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By O'Donovan Rossa
In this colorful, detailed account, nineteenth-century Irish patriot and revolutionary Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa describes his life's experiences, tracing his early boyhood growing up on his grandfather's farm in Renascreena, his thirteen-year imprisonment for his involvement in the Fenian movement, and finally his exile to America, where he continued his activities in support of Irish independence.
In this epic memoir he tells of learning the Irish language as a child, of sitting around turf fires and hearing tales of fairies and battles, of landlords seizing the wheat crop for rent when the potato crop failed, and of his family being evicted from their home. Through it a portrait emerges of Ireland in the mid- to late 1800s, revealing what life was truly like for the Irish people.
Rossa's rambling style, with frequent digressions and asides, makes the narrative read like a fireside conversation between friends. He tells his story with frankness and honesty but without bitterness. Although he died six years before his beloved Ireland won its independence, his words no doubt influenced the next generation of revolutionaries.