Monday, May 23, 2011

Rebels. The Irish Rising of 1916 - de Rosa

I almost quit about a third of the way through. Too many names and organizations not sorted very well. Confusing for a while. . Had trouble sorting English from Sinn Fein, The Irish Volunteers, The Irish Republican Army, Orange Ireland, Green Ireland, the Fenian Movement, and The Irish Brigade from one another. Then keeping the cast in the right organization was a bit confusing.

But I didn't quit. The second half was fascinating. It read easily and the confusion cleared up. The authors  Irish use of words is terrific . . . and sometime brought a chuckle. 

Quotes noted:
  • One condition of waging a just war is that it has some prospect of success and a rising at this time has absolutely none.
  • With his faithful brother beside him, his sword trailing behind, the Commandant General, Commander if Chief of the Irish Republic, President-Elect of the Irish government, rode off on his bicycle.
  • Dublin led Europe in drunkenness and prostitution; in disease, it led the world.
  • A gang of toddlers put on silk top hats which reached down to their shoulders so the cut slits in them for eyes.
  • On O'Connell Street, looters were into pubs and liquor stores. Some smashed the necks of bottles in their hurry to submerge their back teeth.
  • Of course the Catholic Church was the real Government of Ireland. It had irked him that an adulterous Protestant had more authority over the Irish people than he.
  • You can not conquer Ireland. You can not extinguish the Irish passion for freedom. If our deed has not been sufficient to win freedom, then our children will win it by a better deed. 
  • "Loyalty," he scribbled, is a sentiment, not a law. It rests on love, not on restraint. The Government of Ireland  by England rests on restraint and not on law; and since it demands no love it can evoke no loyalty.
Those quotes sum up the book pretty well.

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