Tipperary

( 12 )

Overview

“My wooing began in passion, was defined by violence and circumscribed by land; all these elements molded my soul.” So writes Charles O’Brien, the unforgettable hero of bestselling author Frank Delaney’s extraordinary new novel–a sweeping epic of obsession, profound devotion, and compelling history involving a turbulent era that would shape modern Ireland. 

Born into a respected Irish-Anglo family in 1860, Charles loves his native land and its long-suffering but irrepressible people. As a healer, he travels ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (62) from $1.99   
  • New (3) from $3.61   
  • Used (59) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$3.61
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(36)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
1400065232 Random House hardcover with great dustjacket

Ships from: Grand Rapids, MI

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$3.62
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(475)

Condition: New
2007 Hardcover New

Ships from: san francisco, CA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$9.48
Seller since 2011

Feedback rating:

(57)

Condition: New
HARDBACK IS NEW AND IN EXCELLENT CONDITION. NO MARKINGS AND LIGHT SHELF WEAR. WILL SEND OUT QUICKLY.

Ships from: Altoona, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Tipperary

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$11.99
BN.com price

Overview

“My wooing began in passion, was defined by violence and circumscribed by land; all these elements molded my soul.” So writes Charles O’Brien, the unforgettable hero of bestselling author Frank Delaney’s extraordinary new novel–a sweeping epic of obsession, profound devotion, and compelling history involving a turbulent era that would shape modern Ireland. 

Born into a respected Irish-Anglo family in 1860, Charles loves his native land and its long-suffering but irrepressible people. As a healer, he travels the countryside dispensing traditional cures while soaking up stories and legends of bygone times–and witnessing the painful, often violent birth of land-reform measures destined to lead to Irish independence.

At the age of forty, summoned to Paris to treat his dying countryman–the infamous Oscar Wilde–Charles experiences the fateful moment of his life. In a chance encounter with a beautiful and determined young Englishwoman, eighteen-year-old April Burke, he is instantly and passionately smitten–but callously rejected. Vowing to improve himself, Charles returns to Ireland, where he undertakes the preservation of the great and abandoned estate of Tipperary, in whose shadow he has lived his whole life–and which, he discovers, may belong to April and her father.

As Charles pursues his obsession, he writes the “History” of his own life and country. While doing so, he meets the great figures of the day, including Charles Parnell, William Butler Yeats, and George Bernard Shaw. And he also falls victim to less well-known characters–who prove far more dangerous. Tipperary also features a second “historian:” a present-day commentator, a retired and obscure history teacher who suddenly discovers that he has much at stake in the telling of Charles’s story.

In this gloriously absorbing and utterly satisfying novel, a man’s passion for the woman he loves is twinned with his country’s emergence as a nation. With storytelling as sweeping and dramatic as the land itself, myth, fact, and fiction are all woven together with the power of the great nineteenth-century novelists. Tipperary once again proves Frank Delaney’s unrivaled mastery at bringing Irish history to life.

Praise for Frank Delaney’s TIPPERARY:
“[T]he narrative moves swiftly and surely…A sort of Irish Gone With the Wind, marked by sly humor, historical awareness and plenty of staying power.” Kirkus Reviews
“[A]nother meticulously researched journey…Delaney’s careful scholarship and compelling storytelling bring it uniquely alive. Highly recommended.” Library Journal (starred)
“Sophisticated and creative.” — Booklist
“Delaney’s confident storytelling and quirky characterizations enrich a fascinating and complex period of Irish history.” Publishers Weekly
“Read just a few sentences of Frank Delaney’s writing and you’ll see why National Public Radio called him ‘the world’s most eloquent man.’” — Kirkus Reviews, “Big Book Guide 2007”

