A review by Rory Brennan

A detailed, complex biography of a reluctant Irishman

 


EXTRACT:

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 In the end this is rescinded, but the story illustrates the violence and insecurity of the times.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. […]

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May/June 2017 (issue no.373) 


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The Dead House

by Billy O’Callaghan

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The Dead House
by Billy O’Callaghan
ISBN: 978-1-84717-887-9
Publisher: Brandon


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