Tag Archives: Ireland

Mailbox Monday: Christmas edition

After taking a hiatus to concentrate on coursework, I’m returning to Truth in Fiction with a Christmas edition of Mailbox Monday. I don’t usually receive enough books to participate in the weekly meme, which encourages readers to share the new books they’ve acquired each week, but during family get-togethers after Christmas I was well-supplied with enough fiction and non-fiction to ward off the boredom of a long Canadian winter.

Mailbox Monday began at The Printed Page but is now being hosted on a monthly basis as the ‘Mailbox Monday Blog Tour’. For the month of January it can be found at Rose City Reader.

Sir William Garrow: His Life, Times and Fight for Justice has been on my wish list for awhile so I was thrilled to find it under the tree! Written by legal historian John Hostettler and Richard Braby, a descendant of Garrow’s, it details the life of Sir William Garrow, an eighteenth century lawyer who changed the English criminal trial. Garrow spent the first ten years of his career as a defender at The Old Bailey and became known for his aggressive cross-examination, but later in life he changed sides and conducted prosecutions against political radicals while his colleague, Lord Erskine, defended them and became the more celebrated lawyer. Garrow’s early career has been dramatized in the wonderful British drama Garrow’s Law, which concluded its successful second season in December.

For my birthday several months ago my Aunt gave me Aristocrats, Stella Tillyard’s biography of the Lennox Sisters who became influential in Georgian England, so it was only fitting that I received Tillyard’s other titles, A Royal Affair and Citizen Lord: The Life of Edward Fitzgerald, Irish Revolutionary from her for Christmas.

A Royal Affair is concerned with King George III of England and his siblings, primarily his sister Caroline Mathilde whose affair with a court doctor ended in tragedy. Also featuring the king’s brothers, who delighted the gossip-hungry press by partying and carrying on disastrous relationships, Tillyard’s biography suggests that George III’s refusal to give up America can be attributed to his desire to control the colonists in the same way that he tried to rule his siblings.

Her other title, Citizen Lord, chronicles the life of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, a Dubliner who fought with the British in the American War of Independence, visited revolutionary France, and took part in the 1798 Irish rebellion. A blurb on the back of the work writes that Lord Edward “grew up as vigorous as Garibaldi and passionate as Byron”. That description alone is enough to pique my interest!

Continuing with the Irish theme, I received Morgan Llywelyn’s 1916: A Novel of the Irish Rebellion. I first borrowed this fictionalized account of the Easter Rising from the library last March as part of the Ireland Reading Challenge, and am thrilled to have my own copy of this fantastic novel to re-read and keep. You can find my review of it here!

My final historical addition is Kate Pullinger’s Mistress of Nothing. The novel, which won the 2009 Governor General’s Literary Award recognizing excellence in Canadian literature, is loosely based on the writings of Lady Lucie Duff-Gordon. Lady Duff-Gordon moved to Egypt in order to help manage her tuberculosis and published Letters from Egypt in 1865. Pullinger’s novel places Sally, the lady’s maid accompanying her, as the narrator who eventually must learn that despite the new freedoms life in Egypt has granted her, she is ultimately mistress of nothing.

I was also fortunate enough to receive a pair of fantasy novels to read when I’d rather escape to another world than the past. I’ve been meaning to read Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman for awhile and asked for the novel this Christmas in the hopes of finally sitting down to read it. This collaboration by two of the biggest names in fantasy was nominated for the World Fantasy Award in 1990 and concerns the efforts of the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley to postpone the end of the world after the apocalypse is announced.

Lev Grossman’s The Magicians tells the story of a teenager, Quentin Coldwater, disappointed in real life and secretly fascinated by a series of fantasy novels set in a magical land of Fillory. Life becomes much more interesting when he’s admitted to a college of magic in New York and discovers that Fillory is real, but he soon realizes that the reality is darker than his childhood fantasy and more dangerous.



Filed under British History, Irish History, Mailbox Monday

YotH: 1916: A Novel of the Irish Rebellion

1916: A Novel of the Irish Rebellion by Morgan Llywelyn. Tor Books, 1998.

This is my first March entry in the 2010 reading challenge Year of the Historical.

This is my second novel for the 2010 Ireland Reading Challenge.

