When I used to teach history years ago in a girls school, I would have loved a book like this, something that would have transported the pupils back to the days of gods and goddesses, high kings and druids without any pain. I knew how they would turn out. They were about places I see all around me still I had forgotten, or quite possibly supressed, the fact that in early Ireland the Irish had English slaves, not the other way round. Edward Rutherfurd has written about Dublin with love.
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You have said in interviews in the past that you refuse to cheat on history. What do you mean by that? My fictional characters are free to follow their personal destinies; but I never alter the historical record just to suit my convenience, or my prejudices.
I think it does matter. Because so much bad feeling - and so much political propaganda - is based upon the falsification of history. An extreme example would be the medieval blood myth told against the Jews - that they kidnapped and sacrificed Christian children.
Absurd, but widely believed for a long time. A small example would be the movie The Patriot. The bad guy English officer burns an American congregation alive in their church. This was pure fabrication. A deliberate lie. No such thing happened. Fortunately, many critics and journalists pointed out the error. It seems to me that those of us in the business of storytelling, in books, plays or movies, have an ethical obligation not to mislead our audiences over the historical record, especially when subjects may be emotive and affect our attitudes to others.
This novel is one of several historical novels that Edward Rutherfurd has written, beginning with Sarum I opened this review with an excerpt from an interview posted on Mr. These discrepancies or embellishments have always been minor and minimal in Mr. This book is also part one of two books focused largely on Dublin and I will be reading part two next.
Dubh Linn with the approx. The ancient Fergus clan were charged with the upkeep of the crossing and to offer refreshment and shelter to those who broke their journey there. The goddess Eriu was one of the most revered of the gods and goddesses worshipped at the time and most likely eventually gave her name to the Island. I was smitten with this novel from the very beginning.
In time, we traveled through the sojourn of the simple English Priest, Patrick, who had been a slave in Ireland at one time and returned to bring word of a gentler, kinder God than the harsh and demanding gods of the time. Meeting the various families whose descendants would populate this novel throughout its travels through time, was fascinating.
The history of the names and how they evolved in some cases there were even practical and crucial reasons for the names changing was intriguing. As various conquerors came to the Western isle, I was mesmerized by how each conquering culture became absorbed into the culture already there. The Romans brought changes briefly, although it was the coming of the Vikings largely Norwegians and Danish with some of the other Scandinavian countries also represented that had the largest and most long-term influence.
Aside from the English, that is. This could have been an idyllic and completely peaceful place to live forever had it not been for the in-fighting between the Irish Kings and their clans. The years between and were the time of Brian Boru. Some of the Irish believed that his mission was to unite all of Ireland under one leader, and saw this as a good thing.
So the problems came down to three things that are still problems to this day — and not by any means only in Ireland. Money, politics, and power. Maybe because Ireland is such a small and concentrated area, the downfalls and the mistakes are more easily identified.
In other words, it is easier to diagnose a problem with a tree by looking at one leaf through a microscope than by trying to see the whole tree through a magnifying glass. When some of the Irish Kings and their clans began to appeal to England for help in vanquishing their traditional enemies, it drew attention to the fact that here was an entire little world sitting there waiting to be plundered. It was done easily and simply. To many of the seaports in Ireland, it was no different than past dealings with other traders from other countries.
It appears simple enough in this book as we cover over years of Irish history, but it is in reading the stories of representative peoples of the time that we can fully appreciate the tragedies, triumphs, and the joys and sorrows that all people of the time experienced. There is so much more to this novel but it would take a novella of its own to fully review this amazing book. I am happy that some of the key families will also be picking up the story in the second volume. Their stories are truly amazing and beautifully written, with never a dull moment to be found.
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You have said in interviews in the past that you refuse to cheat on history. What do you mean by that? My fictional characters are free to follow their personal destinies; but I never alter the historical record just to suit my convenience, or my prejudices. I think it does matter. Because so much bad feeling - and so much political propaganda - is based upon the falsification of history.
LA SAGA DE DUBLIN I: PRINCIPES DE IRLANDA