The Agitator: A Novel of Ireland in the Nineteenth Century Walter Keady

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Published: June 18th 2012

Kindle Edition

390 pages


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The Agitator: A Novel of Ireland in the Nineteenth Century  by  Walter Keady

The Agitator: A Novel of Ireland in the Nineteenth Century by Walter Keady
June 18th 2012 | Kindle Edition | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, AUDIO, mp3, ZIP | 390 pages | ISBN: | 6.19 Mb

This historical novel deals with a period of late nineteenth century Irish history known as the Land War, in which an ex-convict, Michael Davitt, roused the tenant farmers against their oppressors and initiated the struggle that ended landlordism inMoreThis historical novel deals with a period of late nineteenth century Irish history known as the Land War, in which an ex-convict, Michael Davitt, roused the tenant farmers against their oppressors and initiated the struggle that ended landlordism in Ireland.The novel begins with Davitts release from Dartmoor in December 1877 and follows him through the next two years as he campaigns to rid Ireland of landlordism.

It portrays his wild welcome home to Ireland as a martyr/hero at a time when famine again threatened the poor of the west, his visit to America that turned into a tour de force of nationalistic lectures and established him as an Irish political leader, his return to Ireland where he roused the tenant farmers and laborers to demand their rights through monster meetings under the battle cry of ‘the land for the people, and his founding of the National Land League of Ireland.It is a colorful story that includes many historical figures, including Charles Stuart Parnell.

There is a spy commissioned by the government to follow Davitt, a peasant family who undergo the horrors of eviction, and a beautiful woman, Beatrice Walshe, who captures Davitts heart.There are, of course, political intrigues galore as the government attempts to suppress the Land League and return Davitt to jail, clerical intrigues as bishops denounce the Agitator who is attempting to stir up their flocks to sedition and other immoral acts, and turf intrigues as proponents of violence clash with peaceful agents for the minds and hearts of the tenant farmers.There are court scenes where tenants are condemned to eviction, and where Davitt is tried for sedition, crowd scenes where thousands of peasants come together to hear Davitt speak, a sports meeting organized for the poor, a glittering Ball scene in Dublin Castle as the quality celebrate St Patricks Day.

There are outrages, as when landlords are shot at, landlord rabbits are poached, landlord cattle are killed or maimed, and landlords evict unfortunate peasants from their unspeakably miserable homes.There are tales of heroism, as when Parnell leads the peasants of Mayo in preventing an eviction from taking place, and when the peasants of Connemara prevent a process server protected by six hundred armed police from handing out eviction notices.There are funny scenes, as when Lord Lucan tries to rid his meadows of Queen Victoria’s Royal swans, when the government spy is forced to spend a night in a peasant hovel, when the Master of Ceremonies tries to save the Lord Lieutenant from having to kiss all the ladies who are formally presented to him.The novel is written as close to the historical facts as fiction permits.

Most of the principal characters are historical, as are all of the principal events described. Towering over all is Michael Davitt, who orchestrates a peaceful Land War and organizes peasants, priests, politicians, and Fenians into a National Land League to oppose the landlords.The story ends on an upbeat note: famine is averted, a limited victory is gained against the landlords, and the war against tyranny seems about to be won.The novel was written for a general audience- no knowledge of Irish history is presupposed.

The story will be of particular interest to the millions of Irish emigrants and their descendants in the USA and around the world, and it will resonate in a special way with those whose ancestors emigrated in the nineteenth and early twentieth century because the conditions described were the direct cause of most of that emigration.



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