In Search of Ireland's Heroes: The Story of the Irish from the English Invasion to the Present Day

Overview

A history of Ireland from the twelfth century to the present, following on the author's highly successful In Search of Ancient Ireland. In addition to plumbing the historical record, Ms. McCaffrey discusses the leading Irish families and their social roles, and the great castles and homes that dot the Irish countryside. The history comes alive for the present-day reader. Illustrated.
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Overview

A history of Ireland from the twelfth century to the present, following on the author's highly successful In Search of Ancient Ireland. In addition to plumbing the historical record, Ms. McCaffrey discusses the leading Irish families and their social roles, and the great castles and homes that dot the Irish countryside. The history comes alive for the present-day reader. Illustrated.
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Editorial Reviews

California Bookwatch
There've been plenty of books on Irish history but none quite so vivid and accessible asIn Search of Ireland's Heroes... [which stands] solidly both as a companion volume and as an innovative history by itself.
Irish Emigrant
"McCaffrey has succeeded in compiling a history of Ireland which is completely accessible without losing credibility."
Examiner
The hero stories engage, the scene-setting shines as both scholarly and readable, and the character descriptions run deep....Magnificent collection.
— Michael Phelps
Kerby Miller
Written with verve and passion...In Search of Ireland's Heroes is a welcome challenge to conservative interpretations of Ireland's history.
Examiner - Michael Phelps
The hero stories engage, the scene-setting shines as both scholarly and readable, and the character descriptions run deep....Magnificent collection.
Carroll County Times
This is a great story, interesting to read and appealing to anyone with an interest in Ireland...McCaffrey uses original sources when possible, yet this is a readable history, not a textbook. She offers fascinating insights into the daily life, dress, housing and personalities of the Irish.
California Bookwatch
The focus on heroes makes for a lively documentation indeed.
Publishers Weekly
McCaffrey (In Search of Ancient Ireland) has penned a "quick," partisan (from the Catholic viewpoint) version of Irish history. The arrival of the English in the 12th century is duly noted and the long melancholy march to the modern age is marked by jumps from King Dermot MacMurrough to Oliver Cromwell, the potato famine and the political turbulence of the late 19th century. Of particular interest is McCaffrey's excellent portrait of Charles Stewart Parnell and his policies in the 1870s and '80s, such as his involvement in the Land Leagues, his quest for Home Rule, his affair with Kitty O'Shea and subsequent abandonment by both church and state. McCaffrey also views the role of the Catholic Church in Ireland and comes to some interesting conclusions about orthodoxy and traditional Irish resistance to it. The political ferment of the early 20th century is explored by painting portraits of all the familiar names, from Patrick Pearse to Eamon De Valera and Michael Collins. The modern troubles in the North are examined and the Celtic Tiger is praised (somehow without mentioning its father, 1960s' prime minister Sean Lemass). A breezy, somewhat superficial work, this will best appeal to the Irish history neophyte. (Oct. 6) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
KLIATT - Janet Julian
A native of Ireland, McCaffrey is currently a lecturer at Johns Hopkins and the Smithsonian. Her previous book, In Search of Ancient Ireland, was a companion to the PBS series. Ireland's Heroes begins with the English invasion in 1167 and ends with the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 that brought peace to Ulster. The book covers religious disputes, political power, poets, intermarriage between early Norman settlers and the indigenous Gaels, the ancient Brehon Laws that were community based, and the influence of families such as the O'Neills, O'Donnells and the Fitzgeralds. The English always had difficulty with their Irish colony. In the 1600s the Gaelic aristocrats left Ireland, never to return, leading to the loss of the Brehon Laws and the experiment of a Protestant plantation in Northern Ireland. The 1800s brought Robert Emmet's failed rebellion. During the 1840s the potato famine killed 1.5 million, exacerbated by English policies. One bright light was the election of Daniel O'Connell to the English House of Commons in 1830. He became the first Irish Catholic to hold that office since 1692. The Irish Republican Brotherhood was formed in 1858; similarly, the Fenian Brotherhood was founded in New York and its membership grew enormously during the 1860s. The Home Rule initiative was championed by Charles Stewart Parnell in the 1870s, but his political career was destroyed by a messy divorce case. The glorious Easter Rising in 1916 was brutally crushed by the British, leading to the founding of the Irish Republican Army and its urban guerrilla tactics. McCaffrey ends with the partitioning of Ireland and finally the peace agreement of 1998. The book includesa time line. Reviewer: Janet Julian
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566636155
  • Publisher: Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
  • Publication date: 10/25/2006
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     ix
Preface     xi
The Incomplete Conquest     3
The Recalcitrant Colony: FitzGerald Power in Ireland     32
Princes of Ireland: O'Neill and O'Donnell     55
The Plantation of Ulster and the Erosion of Gaelic Ireland     77
Catholic Dispossession: The New Elite     107
Patriots and Rebels: Grattan, Tone, and FitzGerald     126
A Most Distressful Country: Union and Famine     145
Struggling for Land Rights and Home Rule: Charles Stewart Parnell     176
Murmuring Name Upon Name: From Literature to Armed Rebellion     201
A Terrible Beauty: The Irish War of Independence     231
North and South: The Two States of Ireland     245
Chronology of Irish History     265
Bibliography     277
Index     279
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2006

    In Search of Ireland's Heroes: The Story of the Irish from the English Invasion to the Present Day

    Fascinating book. I love how it flows and is easy to read. History books are frequently dull but not this one! There is a lot of information it in considering how much time it covers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2006

    In Search of Ireland's Heroes: The Story of the Irish from the English Invasion to the Present Day

    Having read the author's previous book I waited for this one to be available and I am not disappointed. It is a very interesting read because the author gives insight into many historical events by quoting from parliamentary records going back to the twelfth century. I was especially interested in reading about the medieval period - how the great families like the Fitzgeralds lived and where their homes were. The constant resistance of the Irish to British control is told in fascinating ways. There is a great 'feel' about the personalities in each period. Also the nineteenth century about Parnell is really well covered. The style is easy and accessible. Highly recommended.

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