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1949: A Novel of the Irish Free State (Irish Century Novels #3)

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  641 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
Morgan Llywelyn's masterly epic, The Irish Century, continues in 1949, a sequel to 1916 and 1921.

The struggle of the Irish people for independence is one of the compelling historical dramas of the twentieth century. 1949 tells the story of Ursula Halloran, a fiercely independent young woman who comes of age in the 1920s. The tragedy of Irish civil war gives way in the 1920
ebook, 416 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Forge Books (first published February 22nd 2003)
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David Anderson
Jan 15, 2014 David Anderson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Morgan Llywelyn's continuation of the Irish Century series, this time covering the years between partition and the declaration of the Republic of Ireland, when the 26-county Free State was still part of the British Dominion, years which included the rise of fascism in Europe and WWII. This time the focus in Ursula Halloran, the adopted daughter of Ned and herself an ardent Republican. A strong-willed young woman determined to make her own way in the world, she despises the conservative turn Iris ...more
This book has been the best so far of the series! It read a lot faster than the first two and I don't know if that's because it's more in a time frame that I'm more familiar with or because WWII is a passion of mine or what, but it did. In addition to learning about Irish history, I learned stuff about WWII that I didn't know which is really fascinating!
Paula Dembeck
Aug 28, 2015 Paula Dembeck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third book in the Irish Century Series and I was pleased to see that this one did a better job of balancing the fiction in the context of history. The first book in the series “1916” belonged to Ned, the second “1921” to Henry Mooney and the third “1949” belongs to Ursula Halloran formerly called “Precious” or “Little Business”.

Llywelyn brings us up to date, quickly reviewing where she left off in the last novel. The Civil War is now over and Eamon de Valera is now in charge of a rep
Nov 27, 2009 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great continuation. I have learnt more about Irish history by reading this series than I have ever learnt before.

In this installment of the Irish Century series, we follow Ursula Halloran after the Irish Civil War and into the aftermath of WWII. Since this book spans so many years, the reader is inondated with history. I loved Llywelyn's ability to draw you into the action of the moment. I was taken with the time period. The setting was fascinating.

It was so sad see what the Government of the
Jan 06, 2012 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set against the backdrop of a world still reeling following WWI and headed toward another, 1949 is the third book in the Irish Century series. This time the story focuses on Ned Halloran's adopted daughter Ursala, who had once run messages for the Republicans through the streets of Dublin under fire during the Rebellion. Still a staunch Republican, Ursula longs for more and gets that chance when her fathers one-time friend Henry Mooney and his wife Ella offer to send her to school in Switzerland ...more
J.S. Dunn
Mar 22, 2012 J.S. Dunn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ireland
Llywelyn's Century series is a departure from her usual fantasy novels. Having now read selectively in this series, have been pleasantly surprised. Thankfully this is not the usual sanitized version of the Rising and aftermath nor is it partisan.

Though most of the characters are a bit flat, the author throws in plot twists commensurate with what was happening in the new Republic and tells the wider story in a fairly evenhanded manner. All the novels read to date from 1921 forward throw in lots o
Douglas Hayes
Apr 06, 2011 Douglas Hayes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually quite enjoyed this, the third book I've read in the series. She does a good job at developing the same character through the decades of the story/history. I believe that I am coming to a greater sense of the modern Irish conflict as a result of these novels, in combination with the other histories I'm reading. The benefit of a historical novel is that it provides what feels a like an inside view of the events.

The only thing that I didn't really like about the book is that it only com
May 03, 2016 Laurie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this delightful third book of the series told from a woman's point of view, using most of the main characters from the previous book, 1921. The main character, Ursula Halloran, is an extremely independent and plucky young woman who is caught up in the political events and issues of Ireland. This book covers a great deal of time and geography making it difficult for the author to cover the world events in depth, even at 400 pages. However, Morgan Llywelyn's writing is wonderful and her ...more
Feb 26, 2014 Gina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I very much wish I had realized this was a part of a series before I started it. Not because the novel doesn't stand on its own but because then I would have known I would have more to look forward to.