From the Hardcover edition.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Seventy-five years after the death of Charles O'Brien, an Anglo-Irish itinerant healer and occasional journalist born in 1860, his memoir is discovered in a trunk. The result is this touching novel from Irelandauthor Delaney, in which the manuscript's putative discoverer adds his own unreliable commentary to the fictive Charles's probably embellished perceptions-making for a glowing composite of a volatile Ireland. Charles claims to treat Oscar Wilde on his deathbed; advise a young James Joyce ("When you write... be sure to make it complicated. It will retain people's attention"); tell an appreciative Yeats the story of Finn MacCool; and inadvertently bring down Charles Stewart Parnell. He also meets the founders and leaders of Sinn Fein and the IRA, and will, as will Ireland itself, entwine his fate with theirs. And at 40, never-married Charles meets the love of his life, 18-year-old April Burke, an Englishwoman who repeatedly spurns him and exploits him, but who has a large role to play in his life. The narrator claims that his interest in Charles and April is academic, but he eventually confesses that he suspects their stories have some personal relationship to his own. Delaney's confident storytelling and quirky characterizations enrich a fascinating and complex period of Irish history. (Nov.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

With this follow-up to his acclaimed Ireland, Delaney has crafted another meticulously researched journey though his homeland. The focus this time is on Castle Tipperary, one of the "grand houses" of the Anglo-Irish. Its story is told through the love of Charles O'Brien, an itinerant healer, for April Burke, the only child of a noble Irish family. While trying to woo her, Charles convinces April to petition for ownership of the castle as her birthright. It languishes in disrepair, a victim of the tenant evictions, the famine, and general abandonment. April rejects Charles and marries a lout who restores the castle but leaves April's life in ruin. Charles comes to her rescue, but the ill-fated Easter Rising intervenes, and both the great house and their love are riven once again. The struggles of Delaney's characters for survival mirror the history of Ireland during the colonial years from 1860 to 1922. It's a tale told many times, yet Delaney's careful scholarship and compelling storytelling bring it uniquely alive. Highly recommended for all fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ7/07.]
—Susan Clifford Braun

Kirkus Reviews
When shamrock green meets black and tan, things sometimes go mauve. Irish expat novelist Delaney (Ireland, 2005) likes his history with a leavening of fiction, or perhaps his fiction with a leavening of history. In previous work, this history has been sometimes incidental, but here, in a tale of Ireland in a time of dispossession and civil war in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Delaney brings real events to the fore. The story-within-a-story concerns a manuscript that recounts the love between an Irish amateur historian and the young daughter of a landed Anglo-Irish family. Charles O'Brien, the historian, "lived in a culture of narrative," writes our descendant narrator; April Burke, on the other hand, kept her counsel and lived a life that "brought danger and actual harm to those who loved her," which makes for a very promising tale indeed. Charles's long pursuit is fraught, but it affords the narrator-read Delaney-the opportunity to reflect at many points on the twists and turns of the Irish past, which has always been more complex than it appears. ("If you're not confused," says one adage on the matter, "then you don't understand the situation.") Delaney acknowledges, wisely, that Irish history has always been written with loving ornamentation and staggering heaps of blarney, as well as no end of romanticism; for him to have put a historical tale into the terms of a real romance is a nice twist. The prose sometimes turns purplish and didactic ("Nineteenth-century men had many curbs on the ways in which they could express themselves. Despite some unexpectedly swift mail services, communication was generally limited, so a romance had few escape valves."), but for the most partDelaney writes with no undue sentimentality, and the narrative moves swiftly and surely. A sort of Irish Gone With the Wind, marked by sly humor, historical awareness and plenty of staying power.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400065233
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/6/2007
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Frank Delaney
Frank Delaney is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Ireland, as well as several fiction and nonfiction bestsellers in the United Kingdom. A former judge for the Booker Prize, Delaney enjoyed a prominent career in BBC broadcasting before becoming a full-time writer. Born in Tipperary, Ireland, he now lives in New York and Connecticut.

