GIBSON, Revd Charles Bernard. The Last Earl of Desmond: A historical romance of 1599-1603. Two volumes in one.


1 in stock

Dublin: Hodges and Smith, 1854. pp. xxxvi, 311, [i], 372. Contemporary full green morocco, covers with double gilt ruled border. Spine divided into six panels by five raised bands, title in gilt direct in the second, the remainder framed by double gilt fillets with flower tool in gilt at centre; board edges and turn-ins gilt; comb-marbled endpapers; red and gold endbands; all edges gilt. Some minor wear to extremities. A very good copy. Scarce.
Brown 638 Loeber G32.
Historical fiction set in Munster at the close of the sixteenth century. All the great participants of the time, English and Irish, figure in the story. The main plot turns on James Fitz-Thomas Fitzgerald (the Sugán Earl), the last Earl of Desmond’s love for, and marriage with, Ellen Spenser (an imaginary daughter of the poet). The bias is strongly anti-Catholic. The Fitzgerald family were for centuries one of the most influential dynasties in Ireland. Their ancestors were among the very first of the Norman Lords to invade this island in May 1169. The Munster branch, headed by the Earls of Desmond, were destroyed as a great family by the devastating Elizabethan wars. Nevertheless two branches have survived and their descendents flourish in Ireland today, the Knights of Glin and the Knights of Kerry while another descendant bears the title of the White Knight, head of the Fitzgibbon clan. Every one of the sixteen Earls of Desmond who held that title between 1329 and 1601 is listed in Webb’s ‘Compendium of Irish Biography’, so many of this illustrious clan have filled the pages of Irish history that it would impossible to do justice to them here

[L4 Mantelpiece]


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