The physical beauty of Ireland is potent and unforgettable, and goes some way to explaining the magnetism of this uniquely complex and mysterious island. For centuries the place has held an almost hypnotic attraction for poets and painters, and in spite of its problems has drawn emigrant Irish back from the other side of the world. This spectacular survey of Ireland north and south conveys that beauty, and much of the country's atmosphere, in a remarkable series of specially commissioned aerial photographs and an eloquent text by Ben Kiely. With the benefit of a bird's-eye view, we see the contrasts of landscape, townscape. mountain and valley, the spread of population, the courses of rivers and the scale of loughs; we see how people live in different regions, the distribution of wealth and the concentrations of industry. Taking in all the great landmarks along the way, this panoramic tour covers the Mourne Mountains in the north-east, the Lakes of Killarney in the south-west, the great Aran Islands fort of Dun Aengus and the ruined abbey of Clonmacnoise, Trinity College, Dublin, and St Stephen's Green, the shipyards of Harland and Wolff in Belfast, Powerscourt and Blarney Castle, the Curragh, the River Shannon and the site of the Battle of the Boyne; it ranges from the lush valleys of Wexford and Wicklow, Tipperary and Kilkenny, to the bleak expanses of the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher, and the desolate beauty of Galway and Mayo, where wild, empty stretches of peatbog and mountainside border a coastline of deserted strands and remote offshore islands. Ben Kiely is the ideal man to present this photographic celebration. A Dubliner and writer of great distinction, he has travelled widely in his own country and writes of it with gentleness and wit, combining lightness of touch with a profound historical and political awareness.