Jen (RevJen)'s Reviews > The Wild Irish

The Wild Irish by Robin Maxwell
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's review
Aug 25, 08

Read in August, 2008

When I read this, I felt like I was reading two different books. The first half of the book dealt with the meeting between Grace O'Malley and Elizabeth I. It took place in 1593 and used Grace to tell the story of the Irish and their treatment at the hands of England. The fascinating part of it was the unification of the Irish people from separate clans (think Italian city-states) into one against their common enemy of England. Even more fascinating was the thought that a woman was able to rise up and become such a force to be reckoned with. I'd love to read more about the formidable Grace and her family.

The second half of the book references Grace and Elizabeth I briefly. It deals with the fall of the Earl of Essex, Robert Devereaux. Granted, he brought it on himself when he contracted syphilis but Elizabeth set him up to fail when she sent him to Ireland. Even though she "loved" him (and I use that term loosely), I think she did it to have him killed. Having him die in the midst of the campaign would save her from having to arrange for his downfall later on. In any book I've read on the subject (ha!), she wanted to be first and foremost in her people's hearts. Anyone who had as much or more popularity than her was not to be tolerated. She was ruthless in her own way and the dithering back and forth on war hid that heartless streak.

Overall, I don't think I'd read it again but I'm glad I finished it.

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