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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Blog O'The Irish Has Moved

http://blogotheirish.wordpress.com/

Yes I have done it...Blog O'The Irish has Moved!!! Since I won a blog makeover for my CelticLady's Reviews Blog and I have my Celticlady's Book Recommendation Blog at Wordpress, I decided to move Blog O'The Irish as well...Hope you take a moment to stop by!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Deadly Inheritance: An Ursula Grandison Mystery Author: Janet Laurence




BOOK RECOMMENDATION

American Ursula Grandison accompanies Belle Seldon to visit her sister, Helen, Countess of Mountstanton, commissioned by their father, multi-millionaire Chauncey Seldon, to discover what is wrong with Helen’s marriage and what has happened to her dowry. At decaying stately Mountstanton House, Ursula finds the Earl is a cold fish, the Dowager Countess of Mounstanton the mother-in-law from hell, and Helen has not forgiven her for stealing her great love. Ursula discovers the drowned body of Polly, the nursemaid, thought to have deserted the household. Neither the Earl’s brother, Colonel Charles Stanhope, nor Ursula believes Polly’s death was an accident. Investigating against the Earl’s wishes, they uncover a tangle of deception reaching into the past that threatens the reputation of the house of Mountstanton. After another death, Ursula fights to reveal the truth, to save Belle from dreadful scandal, and to fulfil Mr Seldon’s commission, with a final shocking denouement.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Quality of Mercy by Barry Unsworth Book Recommendation


ABOUT THE BOOKSet in 1767, in London and in the mining village of Thrope, The Quality of Mercy centers around the intersecting lives and divergent fates of the Irish fiddler Sullivan and the ambitious young banker Erasmus Kemp.
 
Kemp is the son of a slave trader who committed suicide in disgrace over his debts. He has vowed to bring to justice those who seized one of his father’s slave ships 14 years before, Sullivan among them. Having tracked down the rebellious crew and brought them back from the wilds of Florida to London’s Newgate prison, Kemp wants to see them hanged for mutiny and piracy. But Sullivan escapes and sets off for the mining village of Thorpe to fulfill his own vow, made to a dead shipmate, Billy Blair, to tell Blair’s family of his fate. 
 
The trial of the crew—as well as the case of Jeremy Evans, a runaway slave from the Gold Coast living as a free man in England—has attracted widespread scrutiny and the particular attention of a passionate abolitionist, Frederick Ashton. Ashton sees in these cases an opportunity to undermine the legal foundations for slavery in England. It is a hugely ambitious goal, and to complicate matters, his sister Jane—an ardent reformer herself—has fallen in love with their ideological adversary, Erasmus Kemp. 
 
Running parallel to the narrative about slavery, and in some ways mirroring it, is the story of the coal miner James Bordon and his son Michael. They toil in the coal mines 12 hours a day, emerging blackened and exhausted into an existence so bleak it is hardly more bearable than slavery. James Bordon dreams of acquiring a lovely piece of land, the Dene, and starting a small vegetable farm there. His desire for this land, and the different kind of life it would afford him, further develops the complex issue of private property and how it is regarded—by Kemp, who also covets the Dene, as a coal shipping route; by Lord Spenton, who has seized the village's common lands and turned them into an obscenely sophisticated aristocratic amusement park; and by Ashton, who argues against the fundamental absurdity and injustice of regarding human beings as property to be owned and traded like lumber or any other goods. 
 
Unsworth’s The Quality of Mercy is a deeply human story, a novel that brings vividly and often brutally to life a tumultuous period in English history. It has all the moral nuance and emotional depth of the great 19th century novels—Dickens, Zola, and George Eliot come to mind—with all the narrative complexity, political and psychological awareness of the best modern fiction. His characters are layered, fluid, capable of surprising decisions, mixed motives, and dramatic changes of heart. 
 
In a variety of subtle ways, Unsworth holds a mirror up to our own time, inviting readers to reflect how the novel’s issues—the divisions between race and class, workers and owners, poor and rich—are still with us. But above all the novel offers a profoundly insightful exploration of the timeless struggle between the desire for vengeance and the need for mercy.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Barry Unsworth, who won the Booker Prize for Sacred Hunger, was a Booker finalist for Pascali's Island andMorality Play, and was long-listed for the Booker Prize for The Ruby in Her Navel. His other works includeThe Songs of the Kings, After Hannibal, Losing Nelson, and Land of Marvels.