The novel begins in 1914 with fifteen-year-old Ned Halloran from County Clare setting sail across the Atlantic. His sister Kathleen is about to be married and her fiance, a representative of the White Star Line, has bought second-class tickets for Ned and his parents onboard a great ocean liner. As the reader has likely guessed the Hallorans are passengers on the Titanic, and while Ned survives the disaster, his parents do not. Upon Ned’s return to Ireland the family’s Anglo-Irish landlord wants to do something for him in order to make up for what he went through, so Ned is offered the chance to go away to school in Dublin. There he becomes a student of Saint Enda’s, a secondary school for boys, and meets headmaster Pádraic Pearse. Inspired by Pearse’s teachings, Ned becomes a devoted nationalist and his life intertwines with those of prominent Irishmen and women who will play roles in the 1916 Rising, including James Connolly, Tom Clarke, and Countess Markievicz. As events unfold and the characters draw ever closer to the climactic rebellion, Ned grows from schoolboy to soldier and falls in love.

One look at the bibliography speaks volumes about both the amount of research Morgan Llywelyn has done and her dedication to historical accuracy. Events leading up to the rebellion and actions during it occurred largely as they do in her retelling and the only fictional aspects are the original characters that she has so carefully crafted. Llywelyn uses historical figures as major characters including Tom Clarke, who really did own a tobacco store around the corner from the General Post Office, and charismatic leader Pádraic Pearse.

As related in the novel, James Connolly’s ankle was shattered by a sniper shot during the Rising and he lay on a bed of wheels reading detective fiction. Unlike the other leaders of the Rising, Connolly was not held in Richmond Barracks or Kilmainham Gaol following his surrender but in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham across the street. Although unable to stand, Connolly had still been sentenced to execution by firing squad for his role in the Rebellion so he was carried to the prison courtyard by stretcher, tied to a chair, and shot on May 12, 1916.

Llywelyn also accurately documents the evacuation of women from the GPO during the Rising. All women except for two nurses and James Connolly’s secretary were evacuated from the premises before the surrender. Llywelyn adds to this number the fictional Síle Duffy. Nurse Elizabeth O’Farrell carried a red cross flag and acted as the go-between while terms of surrender were negotiated. At 3:45 PM on April 29th Pearse signed the document of unconditional surrender, stating:

“In order to prevent the further slaughter of Dublin citizens, and in the hope of saving the lives of our followers now surrounded and hopelessly outnumbered, the members of the Provisional Government present at headquarters have agreed to an unconditional surrender, and the commandants of the various districts in the City and County will order their commands to lay down arms.”

1916 contains a tremendous amount of research, but what could be a dry account of the Easter Rising becomes a fascinating historical but also literary tale in Llywelyn’s capable hands. The familiar names of the Rising leaders are given personality and depth, but her fictional characters are every bit as engaging as the historical ones. Protagonist Ned Halloran has flaws but is someone the reader will root for, and although the fates of many of the main characters are already known to anyone familiar with the period, the lives of Llywelyn’s fictional characters are less predictable.

Obviously I appreciate the tremendous amounts of research that went into this novel, as evidenced by the lengthy bibliography and extensive footnotes, and I don’t think that the history detracts from a passionately told story. In fact the only criticisms I have to offer are that Precious, the orphaned child Ned rescues, never develops beyond the precocious child cliche, and that the storyline involving Ned’s sister Kathleen comes to an abrupt end, although it might be resolved in the next novel of the series. 1916 is the first novel of five in Llywelyn’s “Irish Century” series, which continues with 1921, 1949, 1972, and 1999, and I look forward to devouring the rest of the series and to reading more of her many historical novels.

Verdict: This is the ideal work for historical fiction for me. Passionate, interesting, and accurate, this look at Irish history will delight all. Highly recommended.


Filed under Ireland Reading Challenge, Irish History

The Wind That Shakes the Barley

This is my second review for the 2010 Period Drama Challenge hosted by Lights, Camera…History!

Set in rural County Cork, the 2006 Palme D’Or winner The Wind That Shakes the Barley is the story of Damien and Teddy O’Donovan, two brothers (played by Cillian Murphy and Pádraic Delaney respectively) who take opposite views on the Anglo-Irish Treaty.

The film begins in 1920 with a hurling match between young men. After the game they are confronted by the Black and Tans, an armed force employed by the Royal Irish Constabulary. Although he witnesses the fatal beating of his friend Micheail, who refuses to say his name in English, Damien elects to pursue his medical studies at a prestigious London hospital. But as he prepares to leave town, Damien sees a railway guard and the train driver resist armed British forces. The guard is beaten and Damien chooses to stay behind and help, subsequently joining his more militant brother Teddy as a member of the IRA.

