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Rebels: The Irish Rising of 1916
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Rebels: The Irish Rising of 1916

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  431 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
"A WORK OF GREAT DRAMATIC POWER climaxing in the final hundred pages where he writes a full, searing narrative of the patriot leaders' last days . . . It's powerful stuff."
--The Sunday Press (Ireland)

On Easter Monday of 1916, a thousand Irish men and women, armed with pikes and rifles, took over the center of Dublin and proclaimed a republic. It was a rash, doomed, symboli
Paperback, 568 pages
Published February 18th 1992 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 1990)
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The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeAngela's Ashes by Frank McCourtDubliners by James JoyceDracula by Bram StokerThe Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats by W.B. Yeats
Best Irish Literature
100th out of 447 books — 521 voters
Easter, 1916 by W.B. YeatsRebels by Peter de RosaThe 1916 Poets by Desmond RyanFallen by Lia MillsA Star Called Henry by Roddy Doyle
Easter 1916 Rising
2nd out of 11 books — 3 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,397)
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Jul 16, 2012 Lady rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, celtic
"Ireland's history is something the English should remember and the Irish should forget."
-Old Irish folk saying

Detailed, riveting, poetic, tragic, comical, poignant, thoughtful. I wept.

Please remember those brave men who were unjustly shot by soldiers of the British army because they wanted freedom for Ireland more than they wanted to live. And thank you, General Maxwell, you ultimate piece of shit, for shooting these men. The irony is that by so doing, you thus sparked Ireland into a war with
Josh Graml
Jan 20, 2013 Josh Graml rated it it was amazing
This book feels like one of those really good HBO miniseries. It's got a compelling story, a cast of weird and fantastic characters and is set in a suitably alien, but still familiar-enough, era. First World War era Dublin really does come alive as band of Irish revolutionaries debate, fight amongst themselves, and finally rise up against the English establishment. Fascinating, stuff. While the book is technically non-fiction, de Rosa does have a habit of conjuring up dialogue among the characte ...more
Jan 13, 2011 Maureen rated it liked it
Shelves: history, ireland
Fascinating account of the Easter Rising... a bit cumbersome though as a result of the sheer amount of detail - on people, places, events - but bravo to de Rosa for pulling so many threads into one. A good read for those interested in Irish history.
Ireland’s history is something the English should remember and the Irish should forget.
A monumental undertaking, Rebels attempts to tell the story of nearly every major player (and some minor ones) involved in the Easter Rising of 1916, in which a few thousand men took up arms in Dublin and declared Ireland to be a republic independent of the British Empire. It begins at the end–readers know going in that the rebel leaders’ ultimate fate is a tragic one–and circles back around, starting t
Jun 06, 2012 Sheila rated it it was amazing
Have read many books about the leaders and times of 1916 Ireland but this is among the best. Melded it all together for me. Credulous dialogue of participants.
Mar 15, 2016 Barry rated it it was amazing
Enthralling account of the men who choose to stand up against the oppressive British rule of Ireland despite the fact that they certainly had no chance of winning. Peter de Rosa masterfully tells this sad tale of the doomed rebels in a highly engrossing manner that kept me turning the pages through to the inevitable conclusion. Begging to become a screenplay, this is easily the best historic "fiction" I've read.
Jun 26, 2014 Matt rated it really liked it
A bit cumbersome due to all the characters in the book, but a really engaging story. Rebels does a great job of just not being a history book - but an actual story - which makes it a good read.
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Mar 26, 2016 Nathan "N.R." Gaddis marked it as goldfinch-in-juice
Happy Anniversary!

Here's Lemmy --> 1916
Aug 09, 2009 Jeff rated it really liked it
I had to read this book as an elective text for a World History class in college. I must say it was written well and was one of the most informative books I've read to this day on Irish history.