From Random House Readers Guide where you can also read an excerpt 
** This is a book recommendation only and not a review by me. Go to 
Random House to read more about the book.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Band of Sisters by Cathy Gohlke Book Recommendation



  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers (August 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414353081
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414353081

Maureen O'Reilly and her younger sister flee Ireland in hope of claiming the life promised to their father over twenty years before. After surviving the rigors of Ellis Island, Maureen learns that their benefactor, Colonel Wakefield, has died. His family, refusing to own his Civil War debt, casts her out. Alone, impoverished, and in danger of deportation, Maureen connives to obtain employment in a prominent department store. But she soon discovers that the elegant facade hides a secret that threatens every vulnerable woman in the city.Despite her family's disapproval, Olivia Wakefield determines to honor her father's debt but can't find Maureen. Unexpected help comes from a local businessman, whom Olivia begins to see as more than an ally, even as she fears the secrets he's hiding. As women begin disappearing from the store, Olivia rallies influential ladies in her circle to help Maureen take a stand against injustice and fight for the lives of their growing band of sisters. But can either woman open her heart to divine leading or the love it might bring?


Monday, August 13, 2012

Irish Book Recommendation



Format: Hardback
Publication: 15/09/2012
ISBN: 9781845887506

Synopsis
Castletown House, Ireland's largest and earliest Palladian-style house, was built between 1722 and 1729 for William Conolly, Speaker of the Irish House of Commons and the wealthiest commoner in Ireland. In 1967, the house was bought by the Hon. Desmond Guinness, founder of the Irish Georgian Society and opened to the public. In 1994, ownership of the house was transferred to the State, and it is now managed by the Office of Public Works.
Castletown House, a history, is the story of that house, written by the children who grew up there, Baroness Diana Wrangle Conolly Carew, the Hon. Sarah McPherson & their brother, the Hon. Gerald Edward Ian Maitland-Carew.
In this fascinating history, the character of the house is brought to life through its former residents, together with stories of their Olympic medals, the chance survival of the house through the Civil War, and tales of visiting royalty to the greatest of Ireland’s great houses. 
The Conolly-Carew Family, the former owners and residents of Castletown House have an incredible history. The authors’ father in law was the last Commander of the White Russian Army, they have hosted Princess Grace of Monaco and many of the Royals, and amongst their many experiences are Olympic medals and assassination. Sarah McPherson is also a dedicated historian, who brings a rigour to the many stories they have to tell about the history of Castletown House.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Irish Drink



Irish Whiskey
As the general catchall term for any whiskey brewed in Ireland, Irish whiskey covers multiple brands and methods of distillation of the golden  liquor. The word "whiskey" itself stems from the ancient Gaelic phrase uisce beatha, which can be translated as "water of life." As a general guideline, most brands of Irish whiskey are distilled three times, as opposed to most Scotch whiskeys, which are distilled twice. Irish whiskey often has a smoother aftertaste since peat is rarely used in the malting process, avoiding the earthier, smoky notes.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

After Rome: A Novel of Celtic Britain by Morgan Llywelyn





Anarchy rules in Britannia as the Roman Empire collapses, and two men fight to build stable lives among the chaos. After more than four hundred years of Roman rule, the island its conquerors called Britannia was abandoned—left to its own devices as the Roman empire contracted in a futile effort to defend itself from the barbarian hordes encroaching upon its heart. As Britannia falls into anarchy and the city of Viroconium is left undefended, two cousins who remained behind when the imperial forces withdrew pursue very different courses in the ensuing struggle to unite the disparate tribes and factions throughout the land. Passionate, adventurous Dinas recruits followers and dreams of kingship. Thoughtful Cadogan saves a group of citizens when Saxons invade and burn Viroconium, then becomes the reluctant founder and leader of a new community that rises in the wilderness. The two cousins could not be more different, but their parallel stories encapsulate the era of a new civilization struggling to be born.



Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; First Edition edition (February 19, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765331233
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765331236

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sign of the Eagle by Jess Steven Hughes Book Recommendation



Book Description 
Publication Date: March 19, 2012
 This breathtaking historical novel of action and suspense is set in the year 71 A.D. amid the exotic and vibrant streets of Ancient Rome. Macha, the strong-willed daughter of a legendary Celtic British king and wife of the Roman tribune, Titus, is the only one who can prove her husband innocent of treason, solve the murders of two slaves who possessed information that could have exonerated Titus, and ultimately save the life of the Roman Emperor Vespasian. Vivacious and iron-willed, Macha undertakes a dangerous journey and fight for her life to evade assassins through the city's treacherous back alleys, notorious bath houses, and the awe-inspiring palaces of the Roman elite. With time running out to save her husband and the emperor from certain death, Macha can count on only two allies, the esteemed Senator Bassus-a family friend-and her faithful slave, a resolute and clever Moorish woman, Shafer. Arrayed against Macha and Titus are the wealthy and wicked Pollia, once scorned as a bride by Titus, and Falco, a military tribune and womanizer, who offers to be Macha's protector once Titus is condemned and executed. Join Macha in her quest to exonerate her husband...and discover the real threat against the Emperor...

