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Martyrs and Traitors: A Tale of 1916 Paperback – September 18, 2011

4.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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About the Author

Introduced to the concept of cultural activism at an early age by my father, a prominent operatic coach and language revivalist, I always found it fascinating how various ethnic groups have addressed the concept of national identity, especially when it was in peril.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: All Things That Matter Press (September 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984651748
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984651740
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,010,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. Rubenstein on September 21, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ghost RunnersM.J. Neary is the author of a thoroughly researched, tantalizing history about Ireland at the turn of the twentieth century. It is the dawn of a renewed Irish nationalism with new voices to the old conflicts that have not been settled. One can imagine the lyrical brash of male laments to tell this tale in the pubs where so many hearts are broken--so much destruction of dreams. Sort of reminiscent of our own- Neary's narration defies prescription. She can slash gender bias in an instant with her own brand of historical perspective tempered with both truth and wisdom. Her sad one liners have a cutting clarity that betrays all but the genuine heart. A male character suffers from pain `inflicted' by a `love of woman.' I never heard heartache described quite that way. `Inflicted' is the cut; it is savage and final as Neary, does not need to mince words. Take another- Pearse, who was " inclined to deify women, interpreted Eveleen's rejection of his love as an act of self-sacrifice."

Those are the salvos that are thrust out and never brought to consciousness. By her microscopic analyses, Neary raises her voice in the small of the day to day to create a vision that we still idealize, and that does not go away. Reality of the past becomes the nostalgia of the modern day, and Neary has captured both with an often lyrical, but always insightful pen. We know Bulmer lived because he suffered and because he dared to dream. Though she would fie on romanticism with a viper's sword , Neary transcends her genre and goes beyond tough times to create a perfect world.
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Format: Paperback
Martyrs and Traitors is an enthralling peek behind the scenes of one of the twentieth century's most illustrious revolutionary events. With deft insight and a cunning understanding of human nature, Neary reclaims from the fringes of history one of the most misunderstood players in the drama of the Ireland's Easter uprising and brings him into stunning definition, painting an intimate portrait of a man consumed by complex and sometimes conflicting passions. Marked with crackling dialogue and masterful characterization, this authoritative and highly literary journey through the life of Bulmer Hobson and a host of his memorable contemporaries is a stirring reminder that history is not comprised of events, but of human beings.
~ Jeff Gephart, author of Out of Dark Places and The Second Life
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"My lifelong quest is to dig up lost treasures, literary and historical, and bring into light those figures that have remained in the shadow for whatever reason ...this novel is my hymn for all prematurely extinguished stars."

This quote from Marina Julia Neary's bio, although placed at the end of the novel, is a perfect place to begin my thoughts on it. `Martyrs and Traitors' is a complex and character driven historical fiction that goes below the textbook surface of historic events and the people involved in them, and highlights the clash of cultures and motives, foolishness and courage that so often underlie them. Its theatrical, dialogue-rich style employs a multitude of players in the lead up to the Irish Easter Rebellion of 1916, its dramatic and bloody realization, and the subsequent building of the new Irish state, weaving their stories into that of the Quaker Ulsterman and atypical revolutionary, Bulmer Hobson. Too often a mere footnote in history, Hobson was somewhat of an anti-hero, awkward in himself yet (often unrealistically) determined in his beliefs, at times his own worst enemy, brought up to avoid violence but at one point earning the British government's label of "The most dangerous man in Ireland".

Ms. Neary cleverly and unsentimentally develops Hobson's relationships, especially with the women who come and go in his life, including his mother, sister, various lovers, wife, and finally his daughter. Although the novel focuses on Hobson, Ms. Neary leaves us in no doubt that she meant to bring these women to the forefront of the social and political story of Ireland as well as Hobson's, making each of them significant characters in their own right, and offering, for me, some of the most compelling reading in the novel.

Ms.
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Format: Paperback
M.J. Neary has written another great work of historical fiction. Martyrs and Traitors - A tale of 1916 - takes us to the Ireland of heroes, struggle, and desire. With this book, Neary has proven once again that she is as one with the Irish soul.

But Martyrs and Traitors is not your usual celebration of the struggle for freedom. Her characters are more nuanced and - surprise of surprises - the women of the fight are given their just position.

If you are of Irish heritage, wished you were, or just plain loved the color green, read this book. And I dare you to try and keep your feet from dancing a little jig at the end of the tale. (Kenneth Weene, author of Widow's Walk, Memoirs From the Asylum, and the soon to be released Tales From the Dew Drop Inne: Because there's one in every town [...])
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