In the midst of World War I, Irish rebels staged and offense against the British in the hopes of gaining their independence in a chaotic time. Unfortunately, the British suppressed these rebels down all the harder, not wanting to be distracted from the larger world war. De Rosa did his research and wrote
Amanda Kitten
Apr 10, 2014 Amanda Kitten rated it really liked it
It takes a while to get into this book. However, I hardly ever cry at books but this one had me crying by the end.
Oct 30, 2007 Katie rated it it was amazing
This is the true and amazing story of the Irish Rising of 1916. While I usually don't read much non-fiction I recently grew interested in the plight of the Irish people and my own heritage. I was both horrified and mesmerized by the stories of real people who gave their life for their beliefs. It also enlightened me to the religious politics that affect the small but beautiful country to this day. I recommend this book to anyone interested in Irish history.
Gary McMurtrey
Feb 17, 2016 Gary McMurtrey rated it really liked it
Interesting book. Not clear how he could know some of the detail conversations that took place.
Oct 27, 2008 Mo rated it really liked it
It took me forever to read this book because of the amazing details. De Rosa has researched, at times almost painfully so, the history of the uprising. It was at first difficult to keep the "charachters" straight, but their stories were so compelling that I had to keep reading. I really learned a great deal about Irish history from this account. I'm giving myself an A+ for effort on this one!
May 03, 2011 Jenniferdavis rated it really liked it
REALLY good - history book that reads like a novel - always a good thing. It was kind of slow going in the beginning but only because there were so many people involved and, since I didn't know who they were, I had trouble keeping them straight. Obviously, once it got going, that got easier. Super interesting, super exciting, super sad.
Sep 29, 2015 Patrick rated it really liked it
This book is essentially historical fiction...but most of it is actual history. So, while the dialogue and tone of the interactions is largely made up, it does an excellent job of bringing the history to life and I don't think it ever really goes to far out on any limb. An enjoyable read.
Apr 06, 2010 Ipswichblade rated it really liked it
Well written book that reads like fiction but is the story of the Easter uprising in 1916 in Ireland and the immediate aftermath. Clearly not the cheeriest of subjects but an incredible read. Not quite five stars as I felt it could have been a hundred pages less and not lost the impact
Endeavour Press
This book is published by Endeavour Press.
C.A. Cunningham
Feb 11, 2012 C.A. Cunningham rated it it was amazing
This book was simply amazing. It read more like a novel than a non fiction book. Great characters, it made me want to go to Ireland. There was a lot of name dropping, so it was confusing at times. This book is truly unforgettable.
Jul 22, 2014 Mike rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Great book. It epitomizes what Princess Leia said to General Tarkin "The more you squeeze the more systems will slip through your fingers. " To put it more bluntly the English suppressed the 1916 uprising but lost the war.
bill Holston
Sep 09, 2010 bill Holston rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: lovers of history
very readable account of the 1916 rising. Its readability comes from the use of imagined dialog by the author. It makes it more like very accurate historical fiction in my view. But very well done.
Mar 02, 2016 Karen rated it liked it
I must admit I skipped over parts. So many characters (real) it was hard to keep up. But wanted to read this after visiting kilmairham jail and other Dublin sites. Sad, funny,....
Dec 16, 2008 Jay rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books. A great read for history types, Irish types or any other types. History with soul - amusing, profane, witty... I've read my copy at least five times now!
May 28, 2008 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ireland
Wonderful book about the 1916 uprising. Appreciative to how he seperated the rising into each day of the week. . . easier to keep things straight!
William Dearth
Aug 23, 2014 William Dearth rated it really liked it
Shelves: irish
A must read for anyone of Irish ancestry. Very sad and tragic tale. I am returning to Ireland very soon and I plan to visit this area.
Jan 13, 2008 Jeff rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ireland
This is what historical fiction is all about.. Making the story come alive.

What a farce the rising was. You feel the tragedy.

William Siracuse
Nov 06, 2012 William Siracuse rated it it was amazing

Excellent read that had me emotional at times. If your interested in the subject matter deffinetly worth reading.
Aug 14, 2009 Patty rated it really liked it
The paperback edition prints the pictures of the revolutionaries. Enjoying very much, will rate when finished.
Jun 12, 2011 Mindy rated it it was ok
Shelves: never-finished
Um. It takes far more attention to read a history book than it does a fictional book. I never finished this one.
Mar 17, 2016 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My 2016 St Patricks Day Recommendation. Reads like a novel ,
Jan 10, 2013 Lysergius rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Stirring stuff. Makes a change from the usual easter story...
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De Rosa is a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, focusing on Catholic and Irish history. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1956 but left the priesthood in 1970, after which he became a Staff Producer for the BBC and then a full-time writer. After living for thirty years in County Wicklow, Ireland, Peter now lives in Bournemouth, England.
More about Peter de Rosa...

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