The Year of the French

In 1798, Irish patriots, committed to freeing their country from England, landed with a company of French troops in County Mayo, in westernmost Ireland They were supposed to be an advance guard, followed by other French ships with the leader of the rebellion, Wolfe Tone Briefly they triumphed, raising hopes among the impoverished local peasantry and gathering a group ofIn 1798, Irish patriots, committed to freeing their country from England, landed with a company of French troops in County Mayo, in westernmost Ireland They were supposed to be an advance guard, followed by other French ships with the leader of the rebellion, Wolfe Tone Briefly they triumphed, raising hopes among the impoverished local peasantry and gathering a group of supporters But before long the insurgency collapsed in the face of a brutal English counterattack.Very few books succeed in registering the sudden terrible impact of historical events Thomas Flanagan s is one Subtly conceived, masterfully paced, with a wide and memorable cast of characters, The Year of the French brings to life peasants and landlords, Protestants and Catholics, along with old and abiding questions of secular and religious commitments, empire, occupation, and rebellion It is quite simply a great historical novel.
The Year of the French In Irish patriots committed to freeing their country from England landed with a company of French troops in County Mayo in westernmost Ireland They were supposed to be an advance guard follo

  • Title: The Year of the French
  • Author: Thomas Flanagan
  • ISBN: 9780099272182
  • Page: 128
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “The Year of the French”

    1. More History than NovelI was born in Ireland, of an Irish mother and an English father, but this book has taught me more about my country and the tangled relations between my peoples than I ever knew before. By tracing the events that took place in a single year (1798) in a remote part of the country (County Mayo on the West coast), Thomas Flanagan pulls together threads stretching back many centuries, embracing all classes of Irish society, threads still tangled in the fighting in Northern Irel [...]

    2. Talk about a book freighted with weird and erroneous expectations. I was nine when it was published, twelve when the momentous occasion of the Irish-made (or half-Irish-made) production locked the nation to their screens every Sunday night. It was a big deal. The book was ubiquitous. It seemed to be in every library, bookshop, house, waiting room and - seeing as my Dad was a mechanic - left under the back window of half the cars in Ireland. All I knew was that I wanted nothing to do with it. Iri [...]

    3. I don't expect to review or rate too many books, but here's one I just had to, mostly because I'm going to start Flannagan's final book on Ireland soon. This one, which I read years ago, is one of the most underrated I can think of. Sad, beautiful, frightening once I let the adjectives get going, they won't stop. Literature, history and poetry working seamlessly together, it's a truly rewarding read, though not always an easy one. Not only does TF have an utterly convincing grasp of the mood, sp [...]

    4. I actually gave up on this book half way through. It is just too slow for me, it reads more like a non-fiction history book than a novel. Plus I have 14 books needing to be picked up at the library, so have to read those.

    5. review is from: The Year of the French (Paperback) This is one of the finest books I have ever read. The language and the writing are so wonderful that you just have to savor it. It took me a long time to read this as I couldn't read in a rapid manner. It was like a wonderful, warm, inviting bed that you just want to get in and roll around and enjoy it.I knew nothing about this time period and event in Ireland. It was the book club choice for my Irish book club and I am so glad I found it. Not [...]

    6. An immersive novel, Thomas Flanagan’s historical novel takes readers right into the muck and bogs of 18th century Ireland, it’s prejudices and injustices, it’s poetry and cruelty. It’s pretty great.For years, Flanagan was a professor of Irish fiction, specializing in 19th century Irish novelists, writers who were basically blotted out by James Joyce’s explosive fiction. An American, Flanagan spent a lot of time there and befriended several writers (including Seamus Deane, who contribut [...]

    7. There is a traditional Irish ballad, 'The Wind That Shakes the Barley', that kept coming to mind as I read this. It tells the story of a young man who leaves his love to fight for the United Irishmen in 1798, alongside the French, against English rule, and about his fate. It is sad, and dark, and beautiful, and true (in that way that does not ask 'did this specifically happen in exactly this way', but rather, 'does this tell us how the world was, for someone, at some time').It is a testament to [...]

    8. During the tumult of the French Revolutionary Wars - before the Great Man himself transformed them into the Napoleonic Wars - the haphazard French attempts to aid Irish rebels in their independence are usually relegated to a footnote. After all, we know how the story ends, and the classically British mix of luck, skill, and sheer ruthlessness which ended those efforts condemned the Irish to over a century more of brutal colonial rule. But in Flanagan's hands this doomed effort to spread the flam [...]

    9. It was dense history. But it was a history for anyone who had ancestors from County Mayo. Thanks to this book I understand why the my mother's hometown of Clinton MA has the Fighting Gaels, why the Acre is called the Acre, why the busiest street is high st and not main st. Thanks to the book I have an understanding and a better appreciation of the names of landmarks in the town that our ancestors were using from the Old Country.The importance of the poet and historian in Irish tradition. The Eng [...]

