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Patrick Pearse – the triumph of failure

Publishers' blurb

There has always been argument about whether Pearse's leadership of the Easter Rising in 1916 represented a failure or a triumph. Pearse, who found himself on Easter Monday proclaimed President of the Provisional Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Army of the Republic, took on himself the most bitter of roles at the finish: he was the first to make the move to surrender - and he was the first to be executed.

In this re-issued major biography, Ruth Dudley Edwards has placed Patrick Pearse in his historical, political and cultural context: she discusses his involvement with the Gaelic League, his role as a military leader in the nationalist movement and his claims as a socialist. Her account of his life does full justice to the story, recording its irony, absurdity and courage. This book will do much to arouse fresh interest in Patrick Pearse; it is sympathetic, balanced, meticulously researched, and above all highly readable.

The Irish Ambassador, publishers and authors at the launch at the Irish Embassy in London on 5 April 2006 of four books relating to Easter 1916.
Ruth is the one in startling pink!

Praise for Patrick Pearse - The Triumph of Failure


The Guardian

Irish Press

In 2004 in a review in the Irish Times, Ruth wrote about the reaction to the biography -- Paving the way to hell

Extracts from reviews:

'Ruth Dudley Edwards has reissued her classic biography of Patrick Pearse; this riveting and well-written biography of the 1916 leader has stood the test of time and provides a fascinating reconstruction of the life and times of Pearse and his comrades. Unorthodox to the point of virtue, the reader will never think of Pearse or 1916 in quite the same way again; it is required reading for anyone interested in twentieth-century Irish history and politics.'
Professor Tom Garvin

'... Miss Edwards has worked wonders in restoring the personality... This splendidly written book transforms the study of Pearse by elevating it to a proper historical plane. Miss Edwards has succeeded in the daunting task of siultaneously rendering a signal service to Irish scholarship, to historical studies, and to the memory of Patrick Pearse.'
Professor Joe Lee

'There are few worthwhile biographies for [twentieth century Irish history], one glowing exception being R. Dudley Edwards's Patrick Pearse: The Trium of Failure, which illuminates far more than its subject.'
Professor Roy Foster

Ruth Dudley Edwards has written a remarkable book which at a blow places her high among contemporary historical scholars.'
Seán Ó Faoláin, The Guardian

'Beautifully written and painfully objective'
Sir Bernard Crick, History Today

"It combines Dudley Edwards's ability as a gifted historian with her skill as a journalist to produce a hugely important and authoritative book that reads as compulsively as a thriller."
John Spain, Irish Independent

"A hurtling journey, often hilarious and sometimes monstrous, through newspapers, class, politics and sex; not just the double biography of two extraordinary men, but a sideways history of Britain in the fifties and sixties"
Andrew Marr

"The depth of her learning and the breadth of her sympathy, make this a compelling book, the product of genuine free thinking and spare, fine writing. Few books published this year will have the charm, learning, wisdom and humanity of The Faithful Tribe"
The Times

This is the help-manual I longed for when I was a young student of Irish history but eventually had to write myself. It’s still the reference book I use most often.’ 
Ruth Dudley Edwards


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Ruth Dudley Edwards
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