Turtle Bunbury

Writer and Historian

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(Hachette, 2009)


Wednesday 10 October 2009
Capturing the terrible beauty

The terrible beauty of vanishing Ireland, in lines of Yeats during the Easter uprising, is being recorded before it disappears forever by a distinguished writer-photographer team – Turtle Bunbury and James Fennell which has led to the launch of their second book on the theme this week in Dublin.

Turtle lives not so very far from Baltinglass with wife Ally and very young daughters Jemima and Bay while James resides in a converted stable close to the border in Kildare with wife Joanna and daughters Bella and Mimi

In their first book, Turtle wrote “The generation who knew Ireland in the 1920s and 1930s is rapidly disappearing. The days of the ‘golden codger’ - as W B Yeats once called them - will soon be at an end. They are dying off, fading out, literally vanishing from the earth”

Elsewhere he writes “Rural villages have been smothered in suburbs. Farming is no longer a simple collaboration between man, beast and soil”

Their first book on this theme was called ‘Vanishing Ireland’. The second, launched this Wednesday, is titled ‘Vanishing Ireland – Further Chronicles of a Disappearing World’.

Fennell’s ancient Quaker stock comes out clearly in the love of humanity which emerges from every photograph he takes, while Bunbury’s intimate knowledge of Irish country life (he was actually born in Rathvilly) blends his extensive historical studies into a profound text.

Bunbury and Fennell teamed up to produce the memorable coffee-table volume ‘Living in Sri Lanka’ filled with graceful eastern interiors and text.

More recently, they published a book on the fast-disappearing pubs of Ireland under the title of ‘The Irish Pub’ and ‘Vanishing Ireland’ which records the faces and lives of the old Ireland.

Their new volume, 'Vanishing Ireland – Further Chronicles of a Disappearing World’ which was launched in Dublin today, records more of Ireland’s fading rural world,.

James Fennel (www.jamesfennell.com) is one of Ireland’s foremost photographers. After studying at Ireland’s College of Marketing and Design he was apprenticed to leading international fashion photographer, Perry Ogden before setting up on his own as a freelance photographer

He specialises in interiors, portraits and travel photography.

Turtle Bunbury (www.turtlebunbuy.com) was born in 1972 and educated in Dublin and Scotland. After graduating from Trinity College Dublin with a degree in Modern History he moved to Hong Kong where he spent three years working as a freelance correspondent with the South China Morning Post and Business News Indochina. Since returning to Ireland he has become an authority on both Irish and international history, contributing articles to magazines and newspapers around the world.

‘Vanishing Ireland – Further Chronicles of a Disappearing World’ will be found in most good bookshops or can be ordered online at a lower price of €24.99 directly from Dubray Books at www.dubraybooks.ie/offer. Key in the special code ‘vanishing 2’


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