    10. Page 151:"Are they the soldiers from the ships?" "Yes," MacCarthy said. "French soldiers, the French have landed."The plot describes the French invasion of Ireland and the rebellion by the native Irish also know as The Races of Castlebar, County Mayo.[image error]The story itself is quite interesting even if an American-born writer wrote it.However, it’s not an easy book to read since it has 5 different narrators and at least 60 characters.A The Year of the French (1982)TV series was made base [...]

    11. I was torn in final assessment of Thomas Flanagan’s novel “The Year of the French.” It is a fine combination of scholarship and entertainment. It represents history and fiction intricately interwoven – a fine example of a good historical novel. It is also, however, too long and at times so slow as to border on tedium. A sharp editor’s pencil could have culled fifty pages out and improved the novel significantly. A good novel must maintain narrative impetus; Flanagan loses it in the run [...]

    12. A sad, haunting tale--- an account of the Irish rising of 1798 and the French landing in support of the rebellion. Flanagan calls up the shock and horror of the doomed rebellion and the savage punishment inflicted by the English as well as the bitter political in-fighting among the Irish and the growing knowledge that the French have their own designs on Ireland and care nothing for Irish independence. Well-written and powerful.

    13. The Irish question explained: a gripping and very tragic account of the 1798 French landing in County Mayo, Ireland, which triggered a brutal and bloody revolution against the English: the prequel to the Act of Union. An absorbing and masterful historical novel, Tom Flanagan's 1979 masterpiece deals with the complexities of the clash between English and Irish cultures. A wide and memorable list of characters recreate the event in a fast-paced and seamlessly accurate account. It is peopled with t [...]

    14. When most of us think of Ireland and suffering we certainly go first to the starvation of the mid 1800's which through death and desertion left the island three million people fewer. Or, the revolution of the early twentieth century and the wars of religion in the late. What is often forgotten is the fact that Ireland has always been a place of sorrow brought from without. Flanagan's trilogy starts with The Year of the French, a year when British occupation and a French invasion made Ireland a p [...]

    15. This was an amazing book and journey through a chapter of Irish history that is largely forgotten. The year of liberty 1798 usually concentrates on the Wexford rising leaving The People's Republic of Connaught, uprisings in the Midlands and Ulster as mere footnotes.In The Year of the French Thomas Flanagan suceeds in giving a social snapshot of the time and shows the rebellion from many differing and opposing points of view. The book is brilliantly written and a great achievement considering tha [...]

    16. Describes the 1798 failed rebellion of the Irish against the English. The story is told through the view of many different characters who represent different sides of the rebellion. There is relevance in the story to the current environment of falsely painting all members of a particular religious persuasion with a single brush

    17. This is another of those "if you have an ounce of Irish blood in you" you have to read. It's about the very sad attempted rising in the 18th century. The name comes from the hope that France would come and assist the rebellion. I'm so glad I still have this book. It will be a great reread.

    18. Mom was first generation Irish. Her brother read this book back in the1980's and started an argument during a family visit and proceeded to leave us all there in a lurch.

    19. The narrative is a bit of a jumble, switching out different narrators and different narrative modes (diaries, memoirs written years on, an attempt at an objective historical account by a pastor who at the end is anything but objective, a third person narrator with limited point of view who appears from time to time to push the story along). Many of the characters seemed to be caricatures, some objectionably so, but one presumes the historian who wrote the book did his research, and those were ve [...]

    20. I first read this great historical novel in the summer of 1981. That Fall my wife and I went to Ireland and made a point of visiting Killala before going on to Sligo.After 36 years it was time to re-read it. It was even more powerful this time around. Having read Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin novels twice through made me more appreciative of Flanagan's achievement. Other reviewers more eloquent than I have lauded the book quite ably so I won't attempt to compete with their comments.As an Iris [...]

    21. Part of my Irish collection that could have stayed in Galway, as far as I’m concerned. Although the history is moving and not well remembered and the characters are interesting, the story is drowned in an ocean of self-indulgent verbiage. It was all I could do to finish it.

    22. Tedious to read, but well told story by several viewpoints. 1798 Mayo rebellion, sets the tone for future battles between British and Irish.

    23. A great slog through a bog of a book, and if you're up on your Irish history, you'll know the story doesn't end happily.

    24. war--One must not enter the reading of this book lightly. It is a formidable task, not light reading, but so well worth it. I love this author for expanding my vocabulary with words such as spalpeens, omadhaun, ensorcelled, and he makes every effort rewarded. I learned that the namesake for the Tara plantation in Gone With the Wind actually exists in Ireland, and is called The Hill of Tara, known as Temair in gaeilge, being once the ancient seat of power in Ireland – 142 kings are said to have [...]

    25. Usually, when I take a month to read a book, that's not a good sign. Not so in this case. "The Year of the French" is a densely-layered book that gives an account of the 1798 landing of French troops, accompanied by Irish patriots, in County Mayo, Ireland. Buoyed by the American and French revolutions, the United Irishmen were ready to throw off English rule. Early victories seemed to indicate success. But the English retaliation was brutal and the rebellion was crushed.The story is told by seve [...]

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