Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “1916: A Novel of the Irish Rebellion” as Want to Read:
1916: A Novel of the Irish Rebellion
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

1916: A Novel of the Irish Rebellion (Irish Century Novels #1)

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,378 Ratings  ·  185 Reviews
Ned Halloran lost both his parents-and almost his own life-in the sinking of the Titanic. Determined to keep what little he has, he returns to his homeland of Ireland and enrolls at Saint Edna's school in Dublin. Saint Edna's headmaster is the renowned scholar and poet, Patrick Pearse--who is soon to gain greater fame as a rebel and patriot. Ned becomes totally involved wi ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published November 23rd 2010 by Forge Books (first published January 1st 1998)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about 1916, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about 1916

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
If you want to understand the road to Irish Independence, I think this book is an excellent choice. Although it is a book of historical fiction, the historical facts are clear and correctly presented. A small group of fictional characters are added to the many known historical figures. The book begins with a list of characters, clearly stating which are fictional and which are real. It even states which of the historical figures died in the 1916 Rising. There are maps and a long biography. In ev ...more
Melanie Moore
Over 500 pages, this is a hefty read. Even though the book is a fictional novel, it has a whole cast of historical characters. It has details that you want to slowly absorb and embrace. I paced myself at 25 pages a night at bedtime. Those who have pledged to read 3,000 books by year end will laugh at me. I think if you have experienced 1916: A Novel of the Irish Rebellion you will agree with me, this work should be cherished at a leisurely pace.

That being said, even at a leisurely pace I would f
May 16, 2008 Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Irish history fans
I loved this book. Of course, I am passionately interested in Irish history and, especially, Irish Nationalism. The fictional characters in the book are compelling enough to keep you reading, and the history is colorful, fascinating, and accurate. I appreciate the fact that she references all of her facts so that you feel you're getting "the real story." Of course, me being me, I still went online to compare the author's version with what was available in other books and was happy to find that s ...more
Apr 12, 2010 X rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I never expected a book on a rebellion to be slow. It started off well, but kept slipping from there as it dragged on with little of importance or interest actually happening. Most of the book was leading up to the Rising, and even the Rising itself was a bit peripheral. The main problem was that I wasn't attached to any of the characters. They just seemed a bit lifeless, which I was actually appreciative of at the end. (It is not happy and would have been much, much worse had I cared about the ...more
Dec 29, 2015 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ireland, 5-star-reads
Llywelyn's four books on modern Ireland starting with 1916 and finishing with 1972 is perhaps the best overall introduction to Erie's sad and glorious history. You fall in love with her characters and she fleshes out the bones of history with story-telling second to none. I would recommend these four books to anyone who wants to understand Ireland and enjoys a deep, emotional reading experience.
The best part of the book is the last 50 pages, so hang in there through the sections that are more difficult. This novel is a great example of historical fiction that is more historical than fiction. Llywelyn includes copious endnotes and builds this story upon the real people who led the Irish Rebellion of 1916. Ned Halloran is technically the main character but is really just her method of telling the stories of those leaders. Ned himself is an idealistic young Irishman who finds himself a st ...more
May 23, 2012 Alan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a story set in the early 1900s culminating with the Easter Uprising in Ireland in 1916. I really enjoyed this book. To me, this is the textbook example of a historical novel, good fictional characters and a good plot whose tale is woven through significant historical events. While Llewelyn's story maybe doesn't rival those of Leon Uris, the Godfather of Historical Novels, it was good enough to keep me turning the pages. I also think of Uris because his novel "Trinity" was also about stru ...more
Jun 30, 2010 Russ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 24, 2008 Rowena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The title of this book is fairly self-explanatory. The rebellion is seen through the eyes of young Ned Halloran who becomes entranced with the idea of Ireland's freedom as taught to him by none other than Padraic Pearse. Ned joins in the fight and while this book remains fictional, his eyewitness account paints an accurate and vivid picture of the fateful months leading up to the revolution.
This book was a re-read for me. I found it on my shelf at home and since I'm poor, I decided to give it a
Jan 03, 2013 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't know anything about the Irish Rebellion of 1916 before I read this book, and happened to hear the tune to U2's "Bloody Sunday" playing in my mind the whole time. (Not a bad thing!) I'm cautious to differentiate between truth and fiction while reading historical fiction novels, so was thankful to have the few biographical pages in the beginning. Unfortunately, I learned the fate of most before the rebellion, but that knowledge didn't detract from the suspense. Agreeing with others, I did ...more
Llywellyn has done it to me again!! Taken a period in time and so intricately woven a fictional character into it that at some point the two blurr together! The time she takes to research the history and know every detail allowed me to learn even more about a subject I thought I already knew! And of coarse the fictional story line has you swept up in terror and panic, first love and experiences, tears and heartbreak and cheering on the "heros" even though you know the outcome!