Sources: Amazon and Goodreads

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Broken Harbor by Tana French Book Recommendation



About the Book
In BROKEN HARBOUR, a ghost estate outside Dublin - half-built, half-inhabited, half-abandoned - two children and their father are dead. The mother is on her way to intensive care. Scorcher Kennedy is given the case because he is the Murder squad’s star detective. At first he and his rookie partner, Richie, think this is a simple one: Pat Spain was a casualty of the recession, so he killed his children, tried to kill his wife Jenny, and finished off with himself. But there are too many inexplicable details and the evidence is pointing in two directions at once.

Scorcher’s personal life is tugging for his attention. Seeing the case on the news has sent his sister Dina off the rails again, and she’s resurrecting something that Scorcher thought he had tightly under control: what happened to their family, one summer at Broken Harbour, back when they were children. The neat compartments of his life are breaking down, and the sudden tangle of work and family is putting both at risk . . .



About the Author
Tana French grew up in Ireland, the US, Italy and Malawi. She trained as an actress at Trinity College Dublin and has worked in theatre, film and voiceover. She is the author of In the Woods (2007), The Likeness (2008) and Faithful Place (2010). Her books have won Edgar, Anthony, Macavity, Barry and ICVA Clarion awards and have been finalists for LA Times and Strand Magazine awards. She lives in Dublin with her husband and daughter.

This biography was provided by the author or their representative.


  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult (July 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670023655
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670023653

Monday, July 2, 2012

Long Time, No See by Dermot Healy Book Recommendation





Summary of Long Time, No See


The funny, moving, long-awaited masterwork from "Ireland’s finest living novelist" (Roddy Doyle)

Celebrated Irish author Dermot Healy’s first novel in more than ten years is a rich, beguiling, compassionate, and wonderfully funny story about community, family, love, and bonds across generations.
Set in an isolated coastal town in northwest Ireland, Long Time, No Seecenters around an unforgettable cast of innocents and wounded, broken misfits. The story is narrated by a young man known as Mister Psyche who takes up with and is then drawn into a series of bemusing and unsettling misadventures with two men some fifty years his senior—his grand uncle Joejoe and Joejoe’s neighbor The Blackbird—wonderful, eccentric characters full of ancient jealousies and grudges and holding some very dark secrets.
Written with great lyrical power and a vivid sense of place and published to rapturous reviews in England and Ireland, Long Time, No See is a sad-comic tapestry of life and death that celebrates the incredibly rich lives of ordinary people.




Dermot Healy was born in 1947 in Finnea, County Westmeath, Ireland. He is a playwright, poet and novelist, and governing member of Aosdana, an Irish association for Artists. Mr. Healy has received the Hennessy Award for Short Stories (1974 and 1976) the Tom Gallon award (1983), the Encore Award (1995), and he won the 2002 America Ireland Literary Award. He lives in Country Sligo, Ireland. 


About the Book

  • Reading level: Ages 18 and up
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult (July 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670023604
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670023608

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Festive Food Of Ireland by Darina Allen


Book Description

February 1993
A new collection of Irish recipes for the holidays includes directions for making Poached Salmon with Irish Butter Sauce, Gingerbread, Corned Beef and Cabbage, Easter Bunny Biscuits, and much more.


Fadge
This recipe is adapted from Darina Allen's The Festive Food of Ireland.

