Title: Friend of Castlereagh: A Historical Novel
Publisher: Shepheard-Walwyn (Publishers) Ltd
Binding: Soft cover
Book Condition: New
2013. Paperback. In 1798, infected by the French Revolution, the United Irishmen rebel against English rule, but are crushed by their fearful, harsh and often inept rulers. The fictional hero, a boyhood friend of Lord Castlereagh, is caught in the mesh of circumstance and plays a supporting role in helping ease tension in the north. Num Pages: 400 pages, 3 maps. BIC Classification: FV. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 229 x 153 x 31. Weight in Grams: 632. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780856832956
Synopsis: 1798 in Ireland has been described variously as the year of the French, the year of Liberty, or the year of rebellion. The summer was sunny, unusually so, but bloody when the United Irishmen, fired by France's revolution and its gospel of equality, were crushed by a fearful, harsh and often inept ruling power. The forces for change and, equally, the forces of reaction, were clothed with passion and in their wake the people suffered terribly. Cornwallis, Castlereagh, Grattan, Foster, Wolfe Tone, Fitzgerald, Father John and Father Michael Murphy, Henry Munro, Henry Joy McCracken and many more were caught within the mesh of circumstance. Many good men strove for what they thought was best. But cruelty, greed, and hateful bigotry bred crimes humanity abhors. Gales had prevented major French landings in the south, but after the rebellion had largely been crushed, the French landed on the north-west coast with a thousand battle-hardened troops. The danger was confronted but not without considerable risk and uncertainty. The story weaves its way amidst this troubled time and the awful hardships of the people. The fictional 'friend of Castlereagh' is a well-to-do farmer and boyhood companion of Robert Stewart, the future Viscount Castlereagh. Through their friendship, John Gray is introduced to Dublin Society where he meets his future wife, her uncle who befriends him, and an English officer who grows to love the Irish and their ways. Castlereagh is a constant presence in the story as he seeks to restore order and find solutions to the country's deep-rooted problems. Often he is misunderstood and blamed for many things he himself abhorred. John Gray plays a supporting role in helping to ease the tensions in the north. The story begins in Northern County Down, then moves to Dublin, Wexford, Mayo, Fermanagh, and to England, but often it returns to Newtownards in County Down where it began.
About the Author: John Stewart is the author of two biographies and three historical novels: The Centurion, translated into German, Italian and Spanish, is centred in biblical times; The Last Romans, set at the end of the Roman Empire in the West; and Marsilio, set in Renaissance Italy.
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