* The classic account of the great Irish rebellion of 1798
This classic account of the great Irish rebellion of 1798 remains the only full-scale history of that tragic event. As relevant today as it was when first published in 1969, THE YEAR OF LIBERTY is now reissued with the addition of a chronology and a glossary of terms. In May 1798 a hundred thousand peasants rose against the British government in Ireland. By the time the revolt had been put down four months later, thirty thousand dead were literally rotting in heaps in a smoking and desolate countryside. Yet it was not a schoolroom story of the heroic oppressed rising against the brutal oppressor, but the result of a complex, tragic, often absurd and sometimes heroic interplay between different groups of people. A tough and arrogant oligarchy of country gentlemen, mainly Protestant and mainly British in origin, lived off a Catholic peasantry. Meanwhile, idealistic merchants and hot-headed young lawyers dreamed and plotted for an Irish Republic on the French model. From a mass of sources including confidential government reports, contemporary newspapers, poems, broadsheets and letters, the author pieces together a story at once complex, tragic, absurd and heroic.
For anyone who wishes to understand the essence of the Irish Troubles, THE YEAR OF LIBERTY is compulsory reading - THE TIMES
A fine, masterly and absorbing book - SPECTATOR
A notable contribution to the history of Ireland...Thomas Packenham has accomplished brilliantly what he has set out to do. - OBSERVER
He memorably conveys the utter confusion in which nearly everyone was plunged nearly all the time...brilliant narrative, a masterpiece of story-telling. - IRISH TIMES
Thomas Pakenham is the author of the critically acclaimed THE SCRAMBLE FOR AFRICA which won the W.H. Smith Award and the Alan Paton Award. He is also the author of THE BOER WAR, THE MOUNTAINS OF RASSELAS and THE YEAR OF LIBERTY. He lives in County Westmeath, Ireland and is chairman of the Irish Tree Society. He plants trees both for profit and ornament.