Ghost of Shandon is a graphic novel and children's book based mainly in 18th Century Cork City. This is a fascinating period of Cork’s history in which French Huguenots, Dutch merchants, British land owners and the local Irish made Cork the second largest port in the world.
The city serves as a backdrop for the tale of two children, Ronan and Aisling. Ronan lived in a lighthouse in modern day Castletownbere, West Cork but moves to the city when his father loses his job. Bullied in his new home, he comes in contact with Aisling, who works as a maid for a Dutch merchant family on Tuckey Street in 18th century Cork and their adventure begins.
Alan Corbett graduated with an MA in Children’s Book Illustration from Cambridge School of Art in 2010 following a BA in Graphic Design at Cork IT. Taking inspiration from classical Irish illustrators such as Harry Clarke, Richard Doyle and Daniel Maclise, he has exhibited in Ireland and the UK.
Born close to St Catherine’s graveyard in Kilcully, County Cork, Alan’s imagination was fired by playing there. While friends looked forward to Christmas, he found Halloween much more fascinating. His first book, The Ghost of Shandon, is his dream come true. “Creating an adventure, a fairytale based in my home city of Cork brings many of my interests together. I can recall as a child noting that New York had Spiderman, London had Sherlock Holmes, Paris had the Hunchback of Notre Dame and Cork had nobody! Illustration and writing have always been a huge passion in my life and my ambition was to re-create historical Cork City as this magical place, full of unique characters.” Extensive research in libraries and archives revealed that Cork had narrow laneways, canal systems and European architecture which made Cork look more like Amsterdam that an Irish city back then, with locals living alongside French Huguenots, Dutch merchants and British landlords. He wrote his story around this rich heritage in language easily understood by the children of ages he has taught in schools over the years.
& illustrated by Alan Corbett
64 A4 pages all colour paperback.
ISBN 978 1 897685 59 4
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"The eighteen century
streets of Cork have come alive."
Martina O'Donoghue, Cork Evening Echo
"The phrase 'bringing history to life' dosen't quite do this remarkable creation justice...This is a first novel notable for its stunning illustrations and attention to detail of Cork's fascinating past."
Pet O'Connell, Children's Book Reviewer Evening Echo
"Alan Corbett is a remarkably talented young man who has given Cork a unique introduction to and celebration of the culture and history of Cork."
Poet Thomás McCarthy
"The fact that history can provide the most fertile playground for a child's imagination is beautifully harnessed in a new graphic novel for children, Ghost of Shandon."
Fiona Kelly, Sunday Business Post