I have to admit th
Dec 18, 2013 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting blend of history and fiction -- with enough footnotes on the historical parts to bring the non-fictional characters (Pearse, et al) to life.

I'm a historical fiction fan and tend to want more history than fiction (and so I read a lot of non-fiction as well) so this book had a couple of story lines that I felt were a distraction (I don't want to give anything away so I'll just say that anything having to do with going to America or the American connection, I felt was unnecessary fil
Bernard Farrell
It's been several years since I read this historical fiction book set in Dublin during 1916. This was the year of the Easter Rising in Dublin, when a small group of armed Irish men and women took on the might of the English army.

In the end it was a dismal failure as an armed revolution, but it lit a spark that would result in England finally giving the people of Ireland control of their own country.

Llywelyn centers the book on Padraic Pearse, the schoolteacher who became the de facto leader of
Graeme Waymark
Aug 27, 2014 Graeme Waymark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Wendy Scott, Eileen Chapman, Karl Acton, Pat Walden, Ben Waymark, Jennifer Waymark
Recommended to Graeme by: Gift
This is the type/style of reporting in historical fiction that holds me mesmerized from the first page where a young lad survives the sinking of the Titanic and then grinds his orphaned life through a series of choices that he wittingly makes almost as if he knows the consequences each time. A 'knowing' that defies logic and can be defined only under the natural gift of 'intuition'.

The author combines deftly and where appropriate, crudely the turmoil of romance, love, selling of sex and selling
Nov 26, 2008 Rick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this was a historical novel it brought the issues and passions behind 1916 to life. Well written and interesting character development made this a great read. The book ends with the failed attempt to overthrow the post office in Dublin where the revolt ends. It is recommended to read this book then watch the film Michael Collins because this book provides all the background on the history and real life characters then Michael Collins picks up right where 1916 ends at the post office bui ...more
Taylor Bright
Oct 23, 2009 Taylor Bright rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I should clarify my star system. It's not that I didn't enjoy reading this book. I did. I would have liked if Llywelyn would have taken the license with the fiction to go a bit further into some of the historical figures - especially the leaders of the Easter Day rebellion - but my star system doesn't allow for historical novels to get much more than one star. At the same time, if you want a primer on the Irish rebellion and don't want to read a history book, I recommend Llwelyn's 1916
Murielle Cyr
Jun 30, 2015 Murielle Cyr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Morgan Llywelyn’s historical novel, 1916, is a wonderful and informative presentation of the Easter uprising of the Irish patriots against their conquerors, the powerful British Empire. The events are all well documented in the Notes and Bibliography at the end of the book, and the characters, both historic and fictional, are described in detail in her Dramatis Personae in the front of the novel. Ned Halloran, the main character, is an idealistic young man who falls in love with a prostitute and ...more
This book took almost a week for me to finish, which is long for me. So much history thrown into a few fictional characters meant that I had to read it carefully! I appreciated the list of fictional characters and real people at the beginning--I kept referring to it as I read the novel.

Ned, the main character, survives the Titanic, and it awakens his nationalism. He saw how the second class Irish passengers were treated on the ship, and realized that they are always treated as second class citi
Apr 14, 2008 Nikii rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wasted-paper
Yawn. Who would have thought the Easter Rising would be so boring? Then again, I never got as far as the Rising. Perhaps it picked up when the fighting started, but young Ned's early years put me straight to sleep. Normally I like Llywelyn, but I suspect that here she decided to trade on her reputation rather than go to the extra work of making the opening of this novel interesting.
Helena R-D
Having been to Ireland recently and during the centennial of the Easter Rising, this book was a decent compliment to the actual history. A bit simplistic, but told the story well.
The Easter Rising (Irish: Éirí Amach na Cásca), also known as the Easter Rebellion, was an armed insurrection in Ireland which took place during Easter Week, 1916. I read this book in honor of the 100th anniversary of this event.

The Rebellion was mounted by Irish republicans to end British rule in Ireland and establish an independent Irish Republic. The Irish republicans were numbered 1,250 in Dublin while the British Army numbered 16,000 troops and 1,000 armed police. Talk about a mismatch!

