The Seven: The Lives and Legacies of the Founding Fathers of the Irish Republic, by Ruth Dudley Edwards

The Seven: The Lives and Legacies of the Founding Fathers of the Irish Republic, by Ruth Dudley Edwards

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On Easter Sunday, 23 April 1916, the seven men who made up the Military Council of the secret Irish Republican Brotherhood gathered in Dublin's Liberty Hall.

By noon, the Proclamation of the Irish Republic had been taken to the printers. Each man knew that he had signed his own death warrant.

Carnage, destruction, humiliation and posthumous glory followed. As did an Ireland that would have satisfied none of them; partitioned, sectarian, mean-spirited, hostile to challenge or creativity and governed by narrow self-interest.

One hundred years on, Ruth Dudley Edwards explores how the lives of Ireland's founding fathers converged and how they came to espouse violence.

The Seven provides a scrupulous examination of each of these men, challenging us to judge their actions and to find an answer to the question of what their legacy should be.     

“A fine, well-researched and beautifully-written ground-breaking book by a leader in her field.” - Andrew Roberts

“Highly entertaining and engagingly irreverent.” - New York Review of Books