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Seek The Fair Land (The Irish Trilogy) Paperback – 10 Jun 1988


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; New edition edition (10 Jun. 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330303279
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330303279
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

An explosive segment of history . . . contagious emotion . . . action-packed entertainment. (New York Herald Tribune)

An adventure story that is both exciting and moving. (The Times) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Walter Macken was born in Galway in 1915. He was a writer of short stories, novels and plays. Originally an actor, principally with the Taibhdhearc in Galway, and The Abbey Theatre, he played lead roles on Broadway in M. J. Molloy's The King of Friday's Men and his own play Home Is the Hero. He also acted in films, notably in Arthur Dreifuss' adaptation of Brendan Behan's The Quare Fellow. He is perhaps best known for his trilogy of Irish historical novels Seek the Fair Land, The Silent People and The Scorching Wind. He passed away in 1967.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Craobh Rua VINE VOICE on 27 May 2004
Format: Paperback
Walter Macken, a native of Galway, was born in 1915 and died in his home city at the age of 51. A writer, an actor and a playwright, he is perhaps best known for his novel "Flight of the Doves" - which was adapted for the cinema - and his "Irish Trilogy". "Seek the Fair Land" is the first book of this trilogy, and is set at the time of the Cromwellian Invasions. Although the book itself is a work of fiction, many of the 'background' events are true.
Opening in 1641, the book's central character is Dominick McMahon - having previously lost everything in the Plantation, he now lives in Drogheda. A merchant by trade, he is a husband and a father when he first meets Murdoc - a warrior from the west of Ireland. Dominic himself has little appetite for fighting - though eight years later, he is forced to defend his town against Cromwell's invading army. Within two days of Cromwell's arrival, the town had fallen, with women, children and priests among the estimated 4000 dead. Dominic, however, survives the attack and is forced to flee the city. While his wife, Eibhlinn, is killed in the siege, his son - Peter - and daughter - Mary Ann - also survive. However, the soldier who killed Eibhlinn also left Peter mute with a blow to the head. Joining the family on their escape is a member of the clergy, Father Sebastian, who was rescued by Dominic in the town. They move westwards, towards an area Murdoc had described to Dominic eight years previously - where he hopes he'll be able to raise his family in peace.
I've read a number of Walter Macken's books, and I've found each one very easy to read - like Michael McLaverty, he's a natural storyteller. It isn't always a cheerful book - life for Dominick, his family and Sebastian is a genuine struggle. However, it is a book I'd highly recommend. The remaining books of the trilogy are "The Silent People" and "The Scorching Wind" - well worth reading if you've enjoyed this one
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By N. Scott on 9 Feb. 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From the very first pages of this book I was hooked. From dark city streets to wild mountains, from vicious slaughter to triumphant faith, from selfish obedience to heroic opposition - this book has it all. It is a superb portrait of the struggles of the Irish people in that period of history. It does not point the finger, does not take sides, but paints a vivid picture which haunts me still.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. N. Melone on 7 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the first volume of Macken's Irish Trilogy which focusses on three main turning points in Irish history - vol 1 is set against the Cromwellian invasion of Ireland, beginning with the siege of Drogheda. The second is set against the potato famine and this, the third, is set in the aftermath of the Dublin rebellion and focusses on the move towards independence. The same comments can be applied to all three, they are well written, with an honest approach which depicts the misery inflicted on the Irish people without falling into an "English black, Irish white" over-simplification. The characters are fairly complex, friend and foe, and the true villians are to be found on both sides among those who exploit and are insensitive to the suffering of the poor and downtrodden, be they English, Irish loyalist or Irish rebel. It is worth noting that the books, while part of a set, can really be read in any order as each stands alone on its own merits.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Mc Ateer on 10 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am so glad that I purchased this book. It is very well written, and the story will move you to tears. I am now reading the second book in this trilogy and it is just as good.

Absolutely worth buying.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The Legand on 4 May 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of the greatest book ever written about Irish history. Accurate, exciting and well written. The characters are real, the locations superbly well described and you have to keep reading untill the end.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Mar. 2001
Format: Paperback
First, I'm unsure as to whether the above review was referring to Seek the Fair Land or The Silent People, though I suspect the latter. Seek the Fair Land is a superbly written novel set in the Cromwell period of Ireland's history. The main character, Dominic, along with a few others, can be latched onto quickly and from a historical viewpoint it stands up solidly. I would strongly recommend this book and am looking forward very much to reading The Silent People:-)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mayomick on 7 April 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is the first of Walter Mackens' incredible Trilogy of books charting Irelands' journey to freedom through the eyes of Her people.

This is a beautiful, terribly sad and amazing book in equal measures.

It is simply told and I dare you to put it down!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Philomena Gill on 14 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Arrived very quickly, condition good.very reasonable price for its age but pleased to have it as my original copy was borrowed and not returned.
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