Biography

J.R.R. Tolkien was famously inspired to write The Lord of the Rings because England did not have a mythology to call its own. Had Tolkien been born a few hundred kilometers to the west, he might have created something more akin to Frank Delaney's Ireland: A Novel.

Set in the country of Delaney's birth, Ireland is, according to Publisher's Weekly, a "sprawling, riveting read, a book of stories melding into a novel wrapped up in an Irish history text." Although the length and subject matter of Delaney's novel invites comparisons to the work of James Michener, Delaney's book aims for the heart rather than the intellect. As opposed to Michener's meticulously researched histories, Ireland is steeped in the Irish storytelling tradition, in which fact and fiction intertwine in the pursuit of a good story.

Ireland is Delaney's first novel to be released in the United States, but he has been a well-known writer and broadcaster in the United Kingdom for many years. In addition to writing seven other novels and a number of nonfiction works, he hosted a long-running and highly-rated series on BBC radio called Word of Mouth. His interest in Irish culture led him to create The Celts, a six-part BBC television series on Celtic history that is notable for giving the musical artist Enya her first popular exposure.

The seeds for Ireland were planted in early 1990, during breakfast with a literary agent and friend named Ed Ficter. Delaney loved the idea of writing an epic history of Ireland, but his busy schedule left him with little time to work on the project. Over the years, Delaney continued to meet with Ficter, and every time, Ficter would leave the conversation with, "Don't forget Ireland: A Novel." After 12 years, Ficter finally managed to wear Delaney down. He dropped his agent, signed up with Ficter, and began work on Ireland.

The basis of many of the stories in the novel were informed by Delaney's extensive travels around his home country. When Delaney was working as a bank clerk in his early 20s, he would often hitchhike around Ireland during holidays, visiting small, forgotten villages and having long conversations with the locals. It was during these travels that Delaney fell in love with Ireland and the people who live there.

Although critical response to Ireland has been highly favorable, Delaney balks when asked if this is his masterpiece. "Oh, God no," he told British bookseller The Book Place, "this is just the start of a new phase. I do want to write a series of big novels about Ireland, and this is the first of them." Fans of Delaney's magical, moving novel eagerly await the forthcoming results of this "new phase."

Good To Know

In our interview, Delaney shared some fun and fascinating insights with us:

"For a startling period of my life I reported the Troubles in Ireland for the BBC. I lived in Dublin and was called out to all sorts of incidents that, if taken together, add up to a war -- bombings, assassinations, riots, shootings, robberies, jailbreaks, kidnappings, and sieges. It was a 24/7 life, lived on the road, or so it felt, with never a still moment, never knowing what was going to happen next. I've touched on it in a novel called Desire & Pursuit, but the vast portion of the experience is still in there, somewhere in my unconscious mind; and I expect it will emerge one day."

"As an arts journalist in London, working mainly for the BBC, I interviewed hundreds if not thousands of authors. From them I gleaned a great deal of passing instruction in writing and I observed one fascinating detail: no two writers approach their work -- physically -- in the same way. Some write longhand in pencil; some have voice-trained their computers -- and in between lies the world of authorship. As for an interesting moment -- Harold Robbins emerging from his hotel bathroom for an interview with a pretty, bikinied blonde girl on each arm; talk about true to type!"

"No country impresses me as much as the USA. ‘Well, he would say that, wouldn't he?' you think -- to which I answer, 'Well, no I wouldn't.' The fact is -- if you want to know how warm Americans, are all you have to do is stand on a sidewalk and open a map. Within seconds, passers-by will gather, offering to help. If you think it happens everywhere else -- it doesn't."

"Writers have opinions -- that, in part, is why they write. Therefore they have strong likes and dislikes. I love hamburgers but hate beets. (Note: I'm using the word 'love,' not 'like.') I love baseball, hate reality shows (all that licensing of people to behave badly). I love libraries, hate noise in public spaces. I'll stop there -- this could become an endless list!"

