Author Dr. Breda Lynch Gives an In-Depth Look at the Cistercian Order

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New book is a great work of history and geography highlighting Medieval Ireland

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Author Dr. Breda Lynch’s background as a guide and information officer at Jerpoint Abbey, combined with her skill as a researcher, makes this newly published book a well-documented and informative read. A Monastic Landscape: The Cistercians in Medieval Ireland is academic in its detail but engaging in its approach, making it a refreshing read for both the expert and general readers.

This publication marks a new dimension in the study of Ireland in the medieval period. The role of the Cistercian Order has long been a subject of discussion, but here, for the first time, is a detailed study of various aspects of the Order in medieval Leinster. The focus here is on the lands that the monasteries held in the province; this territory included the great houses of Mellifont, Baltinglass, Jerpoint, Duiske, Tintern, and Dunbrody. The main content of the book deals with the identification of the lands held by the Cistercian houses of Leinster, with references to other provinces. The last chapter deals with the fate of these monasteries in the post-Dissolution period and, again, is a topic that has not been studied in any great detail to date. This is the first publication to deal with the overall, complex picture of Cistercian landholding, land use, and situation in medieval Leinster. This also combines in detail a discussion on the makeup of the monastery along with the various buildings that constitute the monastic complex. The utilisation of the produce from the monastic lands is also discussed.

This study presents some surprising findings and challenges common-held beliefs. It is also a treasure trove of sources for any student of monastic Ireland in the twelfth to sixteenth centuries. In all, this book breaks new ground and is a must have for anybody with an interest in medieval Ireland, the Cistercian order, or the broader subject of land ownership in medieval Ireland.

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About the Author
Dr. Breda Lynch graduated in 2009 from the National University of Ireland Maynooth with a PhD in History, this followed an award of a First Class Honours Grade 1 Bachelor of Arts Degree. Dr. Lynch’s main area of interest is the medieval period, particularly in relation to the Cistercian Order and has presented many lectures on this topic. She is employed by the Office of Public Works, the Irish State body responsible for the conservation and protection of National Monuments. Dr. Lynch’s working life is based at Jerpoint Abbey, a twelfth century Cistercian monastery, renowned for its figurative sculpture. Through her early employment as a Guide/Information Officer at Jerpoint Abbey, and subsequent research, she has developed a unique insight into the lives of those who built and lived in the monastery and surrounding area. Through various research papers, Dr. Lynch has broadened the understanding of the Cistercian Order in medieval Ireland and her enjoyment in doing so is evident on every page. Her background as a guide, combined with her skill as a researcher, ensures a study that is academic in its detail but engaging in its approach, making it a refreshing read for the expert and general reader alike.
A Monastic Landscape * by Dr. Breda Lynch
The Cistercians in Medieval Ireland
Publication Date: October 7, 2011
Picture Book; £35.99; 206 pages; 978-1-4535-6100-3
Picture Book Hardcover; £45.99; 206 pages; 978-1-4535-6101-0

Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at +0800-644-6988. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at 44-203-006-8880 or call +0800-644-6988. For more information, contact Xlibris at +0800-644-6988 or on the web at

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