Ingredients
2 lbs potatoes
1 egg beaten
1/2 stick butter
2 to 3 tablespoons flour
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped parsley, chives, lemon thyme, mixed (optional)
Whole milk or half and half
Salt & fresh ground pepper
Seasoned flour
Bacon fat or butter for frying

Method
Boil potatoes in their jackets until tender. Pull off skins and mash immediately. Add egg, butter, flour and herbs (if using) and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, adding a few drops of milk if mixture seems too stiff. Shape into a 1 inch thick round shape and then cut into eight pieces. Dip into seasoned flour. Bake on a griddle over an open fire or fry in in bacon fat over gentle heat. Cook the fadge until crusty and golden brown on one side, then flip over and cook on the other side. (About 4 to 5 minutes on each side). Serve as an accompaniment to an Irish breakfast or on its own on hot plates with a blob of butter melting on top. Serves 8.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Catherine McMahon, A Remarkable Convict Woman by Damian King and Liz Schroeder



320 pp, 225 x 150 mm, 50 b&w illustraions
ISBN9781921719509, $29.95, Paperback
Damian King and Liz Schroeder
Available: April 2012
This meticulously researched story of Irish born Catherine McMahon is unusual in that it not only covers her time as a convict in Van Diemen’s Land but also her life before conviction, and perhaps more importantly, after she was declared “free by servitude”
.
The lives of her two husbands are also covered and this gives a detailed picture of the times. Her first husband, John Copley, was a Yorkshire man convicted of sheep stealing, who survived a term on Norfolk Island before meeting Catherine.
Together, they struggled for permission to marry, established a business, were declared insolvent and moved, illegally, to Victoria. They lived and raised a family on the Victorian goldfields before selecting land at Jallukar, near Stawell.
John died in 1876 and Catherine struggled to keep the land. She fought a bushfire, the Lands Department, land selection laws prejudiced against women, the local Shire Council and squatters. She won. She sold the land in 1888 and three years later married Thomas May. He was also a convict, born in Brighton, England and transported at the age of 14. He served time at the Point Puer boy convict establishment near Port Arthur and eventually moved to Victoria.
Catherine and Thomas purchased and operated a shop in Stawell. When Thomas died twelve years after their marriage, he left what the local paper described as “rather a peculiar will”. The way Catherine was treated in this will, impacted on the 1903 Federal election where the people of Stawell voted to elect the suffragist Vida Goldstein to Parliament.
Undeterred by distance, Catherine moved to Menzies in the Western Australian goldfields in 1904 where she died in December 1906.


Book Recommendation Only


Friday, June 8, 2012

Thoor Ballyle Castle or also known as Yeat's Tower


There was no part of Ireland I did not travel, from the rivers to the tops of the mountains. I saw no beauty what was behind hers ~ W.B. Yeats

Thoor Ballylee Castle, a fortified, 13th century, Norman tower built by the septs de Burgo, or Burke, lies in County Galway near the town of Gort located off the Galway-Ennis road. With four floors, the tower consists of one room on each floor that is connected by a spiral stone stairway built into the seven-foot thickness of the massive outer wall. Each floor has a window that overlooks Cloon River that flows alongside the tower. With a small thatch cottage attached, the castle originally formed part of the huge estates of the Earls of Clanrickarde.
In 1902, the tower became part of the Coole Estate, home of Lady Augusta Gregory, Yeats’ life-long friend. On the estate, Coole House, where Lady Gregory lived, was the center for meetings for the Irish literary group, a group composed of a great number of preeminent figures of the day. Near this tower, in Coole Park, began the Irish Literary Revival.
As it is also known as Yeats’ Tower, in 1916 (or 1917), for £35, Yeats purchased the property because he was so enchanted with it and especially as it was located in a rural area. From 1921 to 1929, Yeats and his family lived there as it was his monument and symbol: In both aspects, it satisfied his desire for a rooted place in the countryside. As the tower retains its original windows in the upper part, Yeats and his architect, Professor William A. Scott, restored the tower for the next two years such as installing larger windows in the lower floors. Yeats described the ground-floor chamber as “the pleasantest room I have yet seen, a great wide window opening over the river and a round arched door leading to the thatched hall”. He also admired the mural stair, symbollically declaring “This winding, gyring, spring treadmill of a stair is my ancestral stair; That Goldsmith and the Dean, Berkeley and Burke have traveled there.”
As he had an affinity for the Irish language, Yeats dropped the term “castle” in naming the property and replaced it with “Thoor” (Túr), the Irish word for “tower”; thus, the place has been known as Thoor Ballylee. For twelve years, Thoor Ballylee was Yeats’ summer home as it was his country retreat. In a letter to a friend, he wrote, “Everything is so beautiful that to go elsewhere is to leave beauty behind.” Consequently, it is no wonder that Yeats was inspired and compelled to create literary works at Ballylee such as poems as “The Tower” and “Coole Park and Ballylee.”
In 1929, Ballylee was abandoned as the Yeats family moved out and it fell to disuse and ruin. For the centenary of the Yeats’ birth, 1965, Ballylee was fully restored by the Kiltartan Society as Yeats Tower to appear as it was when he lived there and refitted as a Yeats museum containing a collection of first editions and items of furniture. The adjoining cottage is now a tea room and shop.
There is a tablet on the wall that commemorates his sojourn:
I, the poet William Yeats,
With old mill boards and sea-green slates,
And smithy work from the Gort forge,
Restored this tower for my wife George.
And may these characters remain
When all is ruin once again.


