The Image of Irelande, with a Discoverie of Woodkarne

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A scene showing a feast hosted by an Irish chieftain, probably the most famous scene from The Image of Ireland. The Image of Irelande - plate03.jpg
A scene showing a feast hosted by an Irish chieftain, probably the most famous scene from The Image of Ireland.

The Image of Irelande, with a Discoverie of Woodkarne is a 1581 book by John Derricke.


The book is dedicated to Philip Sidney. It praises the deputyship of Philip's father Henry Sidney and English victories over the Irish. [1] The work opens with a poetic history of Ireland and its conflicts with the English, presenting reasons for English rule. This proceeds to a set of twelve woodcut illustrations interspersed with verse narration, describing Henry Sidney's victories of Irish rebels and denigrating Irish culture. The book ends with the surrender of Turlough Luineach Ó Neill, king of Tyrone, in 1578. [2] Critics, such as James A. Knapp, have deemed the illustrations to be of far greater interest than the unremarkable verse. [3]

There is only one complete version extant, at the Edinburgh University Library. A copy was produced and edited by the university librarian in 1883. [4]


  1. Highley, Christopher (1997). Shakespeare, Spenser, and the crisis in Ireland (1. publ. ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp.  44–45. ISBN   9780521581998.
  2. "Image of Irelande, pl 3". University of Edinburgh. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  3. Knapp, James A. (2000). "That most barbarous Nacion': John Derricke's 'Image of Ireland' and the 'delight of the well disposed reader'". Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature and the Arts. 42: 416.
  4. "The Image of Irelande, by John Derrick". University of Edinburgh. Retrieved 1 August 2013.

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