Not only has Ms. Llywelyn created an excellent story; she has interwoven do much factual history into her tale that you get a lovely history lesson as you read. I learned a lot about the country of my great grandparents and I look forward to learning more in the other books.

Ursula is a fascinatin
Nov 06, 2011 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read 1916, but could never find a copy of 1921, so I skipped right to this one. I was not at all impressed with 1916, but I liked the idea of the series so much I decided to stick with it. I think the writing and character development in this story are actually pretty shallow, but the historival aspect of it is so intriguing that I could not stop reading it. I really like the use of the League of Nations, especially, as I knew Ireland was really tied to that, but never really understood the re ...more
Alma  Ramos-McDermott
With Ned off fighting for the Republic and Henry living in America, it is up to Ursula Halloran to take up the story of Ireland and her struggles for freedom in this newest edition to the Irish Century series. After two years at a Swiss finishing school, Ursula arrives back at the home of Louise Hamilton determined to get a job at a radio station and become more heavily involved in Ireland’s quest to become a Republic. Read the rest of the review on my blog: https://shouldireaditornot.wordpress. ...more
Jan 18, 2013 Shawna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to say that I think Ursula Halloran is my favorite character of all of these books. The time period this book covers was interesting in itself, but throwing Ursula Halloran into the mix left me turning page after page staying up until late into the evening. She's an intensely fierce and strong woman in a time and place where being so was totally inappropriate. Awesome read!
Karen Gibson
Jul 31, 2015 Karen Gibson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1949 is the third book in Llywelyn's Irish Century series. I really like how the author melds her fictional characters with the historical figures of the time. I think the best indication of how much I am enjoying this series is the fact that I am not willing to wait for the next (1972) to become available on my wish list, but will be purchasing it today!
Apr 02, 2014 Vionna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this book, she deal more with world events and less with Irish politics. The story revolves mainly around Ursula Halloran and how she deals with Irish and world events especially the horrific repression of the Catholic Church on society and especially women. The laws the church had the government enact severely restricted the rights of women
Jina Howell-Forbes
Jan 15, 2013 Jina Howell-Forbes rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Irish History Buffs
I read to continue the lives of the people involved in 1916 and 1921. The books get less compelling as stories and more like history lessons. I like history lessons in books, but this one got a little too preachy. I did learn a lot though, from a different and interesting perspective.
Oct 25, 2011 Debra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Liked Ursula a LOT as a focus of the book. Ned was a bit of a bore with his hostility, but was ok by the end.
i didn't like this one as much as the first two in the series. i don't know if it was ursula or the love story, but it didn't work as well for me as the last two.
Jun 18, 2008 Lizzy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it
Interesting subject matter. I had never really read that much about the "wars" in Ireland. But it was kind of long, and depressing. Hmmm...a lot like Irish history.
Mary Korey
Oct 23, 2015 Mary Korey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The research into the time period is good but the character development of the fictional characters is weak.
Apr 12, 2012 Lindsay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
VERY good book. I definitely learned a lot about Irish history that I am fairly certain I would not have learned otherwise without reading it.
Oct 16, 2008 Shannon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Of course, I loved this book. As Irish history is an interest of mine, I enjoyed the way M. Lywelyn intertwines historical facts w/ fictional character development.

Holly rated it it was amazing
Apr 03, 2010
Becky Lovell
Becky Lovell rated it it was amazing
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Alesia Barbaro rated it it was amazing
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Michael Lawrence rated it it was amazing
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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)
  • 1916: A Novel of the Irish Rebellion
  • 1921: The Great Novel of the Irish Civil War
  • 1972: A Novel of Ireland's Unfinished Revolution
  • 1999: A Novel of the CelticTiger and the Search for Peace

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