132 pages; paperback; ISBN 978-0-898332-325-2
A view of the life and times of Pearse Ferriter, and especially the part played by Richard Boyle, the Earl of Cork. A new work by one of the greatest poets of our time, and an unusual book which casts the light of scholarship on the lives and the minds of the Gaelic gentry in the time of great change in the 17th Century. History and folklore are combined with a detailed account of the poet's milieu and an insight into literary and social conventions of the time. The author's detective work succeeds in adding blood and meat to the bare bones of history.
“This Beautifully illustrated book concerns a romantic interlude in the shared history of early 17th-century Ireland and England. At the heart of the matter is a graceful syllabic poem in Irish by Piaras Feiritéar (1653), accomplished poet of Catholic Old-English stock in West Kerry. Feiritéar wrote it in honour of Meg Russell, the ógh Ghallda or “foreign girl” identified therein as a relation of the contemporary earl of Bedford. This was Francis Russell, the 4th earl.
Máire Mhac an tSaoi makes the case that she was in fact a daughter of Francis Russell. She details the circumstances in which a poem in Irish by a person of “middling rank” might conceivably have been presented to an earl’s daughter born and raised in England.” —Máirín Ní Dhonnchadha, The Irish Times
"An Irish-language book about a remarkable Irish woman written by a remarkable Irish woman". —Marc Coleman, Sunday Independent
A link to a review in the Sunday Independent
A link to an article about the author on the Irish Studies site, NUI Galway