From multi-award-winning author and film director Neil Jordan comes a thrilling reimagining of a turning point in Irish, American and European history.
'A masterwork from one of the most inventive artists of our day' John Banville
'A writer of uncommon talent, particularly around pacing and visual description' Irish Times
'An expertly spun ballad defined by themes of belonging, illusion and, fundamentally, fidelity' RTÉ Culture
Eutaw Springs, South Carolina, 1781, during the American War of Independence. A runaway slave saves the life of a wounded young officer in the British army after a battle. The man he nurses is Lord Edward Fitzgerald, younger son of one of colonial Ireland's grandest families.
The tale that unfolds is related by Tony Small, the slave who becomes Fitzgerald's manservant and friend. While details of Lord Edward's life are well documented, little is known of Tony Small. In this gripping narrative his character considers the ironies of empire, captivity and freedom, mapping Lord Edward's journey from being a loyal subject of the British Empire to becoming a leader of the disastrous 1798 rebellion.
This is a thrilling reimagining of a turning point in Irish, American and European history. Beautifully written – the rhythms are the rhythms of a revolutionary era – it wears the weight of its research lightly, and the headlong pace never falters. The story embraces a rich cast of characters from the Carolinas to London and Dublin, from the ferment of Paine and Robespierre's revolutionary Paris to Tournai and Hamburg, returning to Ireland for its tragic, inevitable denouement. A masterwork from one of the most inventive artists of our day.
This powerful new work of fiction brings Neil Jordan's inimitable storytelling ability to the drama of real events and a long-forgotten chapter in Ireland and Britain's history.