For the first thousand years of its history, Ireland was shaped by its wars. Beginning with the legends of ancient battles and warriors, Wars of the Irish Kings moves through a time when history and storytelling were equally prized, into the age when history was as much propaganda as fact. This remarkable book tells of tribal battles, foreign invasions, Viking raids, family feuds, wars between rival Irish kingdoms, and wars of rebellion against the English. While the battles formed the legends of the land, it was the people fighting the battles—Cuchulain, Finn MacCool, Brian Boru, Robert the Bruce, Elizabeth I, and Hugh O’Donnell—who shaped the destiny and identity of the Irish nation.
This is the real story of how Ireland came to be, told through eyewitness accounts from a thousand years of struggle, brought together for the first time in one volume. It’s a surprisingly immediate and stunning portrait of an all-but-forgotten time that forged the Ireland of today.
David Willis McCullough’s previous books include Brooklyn . . . and How It Got That Way, several mysteries, and, as editor, a number of anthologies, most recently Wars of the Irish Kings. For many years he was a member of the Book-of-the-Month Club Editorial Board. He lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.
“A fascinating mixture of mythology and actual historical events. . . . Lovers of Irish and medieval literature will relish this book.”—Booklist
Wars of the Irish Kings by David Willis McCullough