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The Rebels of Ireland: The Dublin Saga Paperback – February 27, 2007

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The Rebels of Ireland: The Dublin Saga + The Princes of Ireland: The Dublin Saga + New York: The Novel
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Product Details

  • Series: The Dublin Saga
  • Paperback: 896 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (February 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345472365
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345472366
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Rutherford concludes his stirring Dublin Saga with a sweeping follow-up to his widely praised and popular The Princes of Ireland (2004). 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. The previous volumes in the series have proven very popular, and the latest installment should follow suit. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Praise for the Bestselling Novels of EDWARD RUTHERFURD

The Princes of Ireland:
“A giant, sprawling, easy-to-read story told in James Michener fashion.” —Maeve Binchy

“A sweeping, carefully reconstructed portrait of a nation . . . Leaps through the centuries.” —New York Times

“Spellbinding . . . [A] page-turning Dublin saga . . . Rutherfurd does a magnificent job of packaging a crackling good yarn within the digestible overview of complex historical circumstances and events.” —Booklist

“Remarkable . . . Grand.” —New York Times

“Hold your breath suspense, buccaneering adventure, and passionate tales of love and war.” —The Times (London)

“Fascinating . . . A sprawling epic.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“A tour de force . . . Breathtaking.” —Orlando Sentinel

“Bursts with action, encyclopedic in historic detail . . . supremely well crafted and a delight to read.” —Chicago Tribune

“A richly imagined vision of history, written with genuine delight.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“An example of how a skillful historical novelist can illumine the present by dramatically re-creating the past.” —Houston Chronicle

“Rutherfurd literally personifies history.” —New York Daily News

The Forest:
“As entertaining as Sarum and Rutherfurd’s other sweeping novel of British history, London.” —Boston Globe

The Forest is Michener told with an English accent.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch

More About the Author

Edward Rutherfurd was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, and educated at Cambridge University and Stanford University in California. His first book, Sarum was based on the history of Salisbury. London, Russka,The Forest, Dublin and Ireland Awakening all draw on finely researched details of social history. Edward Rutherford has spent much of the last 30 years living in New York and Conneticut. He has an American wife and two American educated children and has served on a New York co-op board.

Customer Reviews

Very interesting to all.
Mary V. Flynn
Edward Rutherfurd is a great story teller of individual lives and of history, and he does a good job of mixing the two in `The Rebels of Ireland'.
Reading Fan
Nevertheless a very good(I was so interested I finished it in 2 days)read.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Gary Griffiths VINE VOICE on April 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
At the risk of understatement, "The Rebels of Ireland" is an epic novel, a big and bold production akin to the film spectaculars of Cecil B. DeMille's in the 50's. That Rutherfurd's saga of Ireland is spun from a passion for the Emerald Isle is evident, as the sheer length and detail will limit commercial success. But you need not be an aficionado of Irish history to appreciate and enjoy this grand tale. Picking up where the 2004 "The Princes of Ireland" leaves off, Rutherfurd takes us through generations of bitter religious conflict, wars, treachery, and famine, starting in 1597 and closing in the early 20th century. But it is by no means necessary to read "Princes" before tackling this one - the stories stand alone - and the author provides a helpful 15 page introduction bridging the preceding ten or twelve centuries. But "Rebels" is much richer than a mere historical chronicle. It is a vibrant, living, story of families and emotions, of trusts forged and broken. If history were an funereal, then this is definitely the Irish wake-version. Rutherfurd is often compared to Michener for all the right reasons, but I've found all of Rutherfurd's novels leaving Michener a bit dull and lifeless by comparison. In short, a mighty achievement of well-researched history brought to life in compelling and gripping fiction - a great novel to kick back and savor slowly over the course of a few weeks.
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69 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Luan Gaines HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is the most recent volume of Rutherfurd's Dublin Saga, the last of which, The Princes of Ireland, covered over a thousand years of Irish history as lived through the early ancestors of a group of families: the O"Byrne's, descended from the Kings of Ireland; the MacGowan's, craftsmen and merchants; the Harold's and the Doyle's, Viking families who settled and comprised a segment of the farmer and merchant classes; the Walshes, ancestors of Flemish knights who settled in Wales rather than continue on their journey; and the Tidy's, an assortment of craftsmen, merchants and local officials. Although this volume is weighty, Rutherfurd's particular talent in the telling of the past is the humanizing of his characters as they evolve, their fortunes changing with the centuries, Ireland transformed by the ripe opportunities offered to the new English settlers and the problems that ensue from the establishment of English colonies on Irish soil.

