The O’Briens and the O’Flahertys is a fast-paced tale of political intrigue and aristocratic vanity—a romp through 1793 Dublin as Ireland pitches towards the United Irishmen Uprising of 1798. It follows Murrogh O’Brien as he tries to find his way between his nostalgic father, the politically savvy Irish-Italian nun Beavoin O’Flaherty, the dashing flirt, Lady Knocklofty, the idealistic United Irishmen, and his comically old-fashioned aunts, only to be caught up in a sweep of arrests and revelations in the novel’s dramatic fourth volume. The O’Briens’ original footnotes and authorial digressions detail the failure of colonial policy in Ireland, contributing to the novel’s long-standing reputation as a credible historical account of the turbulent 1790s.
This Broadview Edition includes extensive historical documents on Irish politics in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, as well as a selection of contemporary reviews of The O’Briens and the O’Flahertys.
“Julia M. Wright’s beautiful new edition of The O’Briens and The O’Flahertys is a revelation. As with her masterfully edited Broadview edition of Morgan’s The Missionary, Wright has provided the social and historical contexts that bring Morgan’s work back to us in its rich and complex fullness. The O’Briens and the O’Flahertys, arguably Morgan’s best novel, details the intertwined histories of two Irish families and follows their descendants through the tumultuous period of Ireland on the brink of rebellion, while periodically glancing centuries back to trace incursions and settlements on Ireland’s shores, focusing upon English colonial rule. Wright’s well-researched introduction, copious footnotes (complementing those of Morgan herself), and appendices illuminating the United Irishmen uprising, the move toward reform, and the novel’s reception allow the reader to understand Morgan’s work as a daring national tale and colourful tour de force.” — Susan Egenolf, Texas A&M University