Roisin Dubh
Apr 05, 2016 Roisin Dubh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This series of 5 books covers the history of Ireland from the 1916 Rising through the Good
Friday Agreement, following one Republican famil

These works of historical fiction are so well researched that this Republican family could have been any Republican family. Her facts are spot on and she blends historical figures with fictional characters so that they flow together effortlessly in way that makes the books extremely readable. She blends these people without distorting the events and actions o
What a book... I had read Edward Rutherfurd's Rebel's of Ireland and while I really enjoyed that book, I felt he rushed the last 32 years (his book only goes to 1932 or so) in Ireland so a friend recommended me this series to help "fill" in the gap so to speak. And boy it was extremely helpful! Really enjoyed Llywelyn's writing style (though has a person with a history degree myself, I wish she would have used footnotes rather than endnotes so I wouldn't have to keep flipping back and forth to s ...more
Mar 25, 2016 Laurie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in a historical fiction series about the struggle of the Irish people for independence. This was a very well written book that was executed with the intent to inform the reader about the Easter Rising in 1916 and to provide them with an interesting story along the way. At the outset, it is hard not to be impressed by the list of characters by real and fictional, followed by maps of Dublin and at the back of the book, notes itemized by chapters and a lengthy bibliography. Y ...more
Aug 27, 2012 Tilden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I'm a sucker for Irish history and "the rebellion."
Siobhán Mc Laughlin
Compelling interweaving of fact and fiction. You feel like you get to know the characters of the 1916 Rising here in a way that you don't from studying the history.

I read this novel years ago and loved it and have come back to it today to get a handle on the human narrative of the Rising. This it does, although in some places, the fictional bits are noticeably 'grafted' onto the factual ones. Also, it seems to play to an American audience... And I felt the end was a little too quickly wrapped u
Graeme Stuart Waymark
Oct 02, 2014 Graeme Stuart Waymark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ingrid Waymark
Recommended to Graeme by: No one
Read from August 11 to 21, 2014, read count: 1
My Private Notes:
From Elmgrove library.

devoutness, devotion, piousness, religion, holiness, godliness, saintliness; veneration, reverence, faith, religious duty, spirituality, religious zeal, fervor; pietism, religiosity.

This is the type/style of reporting in historical fiction that holds me mesmerized from the first page where a young lad survives the sinking of the Titanic and then grinds his orphaned life through a series of choices that he wittin
Paula Dembeck
This is the first of five volumes in Llyweln’s ambitious Irish Century Series in which she traces the history of Ireland through a single family. Setting a novel against the background of Ireland’s complicated history, she helps the reader understand the passion of its people and its complex and often violent road to independence.

Llywelyn begins the story by introducing us to Ned Halloran, a young boy on his way to America aboard the Titanic, excited to attend the wedding of his sister Kathleen
Mar 02, 2015 Julia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
This has been sitting on my bookshelf for years and years, and I finally decided to make some progress on my back catalog instead of just whatever book caught my eye one day, or whichever book came in from the library most recently. I love Ireland, Irish history, the Easter Rising, and Joseph Plunkett, so I was excited to read it. Unfortunately, while it technically delivered all of these topics, it was not in a way that was particularly compelling to read. First, the book assumes that the reade ...more
Morgan Llywelyn's novel 1916 retells the story of Ireland's Easter Rebellion (or Easter Uprising) in the titular year, focusing on the fictional character of Ned Halloran and his experiences of the events that led to the rebellion. This was an enjoyable and informative read, but one that fell flat to me. As 1916 is the first in a series of five books, it may have faltered under the weight of too much "set up", but as this is the first book I've read in the series, I can't be the judge of that.

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Malachy McCourt's History of Ireland
  • Rebels: The Irish Rising of 1916
  • Shannon
  • Galway Bay
  • The Great Hunger: Ireland 1845-1849
  • The IRA
  • The Tenants of Time  (The Thomas Flanagan Trilogy #2)
  • Rebel Hearts: Journeys Within the IRA's Soul
  • The Rebels of Ireland (The Dublin Saga, #2)
  • Ireland's Pirate Queen: The True Story of Grace O'Malley, 1530-1603
  • I Am of Irelaunde: A Novel of Patrick and Osian
  • Redemption
  • In Search of Ancient Ireland: The Origins of the Irish from Neolithic Times to the Coming of the English
  • The Great Shame: And the Triumph of the Irish in the English-Speaking World
  • Bobby Sands: Writings from Prison
  • The Story of the Irish Race: A Popular History of Ireland
  • Gracelin O'Malley
Morgan Llywelyn (born 1937) is an American-born Irish author best known for her historical fantasy, historical fiction, and historical non-fiction. Her fiction has received several awards and has sold more than 40 million copies, and she herself is recipient of the 1999 Exceptional Celtic Woman of the Year Award from Celtic Women International.
More about Morgan Llywelyn...

Other Books in the Series

Irish Century Novels (5 books)
  • 1921: The Great Novel of the Irish Civil War
  • 1949: A Novel of the Irish Free State
  • 1972: A Novel of Ireland's Unfinished Revolution
  • 1999: A Novel of the CelticTiger and the Search for Peace

Share This Book

“Questions stripped away the platitudes and undermined the verities that provided a sheltered, nursery existence for people who did not want to think. Questions were the obligation of the intellect.” 0 likes
More quotes…