"Interests and hobbies: Writing -- and reading about writing; renovating houses (I've done three so far); sport, in most forms; great music -- anything from harmonica to harpsichord. In fact, I'd have to struggle to find a subject in which I can't get some kind of interested pulse started."

"Favorite ways to unwind: I like to sprawl in front of the television -- but it has to be good! Good political comment, good drama, good documentary, good drama. One of the mysteries of life is why television is so frequently so bad -- it doesn't have to be, and many have proven that fact. I also like gardening and general pottering and organizing things and walking -- all of these give me good thinking time."

Read More Show Less
    1. Also Known As:
      Francis Bryan
    2. Hometown:
      New York, New York, and Kent, Connecticut
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 24, 1941
    2. Place of Birth:
      Tipperary, Republic of Ireland
    1. Education:
      Thomastown National School 1947-54; The Abbey School, Tipperary, 1954-60; Rosse College, Dublin, 1960
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Tipperary

A Novel
By Frank Delaney

Random House

Copyright © 2007 Frank Delaney
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781400065233

Chapter 1

Be careful about me. Be careful about my country and my people and how we tell our history. We Irish prefer embroideries to plain cloth. If we are challenged about this tendency, we will deny it and say grimly: “We have much to remember.”

“But,” you may argue, “isn’t memory at least unreliable? And often a downright liar?”

Maybe. To us Irish, though, memory is a canvas—stretched, primed, and ready for painting on. We love the “story” part of the word “history,” and we love it trimmed out with color and drama, ribbons and bows. Listen to our tunes, observe a Celtic scroll: we always decorate our essence. This is not a matter of behavior; it is our national character.

As a consequence of this ornamenting, we are accused of revising the past. People say that we reinvent the truth, especially when it comes to the history of our famous oppression by England, the victimhood that has become our great good fortune.

And do we? Do we embellish that seven hundred years since the Norman barons sailed to our southeast shores? Do we magnify those men in silver armor, though they stood only five feet six inches tall? Do we make epic those little local wars, often foughtacross rivers no more than some few feet wide? Do we render monumental the tiny revolutions fought on cabbage patches by no more than dozens of men with pitchforks and slings?

Perhaps we do. And why should we not? After all, what is history but one man’s cloak cut from the beautiful cloth of Time?

Customarily, history is written by the victors; in Ireland the vanquished wrote it too and wrote it more powerfully. That is why I say, “Be careful about my country and how we tell our history.” And in this account of my life as I have so far lived it, you will also have to make up your own mind about whether I too indulge in such invention, in particular about myself.

All who write history have reasons for doing so, and there is nothing so dangerous as a history written for a reason of the heart. The deeper the reason, the more unreliable the history; that is why I say, “Be careful about me.”



Those paragraphs, written in a looping brown script, sat undisturbed for seventy-five years in a large wooden chest. They lay beneath a pile of clothing: a lady’s green gown; a heavier and more ornate green brocade coat, with cream silk finishings; some brown leather gauntlets; a small velvet sack containing tresses of brown hair; and a pair of lady’s buttoned boots.

The longtime owner of this trunk, an uncaring man with a runny nose, knew nothing about it or where it came from. It had been sitting for some years in a corner of the shed attached to his hardware premises and, ungifted by curiosity, he had never opened it. To this day he can’t recall anything other than that he “bought it from a pair of tinkers,” whose tribe had been buying and selling antique furniture and junk all over Ireland in the early 1990s. The travelers, when traced and asked, said that they “couldn’t remember it,” that they often bought and sold a vanload of “stuff” (or, as they pronounce it, “shtuff”) in that town.

Now the chest rests in an attic of a county library in the south of Ireland. The man who donated it bought it from the hardware shop; he recognized it from a description he had been given by a family friend who had often talked about it and who had searched for it.