The IRA column promptly infiltrates an army barracks for guns, which they use to assassinate four British Auxiliaries in a local pub. The brigade is captured after an Anglo-Irish landowner presses his servant Chris Reilly, a teenage IRA member, into revealing their location. All are set to be executed the next morning but a sympathetic Irish officer helps all but three prisoners to escape. Unfortunately Chris’ part in their capture means that the brigade have orders from Headquarters to execute him as a traitor. The act is performed by Damien, who has known him since he was a child. “I’ve crossed the line now Sinéad…I can’t feel anything,” he tells his sweetheart afterwards.

Further acts of violence on both sides persist until a truce is declared and the Anglo-Irish Treaty signed, but the Treaty divides the IRA and the brothers. While Teddy argues that the terms are a starting point and that more gains can be made in the future, Damien believes that the war must continue until complete independence form Great Britain is achieved.

Damien (Cillian Murphy) joins the IRA.

The Wind That Shakes the Barley features fictional characters but historical events and figures are mentioned, such as socialist leader James Connolly. While awaiting execution, Dan and Damien discuss Connolly’s ideas, and Dan says that he saw the man speak at the Dublin Lock-out which occurred between August 1913 and January 1914. The sport of hurling, played in the opening scene of the movie, also has a historical basis. Many members of its Gaelic Athletic Association had been connected to the 1916 Easter Rising, so by 1918 the British government banned the organization completely. Yet the sport continued to be played as an act of Irish defiance.

The title of the movie comes from a poem of the same name. Written by 19th century poet Robert D. Joyce, “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” is about a rebel soon to take part in the doomed 1798 rebellion. The poem has since been set to music and performed by many artists. The ballad is used in the movie at Micheail’s funeral.

Of course the most controversial part of the film is the atrocities committed by the Black and Tans, often ex-soldiers who had fought in the trenches. The Wind That Shakes the Barley has been criticized by a minority for glorifying the IRA but while the audience is led to sympathize deeply with the IRA, I don’t think that the violence is glorified. Before shooting Chris Reilly, Damien comments to his friend, “I studied anatomy for five years, Dan. And now I’m going to shoot this man in the head. I’ve known Chris Reilly since he was a child. I hope this Ireland we’re fighting for is worth it.” This isn’t a film about the glorious tactics of the IRA, it’s a brutal story about the devastating effect that violence has on people. Discussing the IRA and the Black and Tans, historian Calton Younger sums up the conflict best by writing:

“The Irish fighters dealt out shrewd and relentless death to the invader. The forces of the Crown struck back with ever less pity or scruple. Terror was met with terror. Atrocity was piled on atrocity in a ghastly game of tit for tat that seemed as if it could have no end. Who began it did not matter anymore. Each blow was an answer to the one before, and a prelude to the next. The British government condoned the tactics of its servants and protected them with the starkest lies while raising pious hands in horror as they reported the outrages of their adversaries. As always, the bitter truth was that neither side had much to be proud of.”

Part of the charm of this film is that it doesn’t depict the perfect Hollywood world of ideal speeches. Its characters speak realistically, talking over one another and sometimes stuttering, which I believe draws the viewer in and makes them feel a part of the movie. The film also contains what I consider one of the best political debates to be shown on film as IRA members debate the Pro-Treaty and Anti-Treaty sides:

Director Ken Loach filmed the movie in rural County Cork and the Irish countryside is beautiful. Some viewers will have trouble understanding the thick Cork accents used by most of the main characters at first, but I found that it became easier to understand as I continued to watch and the dialect became familiar.

The film does a wonderful job of re-creating the time period and is so engaging because it examines history in a regional light, looking at how the Anglo-Irish Treaty and guerilla warfare affected average citizens in rural Ireland. The acting is also excellent with Cillian Murphy in particular standing out. His Damien displays all the conflict that a doctor who must take action against a friend should display, but Pádraic Delaney is also wonderful as brother Teddy. This is not an easy movie to watch but it’s absolutely brilliant and provides an important look at the motivations, and events behind this turbulent time in Irish history. In The Wind That Shakes the Barley violence divides families and causes a doctor to kill in cold blood. Losses occur on both sides and no one remains immune to the violence. That is the tragedy of this powerfully moving film.

