The Aran Islands

The Aran Islands

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The Aran Islands by J. M. Synge

Published:

1911

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The Aran Islands

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This book records the experience of several lengthy visits paid by the author to Inishmaan and Aranmor, the chief islands of the Aran group. He gives an intimate account of the general manner of life on these islands, so isolated from civilisation, where the life is in some ways the most primitive that is left in Western Europe

Book Excerpt

but the mist curling in the rigging, and a small circle of foam.

There were few passengers; a couple of men going out with young pigs tied loosely in sacking, three or four young girls who sat in the cabin with their heads completely twisted in their shawls, and a builder, on his way to repair the pier at Kilronan, who walked up and down and talked with me.

In about three hours Aran came in sight. A dreary rock appeared at first sloping up from the sea into the fog; then, as we drew nearer, a coast-guard station and the village.

A little later I was wandering out along the one good roadway of the island, looking over low walls on either side into small flat fields of naked rock. I have seen nothing so desolate. Grey floods of water were sweeping everywhere upon the limestone, making at limes a wild torrent of the road, which twined continually over low hills and cavities in the rock or passed between a few small fields of potatoes or grass hidden away in corners that had shelter. Whenever the cloud

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