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From the generals and field commanders through to the troopers and nurses on the front lines the Irish served at every turn in the Great WarThey tore through the skies in flimsy biplanes They soared across the seas in battleships They charged across the tortured earth with bayonets fixed They wrapped bandages and dabbed softly in the field hospitals They prayed they sang they killed they wept and they diedPopular historian Turtle Bunbury is renowned for uncovering important forgotten stories from our past Here he reveals many never before heard tales of the Irish heroes and heroines whose lives coincided with one of the most brutal conflicts our world has ever known including nuns artists sportsmen poets aristocrats nationalists nurses clergymen and film directorsBy turns poignant enlightening whimsical and darkly comic this is history as it should be free wheeling and finely tuned to the rhythms of the human heartREVIEWS'Magnificent booka superb productionsomething to be proud of' Gay Byrne on Sunday with Gay Byrne Lyric FM'An absolutely beautiful book A lavish production with lots of pictures lots of maps it really captures the whole era' Patrick Geoghegan on Talking History Newstalk FM'A piece of Irish history that was sort of wilfully forgotten for a long time The Glorious Madness is wall to wall with tales of some very interesting characters including a number who played an important role in Irish history' Anton Savage Savage Sunday Today FM'The impressively versatile Turtle Bunbury is known for his sensitively written well observed Vanishing Ireland series of books and his appearance on RTE's Genealogy Roadshow He also toured this year as one of the lecturers in the Great War Roadshow headed by Myles Dungan Now also marking the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War Bunbury marches into what once would have been a no man's land for historians There is much to enjoy here Bunbury has an eye for irony and pathos and a fluid attractive writing style It's packed worth personalities and stories of courage under fire amid truly unimaginable slaughter of mind boggling military incompetence and of individuals emotionally afflicted by reports of courage in another cause at home The cast of characters is formidable' Emmanuel Kehoe Sunday Business PostIn The Glorious Madness Turtle continues the wonderful listening and yarn spinning he has honed in the Vanishing Ireland series applying it to veterans of the First World War The stories he recreates are poignant whimsical and bleakly funny bringing back into the light the lives of people who found themselves on the wrong side of history after the struggle for Irish independence This is my kind of micro history John Grenham The Irish Times A wonderful book packed with great individual stories and pictures which bring the Irish participation in the Great War vividly alive Sean Farrell Irish Independent Based on first hand accounts of the conflict this collection of character portraits and stirring anecdotes brings to life the hopes fears and ambitions that defined Ireland's 'lost generation' Peter Costello The Irish Catholic Turtle Bunbury's book about the Great War is a great read a dramatic confection of remarkable stories about remarkable events and individuals slapped together with great dexterity and professionalism This is military history as entertainment on a scale we have not seen since well the First World War This is one book that can be judged by its cover Padraig Yeates Dublin Review of BooksTurtle Bunbury has pulled together a sumptuous collection of stories that show the Irish contribution to the Great War with extraordinary tales of derring do This is the book you must give your father and when he opens it on Christmas day there will be stories that will surprise even him This is not a 'deep dive' history book but it is a colourful record of Ireland's Great War and a tribute to many of her heroes Andrew Melsom Irish Examiner 15 January 2015


10 thoughts on “Glorious Madness

  1. says:

    I dipped into book after book both fact and fiction trying to get a true sense of what life was like one hundred years ago for those who lived through those terrible times When I opened up Turtle Bunbury's book 'The Glorious Madness' I immediately knew that I had found the book that I had been searching for To read see


  2. says:

    Incredible collection of stories told with great skill A 'must read' for anyone interested in the First World War period and Irish history


  3. says:

    Really interesting book well written Great stories ranging from Irish nuns in Ypres to the man who wrote 'It's a long way to Tipperary' It should be reuired reading for all students of 20th century Irish history


  4. says:

    I found this book a bit frustrating What I found was slices of life from the great war and stories about individuals battles acts of bravery and 'theatres of war' other than the Western front But I think because the book 'jumped around' from story to story I found it hard to get any momentum when reading it It's a slice of life from an Anglo Irish era of Hunts Big Houses people with double barrelled names and that IS interesting But I struggled to care overmuch about the people with a few exceptionsThe sections about the Dardenelles and Mesopotamia were interesting but so because I knew little about the battles and the 'errors of judgement' than that I cared about the people So it's a good book but it rather passed me by


  5. says:

    1220