Visible on a clear day off the west coast of Ireland, the Skellig Islands, a cluster of cruel rocks, rise spectacularly from the Atlantic Ocean. A sanctuary to birds and seals today, for over six hundred years during the middle ages it was a center for a particularly intense form of monastic life, one that acclaimed writer Geoffrey Moorhouse explores with utmost fascination, scholarship, and imagination in Sun Dancing. A must read for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of Celtic spirituality, Moorhouse's lively narrative is a superbly imagined account of the monks' isolated life-the spiritual struggles and triumphs and unbelievable physical hardships. To complement and enrich the book, Moorhouse establishes the historical context of Irish monasticism and describes the monks' influence and undeniable role in preserving western civilization, as well as unexpected connections between medieval Ireland and India, Egypt, and Byzantium, and the surviving impact of pagan mythology. An entertaining and enlightening work, Sun Dancing makes medieval Ireland come alive.
Sundancing, A Medieval Vision, Seven Centuries on Skellig Michael
"Geoffrey Moorhouse has taken his fascination with the Skellig Islands and created from it a unique work. . . . Its distinctive combination of documentary fiction and engrossing scholarship will compel many readers."
-Thomas Keneally, author of Schindler's List and The Great Shame
"Highly original, gracefully written, and carefully researched . . . Moorhouse can go deep, and his scholarship is impressive."
-The Boston Globe
"Moorhouse writes with eloquence and a quiet humor calculated to charm even the blackest of heathens."
-The Atlantic Monthly
Geoffrey Moorhouse is the author of nineteen books, including Calcutta, Imperial City, and Hell's Foundations. He was chief features writer at the Manchester Guardian for twelve years, until 1970. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he lives in North Yorkshire, England.