cover image The Trial of Roger Casement

The Trial of Roger Casement

Fionnuala Doran. SelfMadeHero, $19.95 (136p) ISBN 978-1-910593-20-2

Irish culture has all but canonized the heroes and martyrs of the 1916 rebellion against England, but for a century the Irish-born British-raised Casement has been quietly erased from the record. Once knighted for his work in the British colonies overseas, Casement switched sides to fight for the liberation of his own people and was hailed as a hero of the Irish rising—until his treason trial revealed homosexual affairs, which turned sexually conservative Irish Catholics against him. Doran’s graphic novel debut seeks to return Casement to his place in history with a nuanced portrait of a man whose life defies categorization. Skipping through time and place in rough, impressionistic ink sketches, this is less a historical record than a poetic evocation. The timeline is sometimes hard to follow, especially for newbies to Irish history, and the art too frequently defaults to talking heads. But Casement is an electric figure, his story stranger than fiction, and this well-researched and thoughtful book provides a fine introduction. (Oct.)