Parnell is the most enigmatic figure in Irish history. An Anglo-Irish landlord from a distinguished and long-established Wicklow family, he became the most unlikely leader of Irish nationalism imaginable. Nonetheless, from the late 1870s until his fall and death in 1891, he held the whole of Ireland spellbound. His fall was as dramatic as his rise. Paul Bew reinterprets this enigmatic man as one who was fundamentally conservative, who wished to reconcile his own landlord class to a new Ireland, and who acknowledged and accelerated the political demands of nationalist Ireland.
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