Sources:
verse from The Tower by William Butler Yeats
Wiki

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Celebrate Bloomsday with Frank Delaney



June 16th, 2012 marks the first Bloomsday in which James Joyce's mighty novel Ulysses is free from copyright and from the restrictions of the famously difficult Joyce estate. Celebrate in a series of projects and events conducted across land and Internet by Frank Delaney:

Re:Joyce Podcast, two years old
Dip into Ulysses by reading along with Frank Delaney in his spirited weekly podcast, Re:Joyce, launched on Bloomsday 2010.
Each segment features Delaney taking a short passage from Ulysses and exploring its multitude of references with insight, eloquence, passion, vast expertise—and a good dose of fun. As of Bloomsday 2012, Delaney will be in the midst of Chapter Three, and have reached podcast episode #105. Followed by academics, library groups, Joycean societies, scholars across the world, as well as ordinary folk, Delaney’s goal in deciphering and decoding the dense and rich text of the book is to allow greater enjoyment, by far more readers, of the book he holds most dear.The podcasts have been downloaded nearly 500,000 times and have been covered in The EconomistNPR, The New York Times to name but a few. They are available for download on itunes and www.FrankDelaney.com.

Rosenbach Bloomsday Festival
Frank Delaney is speaker and Guest of Honor at the annual Bloomsday celebrations of Philadelphia’s Rosenbach Museum & Library, whose collection includes the papers of James Joyce, Benjamin Franklin, Lewis Carroll, Marianne Moore, Maurice Sendak, Dylan Thomas and Cervantes. Event information for the Rosenbach Bloomsday Festival (one of the largest in the world) is available here. Tickets for The Rosenbacchanal are available here

"Ulysses" Live: Additional Joycean projects of Mr. Delaney’s include: 
Joyce Ways: Frank Delaney is the voice of "Joyce Ways", an app with audio-visual guidance designed to lead and delight literary pilgrims through the streets of Dublin, on the trail and itinerary of Ulysses. “Joyce Ways” was created by the students of Boston College, under the direction of Joseph Nugent, and will launch 6.9.12. 

Occupy Ulysses: an event at Madison Park, New York, staged on the day Ulysses was released from copyright (February 2, 2012). 




The James Joyce Rap, Delaney’s witty, engaging, tongue-in-cheek portrait of the artist. As off-center and provocative as Joyce himself, this giddy homage serves up Joyce as Delaney’s hero, within a Pythonesque environment.  Funny, irreverent and surprisingly touching, we’re given more than a hint as to why Delaney has chosen Joyce as a major part of his life’s work. 


The Queen's Vow by C.W.Gortner, Upcoming Book For Review


The Queen's Vow: A Novel of Isabella of Castile
by C. W. Gortne

  • Publication Date: June 12, 2012
  • Genres: Historical Fiction
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
  • ISBN-10: 0345523962
  • ISBN-13: 9780345523969


No one believed I was destined for greatness.
So begins Isabella’s story, in this evocative, vividly imagined novel about one of history’s most famous and controversial queens—the warrior who united a fractured country, the champion of the faith whose reign gave rise to the Inquisition, and the visionary who sent Columbus to discover a New World. Acclaimed author C. W. Gortner envisages the turbulent early years of a woman whose mythic rise to power would go on to transform a monarchy, a nation, and the world. 
Young Isabella is barely a teenager when she and her brother are taken from their mother’s home to live under the watchful eye of their half-brother, King Enrique, and his sultry, conniving queen. There, Isabella is thrust into danger when she becomes an unwitting pawn in a plot to dethrone Enrique. Suspected of treason and held captive, she treads a perilous path, torn between loyalties, until at age seventeen she suddenly finds herself heiress of Castile, the largest kingdom in Spain. Plunged into a deadly conflict to secure her crown, she is determined to wed the one man she loves yet who is forbidden to her—Fernando, prince of Aragon.
As they unite their two realms under “one crown, one country, one faith,” Isabella and Fernando face an impoverished Spain beset by enemies. With the future of her throne at stake, Isabella resists the zealous demands of the inquisitor Torquemada even as she is seduced by the dreams of an enigmatic navigator named Columbus. But when the Moors of the southern domain of Granada declare war, a violent, treacherous battle against an ancient adversary erupts, one that will test all of Isabella’s resolve, her courage, and her tenacious belief in her destiny.
From the glorious palaces of Segovia to the battlefields of Granada and the intrigue-laden gardens of Seville, The Queen’s Vow sweeps us into the tumultuous forging of a nation and the complex, fascinating heart of the woman who overcame all odds to become Isabella of Castile.
C.W. Gortner's historical novels have garnered international praise and been translated into 14 languages. He enjoys talking to book groups and is available for chats via Skype or Facetime. Half-Spanish by birth and raised in southern Spain, he currently divides his time between Northern California and Antigua, Guatemala.
I will be reviewing this book at Celticlady's Reviews June 20th.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Last Girl by Jane Casey Book Recommendation




