“The Cherished Library” is a new series, designed to look and feel like classics from a distinguished library. “Ireland: A Very Peculiar History” is a lively and informative account of the history of the whole island of Ireland, from its earliest inhabitants to the present day. It celebrates the cultural achievements of the Irish, and recounts as objectively as possible the turbulent political events that have helped to shape today’s Ireland and Northern Ireland. Fact boxes, a full glossary and index make the book both fun and informative to use. The text is enlivened with black-and-white line drawings, and there is a full-colour frontispiece.