As a piece of furniture or an antique, it has little interest. Made of oak, with sharp, squared corners, it has a simple brass lock and two ordinary, serviceable handles; and when the lid is raised, the timbers still yield a faint, musty smell, that familiar incense of the past—probably from the fabric of the clothing. However, the antique objects, together with the written contents, assembled with other papers and letters, will soon form an exhibit in the museum section of the library.

It is expected to arouse strong interest—on account of the main document and the story it tells. In a great personal drama, the two principal characters played out their lives against a backdrop of Ireland’s most crucial historical period.

The narrator with the sloping handwriting was a man named Charles O’Brien, part wanderer, part journalist, many parts lover. After he wrote those opening “Be careful” sentences, he loaded his document so copiously with details of his world that it has been entirely possible to trace him and his story, and the lives of those he knew or encountered, and the forces and mysteries that became part of his life.

His document, apart from the slightly crumpled top and bottom pages, has remained in excellent condition. Although time and the weight of the clothing in the oak chest compressed the pages, Mr. O’Brien had been careful (and wealthy enough) to use high-quality writing paper, and he wrote with expensive ink, which did not fade; when even the innermost pages were gingerly pulled apart, they lost none of their legibility.

The handwriting helps—his big-handed script had no affectations; every word he wrote is rewardingly legible. As is his style, and in this, Mr. O’Brien was also a man of his time. Other than a breaking down of sentence length and an occasional formality, few major permanent changes have occurred in English writing fashions since the middle of the nineteenth century. The writers of the period, such as Robert Louis Stevenson (who lived from 1850 to 1894), could have been writing today, so fresh seems their general idiom.

Directly after his opening apologia, Mr. O’Brien tells the first of his many tales, a vivid account of an incident from his childhood.



I commence writing this volume (whose genesis and purpose I will presently explain) with a memory that haunts me, and that blazes with the fire at the core of Ireland’s history during my early lifetime— the struggle over land.

This report may seem to come from the storehouse of distant recollection, but it has the higher value of immediacy because, at my father’s request, I began writing it directly we reached home on the day in question. Save for adjusting boyish errors and excesses, and maturing the style into adult expression, I have not tampered with the account since I wrote it, in June 1869.

I had just reached my ninth birthday. My father and I had been visiting Mr. and Mrs. Treece, near neighbors and well-known to my parents. They owned a good-sized farm, which had been given to the Treece family for helping Oliver Cromwell on his fiery rampage through Ireland in the 1650’s.

Mrs. Treece seemed to like me. I remember her as lovely, and I know from my parents’ comments that she was considered a great beauty— tall, full-figured, and with a slight snort when she laughed. (My father often made her laugh; my father was a benign and humorous man.) Mr. Treece frightened me; I never found his jokes amusing, and he had that disconcerting trait of making an outrageous assertion without regard to its truth.

“All men who are fair-haired as boys tend to go mad in later life,” he said to me that day. I may have doubted him—but I wished for many days thereafter that I had my brother Euclid’s coal-black, rod- straight hair, instead of my own Viking curls.

As we departed their doorstep, Mr. Treece suddenly said to my father, “Bernard, I think I’ll ride alongside of you—I have a bit of business happening out the road and I might need you to witness it.”

We waited in his cobblestoned yard while he saddled up a great mare, close to eighteen hands high. Down the avenue, out through the gates, he rode along beside us, chatting down to my father; Barney, lunging between the shafts of our yellow pony-trap, wanted to race Mr. Treece’s horse.

The dampness of the morning had now cleared, with the clouds in those formations that I find unique to Tipperary—big white fleeces drifting across a powdery blue sky. A mile or so along the road to Cashel, Mr. Treece said, “We’re down here” and spurred his horse. My father hesitated as though he might not follow; he actually halted the pony. Then he changed his mind and we swung into a lane behind Mr. Treece and his horse’s rump.

Around a bend, under some trees, the lane ended and we rode on to a wide place of open grass bordered by the woods. My father said, “Oh damn-and-blast” and pulled up Barney so hard that I was pitched forward on the leather seats; and my father, still talking to himself, said, “Huh. I was afraid this was what the bugger meant.”

