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Tread Softly on My Dreams (The Liberty Trilogy #1)

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  488 Ratings  ·  74 Reviews
Centres around the short but eventful life of Robert Emmet. This novel is also the story of Anne Devlin and Michael Dwyer, and John Curran and his daughter Sarah, who was romantically attached to Emmet.
Paperback, 704 pages
Published January 1st 2001 by Wolfhound Press (IE) (first published October 11th 1990)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,426)
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Levina  C.
Aug 23, 2012 Levina C. rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: historical fiction lovers; anyone who has Irish ancestry or citizenship
Recommended to Levina by:'s Kindle Store
Gods, I hate books like this.

Books like this one that draw me in so deeply, get me so emotionally involved with its characters, only to crush every one of their hopes and dreams into dust. What's worse is that this is strongly rooted in actual historical fact, so I couldn't just tell myself, Oh, there's need to get so upset, this isn't real anyway, because it was real. Looking it up further on Wikipedia, I found that despite the best efforts of the Irish nationalist rebels in this book and of t
Sep 14, 2008 Caitlin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Irish and British especially.
Recommended to Caitlin by: My nan
I don't usually write reviews for books, but or this one, how could I not?

This book is so moving, I found myself so frustrated for Anne Devlin, so appalled at the treatment of her in Kilmainham, so sickened by the British. But it has opened my eyes to people like Lord Kilmeaden, a Brit who was fair, and Lord Wickham. It has made me more interested in the lives of Tone and Lord Fitzgerald and, of course, Emmet.

It's an absaloutely amazing read to everyone. Irish, English, American, French.... An
Rob Godfrey
Sep 07, 2012 Rob Godfrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Kindle Edition)
An intriguing story set against the backdrop of the English occupation of Ireland that I knew very little about (other than the occupation was very bad for most of the locals).
A lot of the characters are believable although at times the central ones are almost too good/intelligent/clever to be true.
Well written throughout, I enjoyed this and looked forward to reading the follow on in the trilogy (which I did in quick succession).
Aug 05, 2012 Peggy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I saw this in the Free Kindle books and picked it up immediately. I thought it was a bit slow starting but I couldn't delete it. Finally I was through with quickie reads and settled down with with this wonderful read. It broke my heart! I love historical fiction-but this is even better....
I strongly recommend this book.
Breaks my heart to say this but I could not finish this novel. Book just went on and on. I lost interest. Can't believe this but true even after all the good reviews.
Dee Byrne
Jan 26, 2013 Dee Byrne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book and got my girls to read it. They loved it. A highly recommended book to read.
helen francis
Mar 11, 2016 helen francis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This book shows the epitome of patriotism in Ireland. I love historical fiction, and this was a good book about the oppressed Irish people ruled by the British, and their fight for freedom.
Mary Ann
May 22, 2015 Mary Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I have spread my dreams under your feet. Tread softly..."
W.B. Yeats

The first of a trilogy, this is good historical fiction. Though presented as novels, these stories are true and based on recorded facts and documented evidence. Virtually all of the characters are historical. Not as massive a work as Edward Rutherfurd's towering two-volume Dublin Saga, they deal with the plight of 18th century Ireland beginning with the years shortly before the 1798 rebellion and the massacre at Vinegar Hill an
Apr 08, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent historical novel about the uprisings in Ireland in the late 18th and early 19th century. I picked this up because I wanted to know more about Irish history in advance of a trip to the Emerald Isle, and was transfixed by this well-told story with wonderful characters and a great sense of place.As she stated in the forward, although the book is a work of fiction, these were real people and events. It's great to read a story about REAL heroes. If I have one criticism it would be that the ...more
Nov 24, 2014 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-history
Four stars for history and for the author's end notes about the real life characters. I always appreciate it when an author educates and informs me about the world.

The painful thing about reading some historical novels is that you know the ultimate fate of the principal players. This one was particularly sad because the fates of these very appealing characters was not good and their sacrifices did not produce good results in the short term. We don't learn easily, and bad people continue to have
Dava Stewart
Aug 14, 2012 Dava Stewart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't expect to like this book, but really did. Historical fiction is a favorite genre, and well researched historical fiction that has more history than fiction Is especially good stuff. The phrase "brings history to life" crossed my mind more than once in thinking about this one.

It is set in Ireland, and as my knowledge of Irish history is sketchy at best, I felt like I was learning while being entertained. There is action, romance, and characters with depth - although the "bad guys" are th
Feb 25, 2014 Barbara rated it really liked it
Wonderful book to learn of the Irish struggle for independence! My cousin recommended this book because our grandfather was named for Robert Emmett. I had not known much of his story and did not know anything of the brave Anne Devlin. I stopped reading for awhile toward the end because I knew how it ended and thought reading it would be too upsetting. In between, I went to Ireland, visited Kilmainham Gaol and Emmett's cell, and read a few Irish history books. I finished the book, glad that Curra ...more
Jun 21, 2013 Betty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Historical fiction based on research. The primary character is Robert Emmet, a young Irish aristocrat who became a leader in the revolts against English rule in the late 1700's- early 1800's. How can anyone who reads such a work as this not be so very grateful for the freedoms that we enjoy? This book was a page turner for me followed by an Internet search to verify the historical accuracy of the real people and events.
May 24, 2014 Joyce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Tread Softly on My Dreams” depicts a turbulent time in Ireland's history; the horrors of living conditions under British rule and the struggles of trying to obtain freedom as a independent nation. Truly a story of courage and love.