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Filed under Irish History, Period Drama Challenge

The Historical Tourist spends St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin

The view of O'Connell Street in Dublin from a pub window.

March 17th is St. Patrick’s Day, a day of celebration marked by pints, parades, and ‘the wearing of the green’, but how did this holiday start?

The day celebrates Saint Patrick, who was born in Roman Britain and kidnapped by Irish raiders at the age of sixteen. He remained a shepherd slave for six years until directed to escape by a vision. Fleeing captivity, he landed in France and studied to become a priest. In 432 AD Patrick returned to Ireland as a bishop in hopes of converting the Irish to Christianity. Although Patrick never mentioned it in his autobiography Confessio, the shamrock has become associated with his name due a legend in which he used the three leafed plant to explain about the Holy Trinity. St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated each year on the day he is believed to have died – March 17th.

Spectators hang from the statue of Daniel O'Connell to view the parade.

St. Patrick’s Day has likely been celebrated in Ireland since the sixteenth century, but did not become an official public holiday in the country until 1903. The first St. Patrick’s Day parades took place not in Ireland but in Boston, which claims the world’s first celebration in 1737, and New York City, when Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through the city in 1762. The first parade in Ireland wasn’t held until 1931.

Only in the 1990’s did the Irish government begin using the holiday to showcase Ireland’s culture and attract tourism. This year the St. Patrick’s Festival group celebrates their 15th year, having grown from a three day event to a five day festival. An estimated 675,000 people attended the 2009 parade in Dublin and the Historical Tourist was lucky enough to be one of them!

A float in the 2009 Dublin parade.

The Saint Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin begins at 12 PM in Parnell Square and winds down O’Connell Street. If you want a good view of the parade be sure to get there early. The Historical Tourist and her roommates took their time and arrived late. As a result we didn’t see much over the crowd of green hats! Last year’s parade included floats to celebrate Ireland’s culture and history, including a bookcase symbolizing Ireland’s contribution to literature. Important Irish writers include W.B. Yeats, James Joyce and, of course, Oscar Wilde.

Spectators could turn their tongues green for the holiday by purchasing a green ice cream cone, a shamrock shaped lollipop, or even green cotton candy! I opted for the ice cream.

We all scream for green ice cream!

After the parade I did what every person of legal age in Dublin was doing – I had a pint! While my friends bravely ordered a Guinness, The Historical Tourist, who has never developed a taste for alcohol, stuck to a pint of cider. I also had a shamrock painted on my cheek for the day.

This year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin will contain over 3000 performers and has the theme “Extraordinary World”. As usual, the five day festival will also include a carnival with a giant wheel in Merrion Square and a celebration of the Irish language and of music.

Having my face painted for St. Patrick's Day in Dublin.

An interesting article on the fact and fiction of St. Patrick’s Day can be found here, explaining the association of Saint Patrick with the colour green among other things.

I wish you all a grand St. Patrick’s Day!


Filed under Irish History, The Historical Tourist

Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance

Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance by Gyles Brandreth. Touchstone, 2007.

This is my first novel for the 2010 Ireland Reading Challenge.

Narrated by Robert Sherard, Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance is the first of a planned nine book series of mysteries featuring the witty writer as an amateur sleuth. The novel begins in 1889 with Oscar introducing Sherard to his new friend Arthur Conan Doyle, whose A Study in Scarlet is causing a sensation. When Oscar Wilde finds the naked body of his sixteen-year-old friend Billy Wood, an artist’s model, he is inspired by the fictional Sherlock Holmes to take on the case himself. Yet before he can investigate the murder, he must prove that there has been one. When Oscar returns to the crime scene the next day he finds that the body has been removed and the room cleaned, with a single spot of blood the only sign that any foul play has occurred. Not prepared to leave the case solely in the hands of Scotland Yard, Oscar uses deductive reasoning and observation to investigate the case himself. Robert Sherard, an aspiring poet and journalist in the middle of a messy divorce, serves as the Watson to Oscar Wilde’s Holmes.

Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance offers not one historical figure but three. Surprisingly, Wilde and Conan Doyle did actually know one another. Both were invited for dinner by an American literary publication called Lippincott’s Magazine, which was searching for talent. The dinner resulted in commissions for both men; a further Sherlock Holmes story from Conan Doyle (The Sign of Four), and a novel from Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray). In his autobiography Memories and Adventures Conan Doyle wrote that he and Wilde became friendly although it was a distant relationship that grew more distant as Wilde’s reputation became questionable.

Narrator Robert Sherard is also a historical figure. As noted in the novel, he was the great grandson of the poet William Wordsworth and a loyal friend of Oscar’s. He wrote some of the earliest biographies of Wilde, including The Story of an Unhappy Friendship (1902), The Life of Oscar Wilde (1906), and The Real Oscar Wilde (1917). As a historical biographer of Wilde he is the obvious choice for a Watson who can record his friend’s cases.

Part of what makes this story so enjoyable is the author’s use of Wilde’s trademark wit. In a Q&A at the back of the novel Brandreth explains that Oscar did actually try out lines on his friends and if he liked them would go on to use them in his works. Some remarks are instantly recognisable as lines Wilde actually used, such as “work is the curse of the drinking classes.” Brandreth also works in details such as the death of Oscar’s sister Isola in childhood and his tradition of dressing in mourning on his birthdays. In explanation Oscar once said, “this happens to be my birthday, and I am mourning, as I shall henceforth do on each of my anniversaries, the flight of one year into nothingness, the growing blight upon my summer.” Although Wilde was from an Anglo-Irish Protestant family, he had a life-long interest in Catholicism which culminated in a deathbed conversion. This interest is shown in the novel through his knowledge of hagiology.

I approached this novel hesitantly because the task of crafting original dialogue for one of the wittiest men who ever lived seemed nearly impossible to complete. How could any author hope to capture this extraordinary author and turn him into a sleuth? Rarely have I been so glad to be proven wrong. Brandreth so effectively shapes dialogue for Wilde that the reader can’t tell what lines the dramatist actually said and which have been invented for him. Wilde’s friendship with Conan Doyle and admiration for the deductive detective give him the perfect motivation to take on the role of sleuth and the flawed but loyal Sherard is an effective narrator.

I must confess that while I love mysteries, I don’t have the mind either to write or solve them. As a child reading the “Clue” series I often flipped straight to the answer instead of trying to solve the case, but in Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance even I could figure out some of the answers. Plot isn’t the number one reason to read this book though, that slot belongs to the charming and engaging Oscar Wilde. I thoroughly enjoyed his Holmesian deductive style and his easy wit.

Overall this is a fun romp through Victorian England that promises to be the beginning of a great series. There are two others currently published of a planned nine novels and I look forward to diving into the next mystery (which features Dracula novelist Bram Stoker and the introduction of Lord Alfred Douglas) and to spending more time with Brandreth’s Oscar Wilde.

Verdict: The title is a groaner but Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance is absolutely worth reading.


Filed under Ireland Reading Challenge, Irish History, Mystery March

The Historical Tourist visits Glasnevin Cemetery

Officially known as Prospect Cemetery, Glasnevin is the largest non-denominational cemetery in Ireland. It spans 120 acres and over one million individuals have been laid to rest within its limits, beginning with Michael Casey of Francis Street, Dublin. Amazingly this one cemetery contains many of Ireland’s best known public figures, including statesman Daniel O’Connell, who achieved Catholic Emancipation in 1829, Home Rule proponent Charles Stewart Parnell, and Sir Alfred Chester Beatty, a mining magnate whose art collection is now housed in the magnificent Chester Beatty Library in Dublin.

The history of “Ireland’s Necropolis” begins with the repressive penal laws. England’s conversion to Protestantism during Tudor rule left the problem of what to do with the neighbouring Catholic Ireland. In the early eighteenth century several new laws were passed discriminating against Catholics. Under the penal laws Catholics could not vote, were excluded from most public offices, could not be called to the bar and, of course, could not sit in parliament. These laws also placed restrictions on the public performance of Catholic services. As a result Catholics conducted their own services in Protestant cemeteries.

In the 1820s an incident took place at St. Kevin’s cemetery during which a Protestant sexton reprimanded a Catholic priest for only performing a limited version of a funeral mass. The incident provoked a public outcry and Daniel O’Connell, a Catholic who was able to practice law due to the Catholic Relief Act 1791, prepared a legal opinion to prove that there was no law that forbade praying for a dead Catholic in a graveyard. The “Act of Easement of Burial” Bill passed and nine acres at Glasnevin were bought and consecrated. O’Connell’s push for a cemetery where both Catholics and Protestants could bury their dead in dignity became a reality.