Straight ahead, a knot of people milled around a long, low house with a thatched roof and whitewashed walls, the kind of dwelling very common in our countryside. Two or three apple trees stood near a small wall that confined a little garden in front of the red door. Outside the house, men in uniform, some on foot and some on horseback, swirled in a commotion. My father breathed, “They’ve brought in the soldiers. Boys-oh-dear!”

Other men, big-boned laborers, backed up two huge, head-plunging horses with flowing manes until their large, high-sided farm cart met the low garden wall. The men began to unload the cart. First came some heavy wooden poles, which others began to set up in a great, high tripod; next, they hauled from the cart a rattling, clinking length of heavy chain, which they attached to the tripod’s neck. Finally, three of the men jumped on the cart and began to push and haul. In a moment or two, a huge wooden beam slid from the cart onto the little wall. It then eased down into the garden, where a workman leaned against it, to keep it in balance against the wall.

At that, a woman of about my mother’s age in a drab frock burst from the doorway, screaming. At full speed she attacked the workman near the beam with her fists. She hauled him, she kicked him, she pulled his hair—and she wrestled him to the ground beside the big wooden column. Other men grabbed the huge beam and prevented it from falling over. Two boys, one about sixteen and one close in age to myself, now ran out and joined in to help the woman, whom I presumed to be their mother.

Mr. Treece rode forward. My father muttered to himself, “Oh, typical, typical. The whip’ll be next, I suppose.” And, indeed, Mr. Treece had been carrying a long whip in his hand as he rode along beside us. (I remember that I thought: Why does he need it? My father never carries as much as a riding-crop—he does it all, he says, with his knees, “as a horseman should.”)

The boys retreated a pace or two, and the policemen in their dark tunics and the soldiers in their red tried to haul the woman off the man whom she was beating. When Mr. Treece shouted, they stood back to make room for him. Mr. Treece rode in and, leaning across the little wall, began to lash the woman and the two boys with his whip. He cut the woman about the face and head, he lashed the boys’ faces and their bare legs and their heads. When his whiplash left a stripe-mark on the wooden beam, even the uniformed men recoiled.

“And you want me to witness this, George Treece?” said my father to himself. “And you want me to witness this?”

Now Mr. Treece rode his horse into the pretty little cottage garden, and when he reached the kicking, screaming woman, he not only rained blows on her, he tried to pick his horse’s legs across the man and ride the hooves upon the woman.

She screeched, and he lashed her again with the whip many times. When she tried to grab the lash, she missed and fell; then she scrambled to her feet and ran into the house, her two boys after her. Mr. Treece called “Get up” to the man on the ground and pulled his horse back. The man arose and seemed rueful but none too injured; he stepped out of the garden and over to where the two big drays swished their tails.

By this time I had been transfixed and could not tear my eyes away— from a scene the likes of which I had never imagined, much less encountered. My father laid his hand on my head and said, “Home?” I did not look at him and he said, in a change-of-mind tone, “No. Maybe you’re the one who should be the witness,” and we stayed; indeed, he even edged a little closer and swung the pony-trap around for a better view.

Now I saw another player in the drama, a man of about my father’s age or older. He stood some twenty yards back from the proceedings, leaning against a tree, seemingly detained there by one of the policemen. When I had a better view, I saw that this man used a wooden crutch; sometime, somewhere, he had lost a leg. He was shaking his head, as if unable to come to grips with Life at that moment.

As I watched him, he began to shout, and the policeman tried to quiet him. Mr. Treece turned around on his horse, saw the man, spurred the animal over to him, and fetched the shouter a lash down across the head and face with the whip, and then another lash. The man would have reached to grab the whip but his uniformed custodian prevented him, and in any case Mr. Treece, generally excited and red-faced, rode back to the front of the house.

“Set it up,” he shouted at the knot of men. “What’s keeping you back? Set it up!”

The men bustled to assemble the apparatus. They hung the chain down between the poles of the tripod where it ended in a hook. Next, they manhandled the great column along the ground to a point where they could hook the chain into a ring on the wooden beam. When they had made the connection and reeled in some lengths of chain, the post swung clear of the ground like a long rectangular pendulum. They dragged and shoved until the tripod stood right against the wall of the house, near one of the small windows.

Sweating with exertion, the working gang hauled the swinging wooden beam—which seemed at least three feet thick—back from the tripod. For a moment they held it there, out at an angle. Then Mr. Treece shouted, “Let her go,” and they released the ram. It swung forward and battered into the window of the house and the wall beside.

My father muttered, “Oh, great Lord!”

Glass crashed and tinkled; the outside of the building fell apart in a blurt of whitewash and brown mortar; I was surprised and alarmed at how much of the house burst under that one swinging stroke. As the men steadied the ram, something flew from the doorway and they reeled back, yelling. Mr. Treece’s horse bucked as if stung.

Mr. Treece shouted. “The bitch! What is that?”

A policeman shouted, “Boiling porridge, sir”—someone in the house had hurled the contents of an oatmeal pot through the doorway.

“Draw your guns,” shouted Mr. Treece, and with only a short hesitation, all the military and all the police drew their guns with a rattle and held them ready, aimed at the cottage door. A silence fell. Portions of the wall continued to crumble. I looked at the man beneath the tree; he had begun to weep. His tears and his gasping, dismayed face seemed very different from the sadness of my father when my grandmother had died, or when he watched Mother sing his “beautiful Bellini.”

“Angle her and go again,” Mr. Treece shouted. Beneath a hedge of pointed guns the men rearranged the tripod’s angle to edge it farther along the wall. Once more they held back the thick battering ram and released it. This time, its impact went straight through the wall. The hole gaped so wide that we could see the woman inside the house, her face lined with blood from the whip’s lashes, which she tried to wipe away with a sleeve.

Continues...

Excerpted from Tipperary by Frank Delaney Copyright © 2007 by Frank Delaney. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2008

    Wonderful storytelling!

    Frank Delaney consistently tells great stories, and this book is no exception. The book has two narrators, whose text is interwoven throughout the book. One narrator is a historian who has located the manuscript of the (now-deceased) second narrator. It tells the story of Ireland leading up to and during the fight for independence, but not as a history. Instead those events are the context for the bigger story, a story about the restoration of a grand estate and a long unrequited love affair. Very hard to put down!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 21, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    As a huge fan of Delaney's Ireland, I had to keep going and read

    As a huge fan of Delaney's Ireland, I had to keep going and read Tipperary. I love historical fiction that goes well beyond general facts of a time and place and gives me better insight and further knowledge. Tipperary does just that. It's an amazing story of a man and his homeland, the struggles of his nation as well of his personal life, that highlights historical people and events and pushes underneath to shed light on Ireland's underbelly. I also enjoyed the unique style of the novel, the shifting narrators, the letters that read as though they could be actual letters from the time. There were times the pacing dragged and times I didn't enjoy the main character a great deal because of his choices, but he was real and he told the story in a way a different character would be unable.

    I'd like to be able to give this 4 1/2 stars because 4 isn't quite high enough, and yet it doesn't quite compare with Ireland. I will be reading more of Delaney's fiction in the very near future.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2009

    Good history lesson!

    Started out slow and mellow then gained interest in Irish history and ended VERY interesting and exciting - difficult to put down last third part of novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2008

    Tremendously Entertaining

    This was a wonderful book filled with interesting characters, historical significance, and an appealing love story. In short, this book has it all!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2007

    A reviewer

    Frank Delaney is talented enough to equal the skills of Edward Rutherfurd in writing historical fiction! I loved his first novel, Ireland, and enjoyed Tipperary just as much!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)