A Brief History of the Isle of Man

by Sara Goodwins
Loaghtan Books, 2011 (£9.95)
(ISBN 978 1908 060 006)

Given the job of producing a brief history of the Isle of Man would be a daunting task for any writer, who then has the unenviable task of deciding what to retain, and more importantly what to leave out.

But Sara Goodwins has masterfully taken a huge amount of historical detail and presented the results very successfully in this publication which promotes interest and curiosity and injects enthusiasm into its colourful pages. Written in a refreshingly open and friendly style, Sara’s well-presented book is not without humour as she enlivens each page with her personal approach to the subject.

Conveniently sectioned into nine chapters, it’s obvious that Sara has done her homework and thoroughly enjoyed exploring the Island’s past, offering her own considered view of the Isle of Man, but not without sensitivity for its people.

Illustrated with some beautiful colour photography, the Island is well served by this book which also carries Appendices about Rulers, Bishops and the Tynwald ceremony.

But this book covers much more than thatched cottages and Viking raiders, detailing the geological forces behind the Island’s formation, pondering over selected myths and mysteries (referred to here as an ‘alternative history’) and cogitating over events from our recent past.

Copyright Valerie Caine and first published in the 2012-3 winter edition of Manx Life.
Reproduced courtesy of Manx Life.