A superbly produced book and an absorbing read, 'Jack's World' tells of Jack Sheehan, a West Cork farmer who spent all his life on the Sheep's Head Peninsula. Written by his nephew, Seán Sheehan, it is a loving tribute to a solitary man and beloved uncle who did things the old-fashioned way.
Born in 1920, Jack's life spanned the years from the Irish Civil War to the invasion of Iraq. The oldest son in a family of 11 children, he was always destined to stay on the family farm and he worked the land until his death in 2003. Jack was a man who used horses on the field until 1991, who only got a telephone and television in 2001. As Seán writes, "Jack had finally entered the last half of the twentieth century, even if everyone else had moved on to the next one."
The text that documents Jack's life includes quotes from the diaries that he kept all his life, family letters and the fieldwork that he completed for his Certificate in Local History Skills in UCC when he was in his 70s, alongside well chosen quotations from Thoreau, Bowen and McGahern. Lovingly illustrated with full-page colour photographs from three photographers - Danny Gralton, Ciaran Watson and Danny Levy Sheehan - of the landscape of Jack's farm and still-life images of his sheds and books, it is further enriched by original source material, including maps, old photographs and a family tree.
Resonating with a sense of place, Jack's love of the land, nature and history are well represented in this book. Full credit to Seán Sheehan for this sensitive and affectionate portrayal of a farmer and his rapidly disappearing world.