London said, "For all its learning, [the] book is popular in the best way, and admirably illustrated by [the author’s] own drawings as well as by photographs." Over 400 illustrations enhance a text that will not only be of immense value to students of archaeology and folklore but will also appeal to general readers because of its readable style and accessibility.