Reading Gretta Curran Browne’s historical fiction was a learning experience for me; knowing next to nothing about this era in Irish history. Her portrayal of Robert Emmet and Anne Devlin is incredibly well developed; their convictions and loyalties were beyond admirat
Jean Marie
It was a long haul of a book, 625 pages in this paperback. I was determined to finish it as it is the biography of Robert Emmet, an Irish patriot whose statue stands in my hometown. I wanted to know what his life and death told about the history of Ireland's centuries of struggles for from from England. I very much enjoyed it, especially nearing the end when everything became clear.
Aug 27, 2013 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
My heart is heavy as I finish this novel. What a tribute to some remarkable people who fought for freedom. At times I felt a bit overwhelmed by the details, but it was a complicated time and many people affected the story. I learned a great deal about this period of Irish history. Well done.
Tracey Madeley
Feb 19, 2015 Tracey Madeley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
The story begins with the birth of the protagonist Robert Emmet. His childhood friend is Richard Curran who is a contrast to the principled Emmet. Lennard is the Emmet’s servant and occupies a significant role in the book and throughout the young man’s life. We see Dr Emmet entertaining friends of his eldest son Thomas – Wolfe Tone and Thomas Russell, both will become famous revolutionaries later in the novel as founders of the United Irishmen.

In chapter 4 we learn about Anne Devlin and her cous
Jan 28, 2015 Smudge77 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book touches me so deeply - partly because of it being based in real history - my dad was Irish - from Dublin - my paternal great grandmother, Phoebe Tone, was the niece of Theobald Wolf Tone, whose aims and vision are in the book and I realise emulate, express, my own - re. Ireland - he was so fair, wise, deep thinking - but caught up in the battles of that time frame, sadly (in so many ways).
It's heartbreaking.
I have almost finished reading the book, which was free to download to my Amazo
Mar 06, 2016 Ladory rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very good book. I didn't give it 5 stars because for me, it dragged just a bit in the middle. Then again, I'm getting old and my powers of concentration and keeping on keeping on are beginning to wane. However, I was enthralled in the beginning and in the ending, too. It grabbed me emotionally, which I love. I recommend this book!

I had never read or learned anything about Irish history before now. This is a well-researched historical novel that took place from about 1798 to 1810 or the
Oct 16, 2014 Ver2car rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good book about Ireland's\struggle for independence. The kind of book I will not forget. It is a novel but based on real life events and people. Gretta Curran Browne was thorough in her research. The Currans in the book are her ancestors.
Joy Rayle
Sep 13, 2015 Joy Rayle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Celtic at heart, Irish by choice!

Tread Softly on my Dreams provides history lovers, romance seekers and intrigue delves the thrill of finding their chosen genre in one book. Ms Brown has succeeded in capturing my undivided attention with her gifted ability to relate her visions. The historical aspect concerning revolution in Ireland was thrilling to read. Tangling forbidden love into the wages of unrest and secrecy was masterfully done. I purposely don't give story line away as I prefer opening
Oct 19, 2015 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tread Softly on My Dreams is the 1st of the Liberty Trilogy by Gretta Curran Browne. She is a gifted storyteller and does impeccable research on her historical fiction books. This series takes place in the late 1700s and early 1800s, revolving on the Irish quest for freedom. This 1st book is the story of Thomas & Robert Emmet, Irish Nationalists & leaders of 2 failed attempts to overthrow abusive British rule in 1798 & 1803. Ms Browne brings the characters to life, giving understandi ...more
Feb 19, 2014 Judie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have to disagree with most of the other reviews of this novel. I couldn't finish it.
Feb 11, 2016 Suzette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was so much more than I ever expected. I am not Irish, but I cannot imagine not reading this if I was. The true story takes the reader back to the 1700's, as America is fighting for it's freedom. The characters are depicted as brave souls, determined to gain those same freedoms for their beloved land. I am thrilled to of read and learned of this struggle I had no clue existed back that far in history. The four years spent researching this novel was well evident. I really found myself held c ...more
Rosemary Noble
Mar 08, 2016 Rosemary Noble rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got completely engrossed in this book and the characters. But about half way through I felt I had to look up the history because I could not bear not knowing. It was as bad, if not worse than I thought but that just made me want to read it more. I felt ashamed to be English and it made me think how differently it might have turned out if the English government had had an ounce of sense at that point, but they were too focussed on the Napoleonic wars. I thoroughly recommend this book but be pre ...more
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Jun 28, 2013 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mrs. Emmet had eighteen children in nineteen years. That was a grabber of an opening. Robert Emmet was the eighteenth child. He was the leader of the Irish revolution occurring in the early part of the nineteenth century. He was an intelligent man of highest character, a true leader. He was twenty-five when he was executed. Anne Devlin was a coconspirator who walked the entire journey with Robert never once betraying him. For that, she was a rare person and friend. Robert's betrothed, Sarah, was ...more
Maureen Melle
Aug 09, 2015 Maureen Melle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
History that reads like a novel

I have now finished reading this wonderful trilogy about Irish patriots Michael O'Dweyer, Thomas Emmet and Robert Emmet. If I hadn't already had a love for Irish history, these books would have given me one. They are true to the stories I had heard in my family about the Irish risings of the 18th and 19th century. They were also full of the romance between men and women as well as the love of a patriot for their homeland.
Apr 27, 2016 Karol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Historical fiction relays Ireland's period of rebellion - 1798 through 1803 - motives, passions and courage of the characters and the people of Ireland during this time. This is one of many rebellions that took place in the centuries before the 1916 Easter Rising which by the way is celebrating their centenary year. Is culmhin linn. Dublin remembers.
Feb 09, 2015 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Historical fiction that covers the 1898 Rising in Ireland and the lead up to the next attempt of revolution. The brutality of the English is mindful of the brutality of the Spanish Inquisition. This is book 1 of a trilogy. We are traveling to Ireland in September and I expect to hear more about Robert Emmet and other heroes of the age.
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