Thursday, 24 January 2013

Newgrange Book: A glowing tribute from Jack Roberts

For all us stone-mad megalithomaniacs and anyone interested in ancient Irish mythology and cosmology, the name Jack Roberts is a famous one. Jack was a member of Martin Brennan's research team, known as 'Stonelight', who made significant discoveries in Ireland during the 1980s and who helped in the preparation of his books, in particular the seminal 'The Stars and the Stones' (later republished as The Stones of Time and still selling after all these years).

Jack Roberts (left) meets Martin Brennan for the first time
in over 25 years at the Newgrange Lodge, December 2009.
Well, I had the pleasure of being properly introduced to Jack at winter solstice 2009, when I brought Martin Brennan back to Ireland for the first time in over a quarter of a century as the headline speaker at a conference called The Boyne Valley Revision.

Jack Roberts was with Martin when, on the equinox in 1980, they rediscovered the alignment of Cairn T towards the sunrise on that morning.

I can remember the day in December 2009 when Martin met his old friends, Jack Roberts and Toby Hall, in the Newgrange Lodge, where he was staying in advance of the conference which was taking place there. The warmth and the joy of the occasion was very moving. Toby Hall was moved to tears to see his old friend again, and Jack was equally thrilled.

I recently received correspondence from Jack Roberts, who lives in the west of Ireland, following his visit to Newgrange at the solstice. He had the following beautiful words to say about my new book, 'Newgrange: Monument to Immortality', which I am extremely grateful to receive, and which he has given me permission to re-post:

I was at Newgrange a few days before the solstice hoping I might get some shots of the shadows outside but it was rather with the desire just to be there. Unfortunately it was foggy but at least I was there before the 'end of the world' crowds on the 21st....
The highlight of my morning journey however was that I picked up a copy of your book 'Newgrange' and reading it has cast a beautiful spell over the solstice / xmas for me.
Thank you for this work. It is an extraordinarily good synthesis of the story/history and relevance of our wonderful treasure. And I am not saying that because you placed Brennan's work in its true light but for the whole way you have placed Newgrange in its context of the present world.
A wonder filled book.
I have of course been extolling its virtues to all and sundry and will continue to so do.
All best wishes to you and your family for the new year and thanks again for creating such a superb book.
Thank you so much, Jack, for these kind words. I am moved. I really am. I am grateful that people like you, and Martin Brennan, and Toby Hall and the other members of your gang helped to unlock so many of the secrets of the Boyne Valley sites and indeed the other megalithic remains around Ireland.

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