The Rising of the Moon: A Novel of the Fenian Invasion of Canada

Peter Berresford Ellis, Author St. Martin's Press $19.95 (636p) ISBN 978-0-312-00676-1
In this lengthy, highly detailed novel, which skillfully combines deft storytelling with extensive historical research, Ellis portrays two impassioned brothers enmeshed in the abortive attempt to establish an Irish Republic-in-exile in British North America (now Canada) right after the Civil War. Following their military service, New Yorkers Gavin and John-Joe Devlin must reorganize their lives. Gavin concentrates on exposing an affluent senator who profits from urban corruption. After the senator's ruffians assault him, Gavin leaves the city, and, like John-Joe, joins the Irish Republican Brotherhood, an organization primarily composed of Irish veterans eager to emancipate Ireland from despotic English rule. Brotherhood membersknown as Fenians, a name derived from the Fianna, legendary warriors of ancient Irelandintend to use the envisioned Irish outpost to send their ships against England. In mid1866, the Devlins and other Fenian soldiers launch their doomed attack on English troops in Canada, never doubting that ""to fight, to protest, is to win.'' Ellis enhances this chronicle's inherent drama by exploring the personalities and motivations of combatants on both sides. The hardiness of idealistic beliefs and the appalling ferocity of warfare are strikingly depicted. (July 20)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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