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By Alice Curtayne
The Jacobite soldier Patrick Sarsfield achieved prominence in the canon of Irish heroes for his role in the Catholic resistance to William, Prince of Orange. Given the dearth of material concerning any intimate details of Sarsfield’s personality, Curtayne confines her study to “the detached tale of the soldier.” From this exclusively military evaluation, however, there still derives a compelling portrait of a man of dignity and courage, patriotism and faith. Alongside this portrait, Curtayne provides a succinct recounting of the Jacobite war, the Battle of the Boyne, and the rally of Limerick.
It is from this very darkness that the real merit of Sarsfield shines out. He upheld the ancient claim to nationhood, not merely locally, but in the eyes of Europe, and with conspicuous honour and dignity. –Alice Curtayne
The resulting account is one which braces “the cold air of historical narrative” with a power and vigor worthy of Sarsfield himself.
Alice Curtayne (1898–1981) was an Irish author, critic, journalist, and lecturer. In 1935, she married fellow author Stephen Rynne, with whom she raised four children and tended their family farm. Curtayne’s rich bibliography comprises histories and hagiographies, fiction and biographies, all of which demonstrate her keen intellect and vivid imagination.