Ireland Awakening

In IRELAND AWAKENING, Edward Rutherfurd, working closely with leading Irish historians, tells the story of the O'Byrne, MacGowan, Doyle, Walsh and Tidy families, together with the Catholic Smiths, Presbyterian Laws and Budges, down the turbulent centuries of Cromwell, the Ascendancy, and the Famine to the Easter Rising and the Irish Free State.

In the days of England's colonising plantations, the ranting Puritan preacher Doctor Pincher and his land-hungry nephew Barnaby Budge oppose the passionate piety of the Walshes. Against the background of the Irish Confederation, the coming of Cromwell, the massacre of Drogheda, and the Battle of the Boyne, the middle-aged adultery of Margaret Smith with the Irish chieftain Brian O'Byrne leads to many consequences. During the English Ascendancy, through the elegant world of Georgian Dublin, the literary times of Swift and Sheridan, and the political drama of Grattan's famous Parliament, rich Walshes, poor hedge schoolmasters, and Dublin shopkeepers try to protect their position and their faith - until all compromise breaks down with the rebellion of Wolfe Tone in 1798 - the Year of the French - and the tragedy of Emmet's Rising.

We follow Tidy the Quaker, Smith the Catholic, Dudley Doyle the economist, and many others through the rise and fall of O'Connell and of Parnell, and during the day-by-day misery of the Famine, where a poor girl tries to save her family. We reach the exciting but dangerous world of the Celtic revival of WB Yeats, the growth of Sinn Fein in the streets of James Joyce's Dublin, and the remarkable story of the Women of the Easter Rising.

Edward Rutherfurd on IRELAND AWAKENING


From the Good Book Guide:
'Sublime talent...this is history with a human face and a fanciful soul.'

From the Irish Post:
'Riveting...[a] powerful saga...Set against the dramatic backdrop of Irish political history...revisits family dynasties such as the Walshes and the Doyles, whose epic voyages through the centuries continue right up to the twentieth century's Easter Rising and Independence.'

From Newsday:
'Sprawling, sweeping...Think James Michener'

From USA Today:
'[An] accessible take on Irish history'

From the Daily Express:
'The author bounds excitedly through Irish history, interweaving narrative with historical encounters...Rutherfurd keeps racing through the pages.'

From Booklist:
'Rutherfurd concludes his stirring Dublin Saga with a sweeping follow-up to [its] widely praised and popular [predecessor]. Taking up where he left off with the ill-fated Irish revolt of 1534, he conducts the reader on a whirlwind journey through the often-twisted annals of Irish history. After the British conquest of Ireland is complete and the installation of the "plantation" system tolls the death knell of Irish autonomy, the die is cast in a centuries-long political and spiritual quest for either independence or security. Told from the diverse viewpoints of several interrelated families, this epic recounting of the often tragic fate of one nation under two banners is transformed into an irresistible multigenerational chronicle featuring huge servings of romance, action, conflict, intrigue, and adventure...

Ambitious in scope, teeming with a huge cast of finely drawn and realized characters, and dripping with authentic historical detail, this lengthy but eminently readable narrative will satisfy the appetites of discerning historical fiction aficionados.'

From AudioFile:
'The final novel in Edward Rutherfurd's Dublin saga takes listeners through the final days of British control, full of tension and violent rebellion, to freedom. "Gentle banter" [the author's own words] about an explosion early on is handled with a delicate lightness by John Keating and sets the tone early. Though more passionate later on, as Ireland becomes a political powder keg, Keating's reading shifts gracefully with the various aspects of Rutherford's novel, which weaves the passions and hatreds of its rebels into family drama, then uses those fictional stories to show listeners the history of Ireland. The growing intensity leaves listeners with the sense of having been there.'

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