A review by Rory Brennan

A detailed, complex biography of a reluctant Irishman



Do the best biographies kick off with an anecdote? This seems to be a fashion today. Anyway, this excellent one does. Two Trinity College Dublin students in 1710, after a night’s jollification, deface the equestrian statue of King William and steal his baton. In turn they are nicked, but the matter is treated as no mere jape. They get heavily fined and threatened with exposure holding a repentant sign in College Green, a sort of stocks or pillory sentence that could result in serious injury from a vindictive crowd. In the end this is rescinded, but the story illustrates the violence and insecurity of the times. TCD, stoutly Protestant, overreacts to a lark perpetrated on their monarch-saviour, who delivered them from the ‘Papist’ James. They still fear the Jacobite ghost prowling outside, perhaps even lurking within the college. […]

Content is restricted to subscribers – to continue reading please log-in via Exact Editions or contact us about a print or digital subscription.

books ireland logo green
May/June 2017 (issue no.373) 

November Book Competition

A Flutter of Wings

by Mervyn Wall

First collected in 1974, the stories span Mervyn Wall's entire writing career, dating back to the 1940s.

for a chance to win:

A Flutter of Wings by Mervyn Wall
ISBN: 978-1-78380-017-9
Publisher: The Swan River Press



Books Ireland is looking for new writers. Read our full Submission Guidelines


Do you want to Advertise with us? To know more about us and to download our rate card click here

‘Books Ireland provides a breathing space, a garden if you will, where literature may continue to be valued for its own sake and discussed and appreciated in a climate of intellectual freedom and relaxation.’
Eamonn Kelly, playwright and award-winning short-storyist
‘An indispensable institution for reader, writer and bookmaker alike.’
Antony Farrell, publisher at Lilliput
‘Books Ireland is a creative asset for writers, editors, publishing houses and the media, and is a unique record of publishing in Ireland.'
Michael O’Brien, O’Brien Press
‘Books Ireland performs an invaluable service in broadcasting to the wider literary and book-reading world the variety of publishing enterprises in Ireland’
R. F. Foster, Carroll Professor of Irish History, University of Oxford

Facebook Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com