This classic account of the great Irish rebellion of 1798 remains the only full-scale history of that tragic event. As relevant today as it was when first published in 1969, THE YEAR OF LIBERTY is now reissued with the addition of a chronology and a glossary of terms. In May 1798 a hundred thousand peasants rose against the British government in Ireland. By the time the revolt had been put down four months later, thirty thousand dead were literally rotting in heaps in a smoking and desolate countryside. Yet it was not a schoolroom story of the heroic oppressed rising against the brutal oppressor, but the result of a complex, tragic, often absurd and sometimes heroic interplay between different groups of people. A tough and arrogant oligarchy of country gentlemen, mainly Protestant and mainly British in origin, lived off a Catholic peasantry. Meanwhile, idealistic merchants and hot-headed young lawyers dreamed and plotted for an Irish Republic on the French model. From a mass of sources including confidential government reports, contemporary newspapers, poems, broadsheets and letters, the author pieces together a story at once complex, tragic, absurd and heroic.
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(198mm x 135mm x 29mm)
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
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UK Kirkus Review »
First published in 1969 and now reissued for the 200th anniversary of the Irish rebellion, Pakenham's weighty study remains the best single account of the tragic events of 1798. Thoroughly researched and beautifully written, the narrative explores the causes and motivations which lay behind the plots to break free from English colonial rule. It brings vividly to life the panic of the precarious government in Dublin Castle, the idealism of the revolutionaries who sought liberty on the French model, and the utter confusion of the battlefield which left 30,000 Irish men, women and children brutally slaughtered to no avail. Here is a harrowing tale, at once heroic and pathetic, with much to teach us. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Thomas Pakenham
Thomas Pakenham is the author of several other books including THE BOER WAR and THE SCRAMBLE FOR AFRICA, both published by Abacus. He lives in Co. Westmeath, Ireland.