Historical fiction is at its most effective when the personal narratives of the characters offer insights into a country at a time when families' divided loyalties are caught in the juggernaut of a centuries-long conquest of Ireland by the English and the concomitant religious turmoil that ensues when Protestantism and Catholicism collide. The beleaguered island is not only the site of the great historical events portrayed in this novel, but also the smaller daily dramas of individuals shaped by the passions of their beliefs and a quest for freedom from oppression and religious tolerance at any cost. Sprinkled among the family dramas and political conflicts, are the more intimate details of men and women who want prosperity and security for their families, drawn by fate into the religious and political dynamic that so defines much of Irish history.
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Format: Hardcover
The history of Ireland is one of literature's favorite themes. No country lends itself more to tales of mysticism, romance, heraldry, and fierce battles over land and ideology than this small, rocky island in the north Atlantic. The first thousand years of its turbulent history were covered in Edward Rutherfurd's THE PRINCES OF IRELAND, where he chronicled the mystical and tumultuous saga of the Irish High Kings, and the craftsmen, farmers and servant families who served them.

In THE REBELS OF IRELAND, Rutherfurd continues his sweeping saga, centered in Dublin and the Wicklow Mountains. The novel picks up after the ill-fated Irish Revolt of 1534, when British forces vanquished the ill-equipped Irish. The land grab begins as English yeomen are brought in to remove and replace Irishmen on the centuries-old land holds. Cromwell's cataclysmic invasion of minds and souls in the mid-1600s sets the stage for the religious conflicts that have shrouded Ireland's past and predestined its dark future in waves of savage war and tenuous peace, which continue into modern times.

In REBELS, the heirs to the High Kings and numerous other heirs of the early characters in PRINCES are followed through the struggles beginning in 1597 through the early 20th century. Rutherfurd pays particular attention to the era surrounding the infamous potato famine in the mid-1800s, resulting in the starvation of more than a million people and ultimately in the Irish Diaspora, which led several millions of Irish emigrants to the Continent, America and Australia.

An overarching theme is the role played in the subjugation by the British, not only in their attempt to grab Ireland's land, but to annihilate the Irish Catholics through literal starvation of the body as well as their minds.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Douglas S. Wood on June 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Rutherfurd's Rebels of Ireland completes his two-volume epic saga of Ireland. The emerald isle posed a challenge for Rutherfurd, who normally sweeps across thousands of years in a single volume. The Rebels of Ireland is unusual in that it commences quite late in the day - 1534 and continues through Irish independence in 1922 - a mere four centuries!

In his standard style Rutherfurd follows the fortunes and machinations of several families through Irish history. We meet Oliver Cromwell, Robert Emmet, Wolfe Tone, Daniel O'Connell, and Charles Stewart Parnell. Rutherfurd takes us through the Flight of the Earls, the Battle of the Boyne, the skedaddling of the Wild Geese, the Famine, and the Great Migration to America. Rutherfurd gives a fascinating description of how some families, especially those with aspirations, would more or less choose or at least encourage one son to convert to Protestantism so as to have one foot in each camp - in particular one foot in the official church of the elite.

The Rebels of Ireland necessarily lacks the full epic scope of Rutherfurd's other works and feels a bit cramped as a result. Not at the top of my personal Rutherfurd favorites, but well worth the read.

Recommended for fans of Rutherfurd or any reader with an interest in Irish history. By the way, if you enjoy historical novels about Ireland also try the excellent "IRELAND: A Novel" by Frank Delaney.
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