Weddings and Courtships
Irish Book Cover
They say you can't judge a book by its cover, but Debi Gardiner and I worked for weeks to ensure that the cover of my Irish Weddings and Courtships book was as accurate and evocative as possible! I am so thrilled with the results, this cover truly reflects exactly the content within.
First, the layout. The gold band across the top of the image represents the traditional gold bands of love - used in pretty much every culture since the beginning of civilization.
The three lower images are done in the classic colors of the Irish flag - green, white, and orange. These colors were first used for Ireland in 1830, and became the national flag of Ireland in 1937. Green stands for the "Celtic" Irish, also known as the Catholics. The Orange stands for the "English" Catholics - the William of Orange supporters, the Protestants. The white in the center stands for the peace that joins them.
Note that this is not to say that all Celts are Catholic nor that all English/Irish are Protestants! These are simply historical categories that have been used for so many centuries that they now are how these groups name themselves.
The left image was taken by me and is of a peaceful sheep pasture, with stone wall marked fields stretching down to the ocean. This location is in the northwestern corner of Ireland. You would find this landscape all over Ireland - small, rocky fields, sheep peacefully grazing, and green meadows stretching as far as the eye could see. It was incredibly romantic.
The center image is one of my favorite from all of my Irish travels. This is an ancient monastery located in Cork, in southwestern Ireland. There was no roof on this stone building any more, but the walls and windows still stood. You could just imagine the monks safe within these walls, gazing out on the gorgeous landscapes around them, preserving history and literature for the entire world.
The image on the right was created by Debi and me in my home. The base is a traditional Irish Aran sweater. These fisherman's sweaters were knitted in specific patterns for each family, so that family members could easily be identified just by the sweater style they wore. Irish Aran sweaters are extremely thick and warm! The pair of Claddagh Champagne flutes in the foreground feature the Irish Claddagh symbol, and are perfect for toasting cups for any couple. There is cheese on the table, a traditional part of any Irish meal, along with herbs. A romantic candle completes the scene.
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