About the book

The teenage girl was the first victim. Her throat cut to the bone, she didn't stand a chance. Her mother, at least, had time to fight back. Briefly. Called to the crime scene in leafy Wimbledon, Maeve Kerrigan's first thought is that this is a domestic dispute gone bad. But the husband is found lying bleeding and unconscious in an upstairs room. As a criminal barrister he insists he's the third victim rather than their prime suspect, even if he's a man who makes enemies easily. The only other surviving family member is fifteen-year-old Lydia. She was the one to find her mother and twin sister's bodies - and the only witness Maeve has. But she isn't talking...

The Last Girl

Format:Hardback 480 pages
You can purchase here:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Pleasure of Eliza Lynch by Anne Enright Book Recommendation


The Pleasure of Eliza Lynch is a dazzling novel from a writer of international caliber, based on the life of the nineteenth-century Irishwoman who became Paraguay's Eva Peron. Eliza Lynch met Francisco Solano Ló pez in Paris, when she was nineteen and he was in Europe to recruit engineers for the first railroad in South America. He left several months later with a pregnant Eliza beside him. Reviled by Asunció n society and the family of her lover, who never married her, Eliza nevertheless had he son baptized his heir. In less than a decade, Ló pez became dictator and plunged Paraguay into a conflict that would kill over half its population. By then Eliza was notorious-as both the angel of the battlefield, inspiring the troops, and the demon driving Ló pez's ambition-and when Ló pez was killed in battle, she buried him in a shallow grave dug with her own hands. Anne Enright has written a gorgeous, deeply resonant novel.



Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802141194
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/31/2004

Anne Enright is the author of one collection of stories, The Portable Virgin (the Rooney Prize) and two previous novels, The Wig My Father Wore and What Are You Like? (winner of the Encore Award and shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award).

By Anne Enright

Grove Atlantic, Inc.

Copyright © 2002 Anne Enright
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-8021-4119-6  
Read an excerpt here...


Source: Barnes and Noble 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Age of Chivalry: The Story of Medieval Europe by Hywell Williams





The five hundred years that separate the mid-tenth century from the mid-15th century constitute a critical and formative period in the history of Europe. This was the age of the system of legal and military obligation known as 'feudalism', and of the birth and consolidation of powerful kingdoms in England, France and Spain; it was an era of urbanization and the expansion of trade, of the building of the great Romanesque and Gothic cathedrals, of courtly romance and the art of the troubadour, and of the founding of celebrated seats of learning in Paris, Oxford and Bologna. But it was also an epoch characterised by brutal military adventure in the launching of armed pilgrimages to liberate Jerusalem from Muslim control, of the brutal dynastic conflict of the Hundred Years' War and of the devastating pandemic of the Black Death. In a sequence of scholarly but accessible articles - accompanied by an array of beautiful and authentic images of the era, plus timelines, maps, boxed features and display quotes - distinguished historian Hywel Williams sheds revelatory light on every aspect of a rich and complex period of European history. Ottonians and Salians; Rise of the Capetians; Normans in England; Birth of the city-states; The Normans in Sicily; The First Crusade; The Investiture contest; The Hohenstaufen; The Angevin Empire; 12th-century Renaissance; Triumph of the Capetians; The Third Crusade; The Albigensian Crusade; The glory of Islamic Spain; The Kingdom of Naples; The Hundred Years War I; The Hundred Years War II; Avignon and the Schism; The Golden Age of Florence; The Reconquista; Popes, Saints and Heretics; Medieval society; Medieval culture; Medieval warfare.




