I’m writing this in a dash, just to let anybody know who isn’t already aware there’s a wonderful 1916 book- a joint project of the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and the Royal Irish Academy (and published by the Royal Irish Academy)- called 1916: Portraits and Lives. The book is 42 short biographies of key figures in 1916, from all sides. It can be ordered online or bought in many bookshops here (RRP, €30) But it’s also available as an ebook, and this is free to download during March. Since March ends tomorrow midnight, I just wanted to be sure my readers were aware of this. The book was designed to be “a present to the world” from Ireland, to commemorate the 1916 Rebellion, generally seen as the foundation event of our state. The text is excellent, by scholars selected and invited by the Royal Irish Academy, Ireland’s leading research institute and think tank. But the icing on the cake- representing a brave stroke of imagination by the DFF and RIA- is the wonderful illustrations, by artist David Rooney. These are are extremely striking, as well as very beautiful, full of drama, character and pathos.
First class historical writing and research; a 1916 guide you can refer to to the rest of your life, a souvenir of the rebellion, and some superb art. All free.
The link is here. What are you waiting for?
Above, from top, Helen Gifford Donnelly; Sean Connolly; Séan Hueston (awaiting execution) and Edward (Ned) Daly, the commandant of the Four Courts battalion, and brother-in-law of Tom Clarke. All work by David Rooney, all images courtesy, and copyright of the artist David Rooney; and copyright DFF and the Royal Irish Academy.
You can see a wonderful video with artist David Rooney discussing his work, here. https://youtu.be/sE_BVI4H9-A