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This volume provides an accessible history of Ireland from the earliest times. The author, James Lydon recounts the waves of settlers, missionaries and invaders who have come to Ireland since pre-history and offers a long perspective on Irish history right up to the late 20th century. This survey includes discussion of the arrival of St. Patrick in the 5th century and Henry II in the 12th, as well as that of numerous soldiers, traders and craftsmen through the ages. The author explores how these settlers have shaped the political and cultural climate of Ireland today. He charts the changing racial mix of Ireland through the ages which shaped the Irish nation. The author also follows Ireland's long and troubled entanglement with England from its beginning many centuries ago. Through a predominantly political narrative, James Lydon provides an introduction to this complex history.