The most visible feature in the cemetery is the round tower marking O’Connell’s grave. Erected in the 1860s to honour “The Liberator”, O’Connell’s body rests in the crypt beneath. When I visited Glasnevin in March 2009, O’Connell’s crypt was locked but the tour guide admitted our group, providing this admirer of O’Connell with a unique thrill that I will not forget. A notice on the cemetery’s website http://www.glasnevintrust.ie states that as of October 22nd O’Connell’s crypt was officially opened as “a fitting tribute to his memory and an appropriate place for those of us who owed him so much to come in respectful pilgrimage”. Access to the crypt had been limited due to damage caused to the tower by a suspected loyalist bomb in 1971. On the beautifully painted walls O’Connell’s dying wish can be read, “My body to Ireland – my heart to Rome – my soul to Heaven.”

Inside Daniel O'Connell's crypt.

But O’Connell is not the only noted statesman to be buried at Glasnevin. Also buried is Charles Stewart Parnell, who was president of the National Land League and leader of the Home Rule movement in the 1880s. Although his affair with a married woman caused his fall from political life, the “uncrowned King of Ireland” (a title also given to O’Connell) remains popular. More than 200,000 people attended his 1891 funeral and in 1940 a gravestone of granite from county Wicklow was erected with just one word, “PARNELL”.

Parnell's gravesite.

More recent burials include the famous Michael Collins, who fought in the General Post Office in the 1916 Easter Rising and was a member of the delegation who negotiated the Anglo-Irish treaty, his contemporary Eamon de Valera, author of the Constitution of Ireland and two-time President of Ireland, and Countess Constance Markievicz. Markievicz became the first woman to be elected to the British Parliament (in 1918), but in accordance with Sinn Féin policy she refused to take her seat. She was instead a member of the ‘First Dáil’ , established by Sinn Féin MPs elected to the House of Commons during the 1918 General Election, in which she was Minister of Labour.

Grave of Michael Collins.

With the centenary of the 1916 Rising approaching, the cemetery is undergoing restorations and there are plans for a new heritage centre which will form a suitable introduction to the cemetery. The Glasnevin website displays a virtual map and an index of notable grave sites. By clicking on the marker, those interested can read biographies of the deceased.

Few places offer such a deep connection to Irish history as Glasnevin. The cemetery offers daily guided tours at 2:30 P.M. for five euros. These tours last one and a half hours and are a wonderful way to learn some of the fascinating history of Ireland, and to admire the architectural artistry of the many monuments.

Base of a beautiful Celtic Cross.


Filed under Historical Tales, The Historical Tourist

Mystery March at Truth in Fiction

One of the great pleasures of blogging is that you get to share books and thoughts with others. Ideally the blogger not only enjoys writing about a subject that interests them, but others learn from, enjoy, or are inspired by their posts. I haven’t progressed very far in my chosen reading challenges yet, but I have been inspired by other people’s blogs, and by books that I have discovered through these challenges. While scrolling through other January reviews at the Year of the Historical Reading Challenge, I found a series of mysteries featuring playwright Oscar Wilde as a sleuth. Earlier that month I had become intrigued by the Historical Novel Society’s review of an Abigail Adams mystery. Much to my surprise, there are a number of mysteries that recast famous historical figures in the role of amateur detective. Finding it hard to pass up the alliteration, an idea was born for “Mystery March”, a month of mystery and history. Throughout March I’ll be taking a look at some of these historical mysteries and their famous detectives.

Having signed up for the fabulous Ireland Reading Challenge over at Books and Movies, I’ve also decided that March is the perfect month to jump in and explore Irish history. Although I’ve always had an interest in history, it was a wonderful professor and a course on Irish history that really sparked my passion, so Irish history holds a special place in my heart. Over the course of the month I’ll be reading and reviewing some Irish fiction and non-fiction and sharing interesting tidbits on the history of the Emerald Isle. I’ll also be introducing a new feature called “The Historical Tourist”, in which I’ll take a look at the history behind some of the tourist attractions I’ve been fortunate enough to visit.

I look forward to sharing my interest in Irish history with you!


Filed under Biography, Ireland Reading Challenge, The Historical Tourist, Uncategorized