The Last Pool of Darkness: The Connemara Trilogy (Paperback)
In the second volume of his beloved Connemara trilogy, cartographer Tim Robinson continues to unearth the stories of this rich landscape in Ireland--weaving placelore, etymology, geology, and the meeting of sea and shore into the region's mythologies.From the northern fiord waters of Killary Harbour to the southern sea-washed islands of Slyne Head, western Connemara awes with a rugged landscape: sloping cliffs, towering mountains, and the ever-present thudding of the Atlantic. And here, within the earth, resides the record of the past; stones with ash-grey centers reveal volcanic episodes, a series of mysteriously arranged quartz boulders reminds us of the ancient secrets held in the soil, and a long-disappeared lake filled in by sand lies beneath a golf course, waiting to be rediscovered.Mapping more than geography, Tim Robinson charts Connemara's deep relationship to those who have inhabited its surface. The Last Pool of Darkness brims with tales of ghosts, centuries-old land disputes, periods of religious and political upheavals, philosophers entranced by the isolating landscape, poets, mathematicians, artists, fantastical smugglers, the discovery of botanical rarities, trickster fairies, and the delicate balance between humans and nature. Not merely a "certain tract of the Earth's surface" but "an accumulation of connotations," Robinson's Connemara offers readers an opportunity to travel across space and time.A work of great precision and tenderness, The Last Pool of Darkness is an enchanting addition to the Seedbank series and next chapter in "one of the most remarkable non-fiction projects undertaken in English" (Robert Macfarlane).
Tim Robinson (1935-2020) was the author of The Last Pool of Darkness and Listening to the Wind. A cartographer and writer, he also studied mathematics at Cambridge and worked for many years as a teacher and visual artist in Istanbul, Vienna, and London, among other places. In 1972 he moved to the Aran Islands. In 1986 his first book, Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage, was published to great acclaim. The second volume of Stones of Aran, subtitled Labyrinth, appeared in 1995. He also published collections of essays and maps of the Aran Islands, the Burren, and Connemara. Connemara: Listening to the Wind, first published in 2006, won the Irish Book Award for Nonfiction.