by Julie Kavanagh
A brilliant work of historical true crime charting a pivotal event in the 19th century, the Phoenix Park murders in Dublin, that gripped the world and forever altered the course of Irish history, from renowned journalist, former New Yorker London editor, and Costa Biography Award finalist Julie Kavanagh.
Ireland, 1879–1882. After 700 years of British rule, the post-Famine generation of Irish tenant farmers began to push back against the reigning feudal system of landownership. The charismatic political leader, Charles Stewart Parnell, headed up the Land League, a revolutionary movement that promised to restore land and power to the people through a series of protests, strikes, and boycotts. After what became known as the Irish Land War had escalated into nationwide anarchy, Parnell and two associates were incarcerated without trial in Kilmainham Gaol. In April 1882, Parnell secretly forged the Kilmainham Treaty, a pact in which he pledged to work diplomatically with British Prime Minister William Gladstone for peace and the eventual independence of Ireland from England. It was a moment of real hope and a potential turning point in history, one that Gladstone himself described as “golden.”