From the internationally bestselling author of London and Sarum -- a magnificent epic about love and war, family life and political intrigue in Ireland over the course of seventeen centuries. Like the novels of James Michener, The Princes of Ireland brilliantly interweaves engrossing fiction and well-researched fact to capture the essence of a place.
Edward Rutherfurd has introduced millions of readers to the human dramas that are the lifeblood of history. From his first bestseller, Sarum, to the #1 bestseller London, he has captivated audiences with gripping narratives that follow the fortunes of several fictional families down through the ages. The Princes of Ireland, a sweeping panorama steeped in the tragedy and glory that is Ireland, epitomizes the power and richness of Rutherfurd’s storytelling magic.
The saga begins in pre-Christian Ireland with a clever refashioning of the legend of Cuchulainn, and culminates in the dramatic founding of the Free Irish State in 1922. Through the interlocking stories of a wonderfully imagined cast of characters -- monks and noblemen, soldiers and rebels, craftswomen and writers -- Rutherfurd vividly conveys the personal passions and shared dreams that shaped the character of the country. He takes readers inside all the major events in Irish history: the reign of the fierce and mighty kings of Tara; the mission of Saint Patrick; the Viking invasion and the founding of Dublin; the trickery of Henry II, which gave England its foothold on the island in 1167; the plantations of the Tudors and the savagery of Cromwell; the flight of the “Wild Geese”; the failed rebellion of 1798; the Great Famine and the Easter Rebellion. With Rutherfurd’s well-crafted storytelling, readers witness the rise of the Fenians in the late nineteenth century, the splendours of the Irish cultural renaissance, and the bloody battles for Irish independence, as though experiencing their momentous impact firsthand.
Tens of millions of North Americans claim Irish descent. Generations of people have been enchanted by Irish literature, and visitors flock to Dublin and its environs year after year. The Princes of Ireland will appeal to all of them -- and to anyone who relishes epic entertainment spun by a master.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Princes of Ireland||Series: The Dublin Saga, , #1|
|Release Date: 03-02-2004|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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The Princes of Ireland
Lughnasa. High summer. It would be harvest season soon. Deirdre stood by the rail and surveyed the scene. It should have been a cheerful day, but it brought only anguish to her. For the father she loved and the one-eyed man were going to sell her. And there was nothing she could do.
She did not see Conall at first.
* * * * *
The custom at the races was that the men rode naked. The tradition was ancient. Centuries ago, the Romans had remarked on how the Celtic warriors despised the protection of breastplates and liked to strip naked for battle. A tattooed warrior, his muscles bulging, his hair raised in great spikes, and his face distorted in war frenzy was a frightening sight, even to trained Roman legionaries. Sometimes these fierce Celtic warriors in their chariots would choose to wear a short cloak that streamed behind them; and in some parts of the Roman Empire, the Celtic horsemen would wear breeches. But here on the western island, the tradition of nakedness had been carried into the ceremonial races, and young Conall was wearing nothing but a small protective loincloth.
The great festival of Lughnasa was held at Carmun once every three years. The site of Carmun was eerie. In a land of wild forest and bog, it was an open grassy space that stretched, green and empty, halfway to the horizon. Lying some distance west of the point where, if you were following it upstream, the Liffey's course began to retreat eastwards on the way to its source in the Wicklow Mountains, the place was absolutely flat, except for some mounds in which ancestral chiefs were buried. The festival lasted a week. There were areas reserved f