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The Irish Assassins - Conspiracy Revenge and the Phoenix Park Murders That Stunned Victorian England - cover

The Irish Assassins - Conspiracy Revenge and the Phoenix Park Murders That Stunned Victorian England

Julie Kavanagh

Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press

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Summary

A brilliant true crime account of the assassinations that altered the course of Irish history from the “compulsively readable” writer (The Guardian).   One sunlit evening, May 6, 1882, Lord Frederick Cavendish and Thomas Burke, Chief Secretary and Undersecretary for Ireland, were ambushed and stabbed to death while strolling through Phoenix Park in Dublin. The murders were funded by American supporters of Irish independence and carried out by the Invincibles, a militant faction of republicans armed with specially made surgeon’s blades. They put an end to the new spirit of goodwill that had been burgeoning between British Prime Minister William Gladstone and Ireland’s leader Charles Stewart Parnell as the men forged a secret pact to achieve peace and independence in Ireland—with the newly appointed Cavendish, Gladstone’s protégé, to play an instrumental role in helping to do so.   In a story that spans Donegal, Dublin, London, Paris, New York, Cannes, and Cape Town, Julie Kavanagh thrillingly traces the crucial events that came before and after the murders. From the adulterous affair that caused Parnell’s downfall; to Queen Victoria’s prurient obsession with the assassinations; to the investigation spearheaded by Superintendent John Mallon, also known as the “Irish Sherlock Holmes,” culminating in the eventual betrayal and clandestine escape of leading Invincible James Carey and his murder on the high seas, The Irish Assassins brings us intimately into this fascinating story that shaped Irish politics and engulfed an Empire.  Praise for Julie Kavanagh’s Nureyev: The Life   “Easily the best biography of the year.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer   “The definitive biography of ballet’s greatest star whose ego was as supersized as his talent.” —Tina Brown, award-winning journalist and author

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