Product Details

  • Hardcover: 223 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857383388
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857383389

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mistress of Mourning by Karen Harper Book Recommendation





Book Description

July 3, 2012
In a gripping historical novel of suspense and romance from the national bestselling author of The Queen's Governess, two women fight to defeat the enemies of the precarious Tudor monarchy by uncovering the secrets of the dead...
 
London, 1501. In a time of political unrest, Varina Westcott, a young widow and candle maker for court and church, agrees to perform a clandestine service for Queen Elizabeth of York, wife of Henry VII--carve wax figures of four dead children, two of her offspring lost in infancy and her two brothers, the Princes of the Tower, whose mysterious disappearance years ago has never been solved. Having lost a child herself, Varina feels a sympathetic bond with the queen. And as she works under the watchful eye of handsome Nicholas Sutton, an ambitious assistant to the royals, she develops feelings of quite a different nature...
 
Then news comes from Wales of the unexpected death of newly married Prince Arthur, the queen’s eldest child and heir to the throne. Deeply grieving, Elizabeth suspects that Arthur did not die of a sudden illness, as reported, but was actually murdered by her husband’s enemies. This time her task for Varina and Nicholas is of vital importance--travel into the Welsh wilderness to investigate the prince’s death. But as the couple unearths one unsettling clue after another, they begin to fear that the conspiracy they’re confronting is far more ambitious and treacherous than even the queen imagined. And it aims to utterly destroy the Tudor dynasty.

Product Details

  • Reading level: Ages 18 and up
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: NAL Trade (July 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451236904
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451236906
Source: Amazon

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Irish - American Celebrities





Tyrone Power (May 5th, 1914 - November 15th, 1958







The Dashing actor Tyrone Power often starred in romantic or swashbuckling movies, including The Mark of Zorro, The Black Swan and Blood and Sand. He was known for his stage work , too, particularily in the play Mister Roberts. At the age of 44, Power had a heart attack and died while filming a dueling scene for Solomon and Sheba.


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Power was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1914, the only son of Helen Emma "Patia" (née Reaume) and the English-born American stage and screen actor Tyrone Power, Sr. Power was descended from a long theatrical line going back to his great-grandfather, the actor and comedian Tyrone Power (1795-1841). His father's ancestry included Irish, English, and Protestant French Huguenots (the latter through his paternal grandmother's Lavenu and Blossett ancestors). His mother had Catholic French Canadian (through the Reaume family) and German (from Alsace-Lorraine) ancestry. Through his paternal great-grandmother, Anne Gilbert, Power was related to the actor Laurence Olivier; through his paternal grandmother, stage actress Ethel Lavenu, he was related by marriage to author Evelyn Waugh, and through his father's first cousin, Norah Emily Gorman Power, he was related to the theatrical director Sir (William) Tyrone Guthrie, founder of the Stratford Festival (now the Stratford Shakespeare Festival) in Canada and the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Power went to Cincinnati-area Catholic schools and graduated from Purcell High School in 1931. Upon his graduation, he opted to join his father to learn what he could about acting from one of the stage's most respected actors.
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In 1940 the direction of Tyrone Power's career took a dramatic turn when his movie The Mark of Zorro was released. Power played the role of Don Diego Vega/Zorro, fop by day, bandit hero by night. The role had been made famous by Douglas Fairbanks in the 1920 movie of the same title. The film was a hit, and 20th Century Fox often cast him in other swashbucklers in the years that followed. Power was a talented swordsman in real life, and the dueling scene in The Mark of Zorro is highly regarded. The great Hollywood swordsman, Basil Rathbone, who starred with him in The Mark of Zorro, commented, "Power was the most agile man with a sword I’ve ever faced before a camera. Tyrone could have fenced Errol Flynn into a cocked hat."
Power's career was interrupted in 1943 by military service. He reported to the U.S. Marines for training in late 1942, but he was sent back, at the request of 20th Century-Fox, to complete one more film, 1943's Crash Dive, a patriotic war movie. He was credited in the movie as Tyrone Power, U.S.M.C.R., and the movie served as much as anything as a recruiting film.


