The Rebels of Ireland
The Rebels of Ireland
The Dublin Saga
Ballantine Books, Paperback, 9780345472366, 896pp.
Publication Date: February 27, 2007
"The Princes of Ireland," the first volume of Edward Rutherfurd's magisterial epic of Irish history, ended with the disastrous Irish revolt of 1534 and the disappearance of the sacred Staff of Saint Patrick. "The Rebels of Ireland" opens with an Ireland transformed; plantation, the final step in the centuries-long English conquest of Ireland, is the order of the day, and the subjugation of the native Irish Catholic population has begun in earnest.
Edward Rutherfurd brings history to life through the tales of families whose fates rise and fall in each generation: Brothers who must choose between fidelity to their ancient faith or the security of their families; a wife whose passion for a charismatic Irish chieftain threatens her comfortable marriage to a prosperous merchant; a young scholar whose secret rebel sympathies are put to the test; men who risk their lives and their children's fortunes in the tragic pursuit of freedom, and those determined to root them out forever. Rutherfurd spins the saga of Ireland's 400-year path to independence in all its drama, tragedy, and glory through the stories of people from all strata of society--Protestant and Catholic, rich and poor, conniving and heroic.
His richly detailed narrative brings to life watershed moments and events, from the time of plantation settlements to the "Flight of the Earls," when the native aristocracy fled the island, to Cromwell's suppression of the population and the imposition of the harsh anti-Catholic penal laws. He describes the hardships of ordinary people and the romantic, doomed attempt to overthrow the Protestant oppressors, which ended in defeat at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, and the departure of the "Wild Geese." In vivid tones Rutherfurd re-creates Grattan's Parliament, Wolfe Tone's attempted French invasion of 1798, the tragic rising of Robert Emmet, the Catholic campaign of Daniel O'Connell, the catastrophic famine, the mass migration to America, and the glorious Irish Renaissance of Yeats and Joyce. And through the eyes of his characters, he captures the rise of Charles Stewart Parnell and the great Irish nationalists and the birth of an Ireland free of all ties to England.
A tale of fierce battles, hot-blooded romances, and family and political intrigues, "The Rebels of Ireland" brings the story begun in "The Princes of Ireland" to a stunning conclusion.
Until the 1980s, Edward Rutherfurd pursued a business career -- he attended Stanford Business School, worked for W.H. Smith, and was employed by Tory Party Central Office. As a child, he had been fascinated by the novels of C.S. Forester, Henty, and the historical romances of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. His grandmother, Evelyn Winch, was a well-known romantic novelist of the 1930s. Rutherfurd was also influenced by the novels of James Michener, such as Covenant and Texas, and saw that no one had attempted a similar approach in the United Kingdom.
Rutherfurd gave up his secure day job and spent two years researching and writing Sarum. When it was half-finished, and funds were running low, he realized he needed to find an agent. He approached agent Gill Coleridge with a few chapters and a synopsis. Within a month, Century bought the book in England, and the novel was auctioned in the United States. Ten years later, Sarum is still selling all over the world.
Edward Rutherfurd currently lives outside Dublin, Ireland.
"From the Hardcover edition."
Praise for the Bestselling Novels of EDWARD RUTHERFURD
The Princes of Ireland:
“A giant, sprawling, easy-to-read story told in James Michener fashion.” —Maeve Binchy
“A sweeping, carefully reconstructed portrait of a nation . . . Leaps through the centuries.” —New York Times
“Spellbinding . . . [A] page-turning Dublin saga . . . Rutherfurd does a magnificent job of packaging a crackling good yarn within the digestible overview of complex historical circumstances and events.” —Booklist
“Remarkable . . . Grand.” —New York Times
“Hold your breath suspense, buccaneering adventure, and passionate tales of love and war.” —The Times (London)
“Fascinating . . . A sprawling epic.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“A tour de force . . . Breathtaking.” —Orlando Sentinel
“Bursts with action, encyclopedic in historic detail . . . supremely well crafted and a delight to read.” —Chicago Tribune
“A richly imagined vision of history, written with genuine delight.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“An example of how a skillful historical novelist can illumine the present by dramatically re-creating the past.” —Houston Chronicle
“Rutherfurd literally personifies history.” —New York Daily News
“As entertaining as Sarum and Rutherfurd’s other sweeping novel of British history, London.” —Boston Globe
“The Forest is Michener told with an English accent.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch