Doubleday, Mar 2004, 27.95, 776 pp.
The first of two tomes to cover the history of Ireland especially in Dublin, THE PRINCES OF IRELAND is a deep look at life in Eire from about 430 AD until the early sixteenth century just on the verge of the Renaissance. The book actually contains a series of anecdotal stories starting in pre-Christian Ireland in the fifth century when a heartbreaking romance occurred between a maiden and a Celtic warrior. Two decades later St. Patrick arrives brining with him Christianity. Five years after the St. Patrick “invasion”, the Vikings sail to the Emerald Isle. Other major events and some not so signicant in Irish history are told until 1537 when English King Henry VIII hangs Thomas.
As he did with LONDON, two millennium in the history of that city, Edward Rutherfurd provides the same treatment to Ireland except this time there will be two volumes with the first book covering eleven hundred years of history. Mr. Rutherfurd uses historical events to bring to life major periods in Dublin, but in each case the narrative serves as a means to enhance the deep look at a particular era. The time and place come first so that this tome is targeted more for extreme history lovers who want the facts, but those who do will receive a first rate treatment.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner