Seamus J King, A History of Hurling

Seamus J King, A History of Hurling

Seamus J King, A History of Hurling, Gill & Macmillan; 1996

This is the only one-volume history of Ireland’s most distinctive sport. The book traces the mythological origins of hurling in the Irish annals, summarises its variable progress in medieval and early modern times, and focuses on the golden age of the pre-codifies game in the eighteenth century.

The bulk of the book is devoted to the last hundred years or so since the foundation of the G.A.A. in 1884. Starting with the emergence of the famous Cork-Tipperary rivalry, it notes the arrival of the game’s third ‘big power’, Kilkenny, in the early years of the twentieth century.

The dominance of these three counties was unshaken for generations, despite the great teams produced by Limerick in the 1930s and ‘40s and by Wexford in the 1950s. But the period since 1980 has seen the emergence of Galway, Offaly and – in 1995 – Clare as major forces in the modern game.

The book also deals with tributary issues such as the geography of hurling, the rules of the game and hurling styles. It covers minor, junior and schools hurling and has a substantial statistical section.

Generously illustrated with sixty-four pages of photographs – some of them very rare – this is the essential modern survey of Ireland’s ancient game.



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