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and England. But it is hoped that it may be found not only more accurate but also more appropriate and helpful with regard to many important phases of the national history.

The earliest legends and traditions are treated with caution. Some of the most improbable are rejected, and some are given a place in the literature of the country rather than in its history. Certain modern theories and speculations regarding them are stated without comment. In general, apart from the development of the permanent political forces just alluded to, the reliability of early tradition is left open for future discoveries by workers in that field.

In the spelling of proper names the practical difficulties that have confronted every writer in English or Irish history or literature have induced the adoption of a plan which is neither scientific nor consistent. Wherever an Irish proper name is now accurately represented by a conventional spelling in English, that spelling has been adopted (e.g.“ O'Connor," “ O'Brien," &c.). But in cases where there is no such accurate synonym, as for the older septs before the introduction of surnames (e.g.“ Dal g-Cais,"

Cineal Eoghain,” &c.), and for certain territories which it would be misleading to name by so-called “translations " in English (e.g. “Laighean” and “Leinster," “ Ulaidh” and “ Ulster," &c.), the Irish form is used. In some cases in which there is no English equivalent a modified phonetic spelling is employed (e.g. “Muirkertach," “ O'Maolachlan," &c.).

The authors desire to express their appreciation of the interest shown in the work by Mr. P. O'Daly of the Talbot Press and of his assistance in preparing it for publication.

The responsibility for the work is shared by the joint writers as follows : for the first two books and for the literary sections of the entire work by the writer whose name appears second below; for the rest of the work by the writer whose name is placed first.

Máire Ni dodáin: MARY HAYDEN. Seoirse o Muanáin: Geo. A. MOONAN.


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