The History and Antiquities of Ossory

The finished work is divided into four volumes.

The first volume gives an overall history of the diocese from its pre-Christian Celtic origins through its various Bishops and Clergy.

The other three volumes examine Ossory's parishes in detail. Each parish's buildings, churches, castles, monuments etc, are described and examined.

The origins of townland names are described as are many tombstone inscriptions. The history of many prominent families in each parish is also recorded.

The work is distinctive in the richness of its illustrations. The newly emerging art of photography is extensively employed. This gives the volumes accessibility to the novice lacking in other works of the same period.

The firm chosen to print the work was Sealy, Bryer and Walker of Middle Abbey Street, Dublin. The firm had long experience of printing historical works.

The actual writing took six years between 1897 and 1903. 738 individuals eventually subscribed to the work. 840 copies were eventually sold; the remaining 160 were lost in Dublin during the 1916 Rising.

The work was well received on its publication and although other diocesan histories exist, none match it for its scope and depth.

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