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Imprint: Oneworld Publications

Subject: History

The Seven

The Lives and Legacies of the Founding Fathers of the Irish Republic

Ruth Dudley Edwards

On Easter Sunday, 23 April 1916, the seven members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood’s military council met to proclaim an Irish Republic with themselves as the provisional government. After a week of fighting with the British army on the streets of Dublin, the Seven were arrested, court-martialled and executed.

Cutting through the layers of veneration that have seen them regarded unquestioningly as heroes and martyrs by many, Ruth Dudley Edwards provides shrewd yet sensitive portraits of Ireland’s founding fathers. She explores how an incongruous group, which included a communist, visionary Catholic poets and a tobacconist, joined together to initiate an armed rebellion that changed the course of Irish history. Brilliant, thought-provoking and captivatingly told, The Seven challenges us to see past the myths and consider the true character and legacy of the Easter Rising.

  • Publication date: April 13, 2017
  • ISBN: 9781786070739
  • RRP: £9.99
  • Pages: 416
  • Publication date: March 22, 2016
  • ISBN: 9781780748658
  • RRP: £18.99
  • Pages: 416
  • Publication date: March 22, 2016
  • ISBN: 9781780748726
  • RRP: £5.99
  • Pages: 416


‘In telling the stories of perhaps the most influential of all Irish national heroes…Ruth Dudley Edwards has written a fascinating, balanced and highly readable book based on thorough research.’

The Times

‘Fascinating and penetrating…innovative and engaging…can be welcomed as an important contribution to the discussion and a serious contribution to our understanding of an extremely complex and challenging period in modern Irish history.’

Irish Independent

'With its sharp observations…as well as its demystifying impulse and wry alertness to every nuance of 1916-symbolism, The Seven is an important book. It disentangles the strands of motivation and aspiration which previous generations had tended to lump together'.

Times Literary Supplement


Catholic Herald

‘Highly entertaining and engagingly irreverent.’

New York Times Book Review

'Dudley Edwards…clearly knows how to entertain as well as inform. This book feels like the result of a lifetime's research, neatly condensed into a colourful narrative that readers of all political persuasions should be able to enjoy'.

Sunday Business Post

'Dudley Edwards brings a forensic eye to these rebel lives'.

Literary Review

'A first rate read. Moving the narrative along with colour, verve, pace and attitude'

Sunday Independent

'If the Easter Rising was a passion play in which real gore was spilt, Dudley Edwards represents its leading actors as terrorists rather than freedom fighters. But she brings them to life with empathy and zest'.

Sunday Times

'The sketches are succinct, sympathetic and sometimes mordantly funny'.

Evening Standard

'Absorbing and insightful'.

Irish Times

Written with great verve and zest, as well as judicious tough-mindedness, Ruth Dudley Edward’s The Seven is an overdue reexamination of the remorseless nationalist faith that led not only to the Easter Rebellion but to the Troubles beyond. For anyone keen on understanding why the question of Irish identity and Irish nationhood remains so vexed, Ruth Dudley Edwards's study is essential… The Easter Rebellion has inspired fine historians, from F. S. L. Lyons and J. J. Lee to Charles Townshend and Lord Bew. Now, to their illustrious company, we can add Ruth Dudley Edwards.’

The Weekly Standard

Ruth Dudley Edwards

Author page

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