In August 1942, he enlisted in the Marine Corps. He attended boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and then attended Officer's Candidate School at Marine Corps Base Quantico, where he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant on June 2, 1943. Because he had already logged 180 solo hours as a pilot prior to enlisting in the Marine Corps, Tyrone Power was able to go through a short, intense flight training program at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, where he earned his wings and was promoted to First Lieutenant. Power arrived at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina in July, 1944 and was assigned to VMR-352 as an R5C transport copilot. The squadron moved to Marine Corps Air Station El Toro in California in October 1944. Power was reassigned to VMR-353 and joined them on Kwajalein in February 1945. He flew cargo in to and wounded Marines out during the Battle of Iwo Jima and the Battle of Okinawa.
Power was awarded the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two bronze stars, and the World War II Victory Medal during his time in the service. He returned to the United States in November 1945 and he was released from active duty in January 1946. He was promoted to Captain in the reserves on May 8, 1951 but was not recalled for service in the Korean War.
Other than re-releases of his films, Power wasn’t seen on screen again after his entry into the Marines until 1946, when he co-starred with Gene Tierney in The Razor's Edge, an adaptation of W. Somerset Maugham's novel of the same name.

Power's venture into gritty drama was short lived, as he was next seen in a costume movie, Captain from Castile, directed by Henry King, who directed Tyrone Power in eleven movies. After making a couple of light romantic comedies, That Wonderful Urge (with Gene Tierney, his co-star from The Razor's Edge) and The Luck of the Irish (with Anne Baxter), Power found himself once again in swashbucklers – The Black Rose and Prince of Foxes. Next up for release was a movie that Power had to fight hard to make – the film noir, Nightmare Alley. Darryl F. Zanuck was reluctant to allow Power to make the movie; his handsome appearance and charming manner had been a marketable asset to the studio and Zanuck feared that the dark role might hurt Power's image. Zanuck eventually agreed, giving him A-list production values for what normally would be a B film. The movie was directed by Edmund Goulding, and, though the film died at the box office (Zanuck did not publicize it and removed it from release), Power received some of the best reviews of his career. The film was released on DVD in 2005 after years of legal battles, and Power once again received favorable reviews from 21st century critics.
Untamed, Tyrone Power's last movie made under his contract with 20th Century-Fox, was released in 1955, and same year saw the release of The Long Gray Line, a successful John Ford film for Columbia Pictures. In 1956, the year Columbia released The Eddy Duchin Story, another great success for the star, he returned to England to play the rake, Dick Dudgeon, in a revival of Shaw's The Devil's Disciple for one week at the Opera House in Manchester and nineteen weeks at the Winter Garden, London.

In September 1958, Tyrone Power and his wife went to Madrid and Valdespartera, Spain, to film the epic, Solomon and Sheba, to be directed by King Vidor. She was worried about his health and asked him to slow down, but he pushed ahead with the movie. He had filmed about 75 percent of his scenes when he was stricken with a massive heart attack, as he was filming a dueling scene with his frequent co-star and friend, George Sanders. He died en route to the hospital. Yul Brynner was brought in to take over the role of Solomon. The filmmakers used some of the long shots that Tyrone Power had filmed, and an observant fan can see him in some of the scenes, particularly in the middle of the duel.
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Power's last role was a familiar one, with sword in hand. He is perhaps best remembered as a swashbuckler, and, indeed, he was reportedly one of the finest swordsmen in Hollywood. Director Henry King said, "People always seem to remember Ty with sword in hand, although he once told me he wanted to be a character actor. He actually was quite good – among the best swordsmen in films."

Flying over the service was Henry King, who directed him in eleven movies. Almost 20 years before, Tyrone had flown with King, in King's plane, to the set of Jesse James in Missouri. It was then that Tyrone Power got his first experience with flying, which would become such a big part of his life, both in the U.S. Marines and in his private life. In the foreword to Dennis Belafonte's The Films of Tyrone Power, King said, "Knowing his love for flying and feeling that I had started it, I flew over his funeral procession and memorial park during his burial, and felt that he was with me." Tyrone Power was laid to rest, by a small lake, in one of the most beautiful parts of the cemetery. His grave is marked by a unique tombstone, in the form of a marble bench. On the tombstone are the masks of comedy and tragedy, with the transcription, "Good night, sweet prince." At his grave Laurence Olivier read the poem "High Flight"Power was buried at Hollywood Cemetery at noon on November 21, 1958, in a military service.

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Tyrone Power's will, filed on December 8, 1958, contained an unusual provision. It stated his wish that, upon his death, his eyes would be donated to the Estelle Doheny Eye Foundation, for such purposes as the trustees of the foundation should deem advisable, including transplantation of the cornea to the eyes of a living person or retinal study.
Deborah Power gave birth to their son, Tyrone Power IV, on January 22, 1959, some two months after Power's death.

Source: Wiki