Death of a King & Other Stories

By: Seamus De Faoite

Publication Date: May 2005


Death of a King & Other Stories by Seamus de Faoite

A gypsy king dies, and a group of villagers seek to save him from the dishonour of a pauper’s grave. The dispute over the inheritance of a well-field becomes a struggle between the ‘old stock’ and the ‘new people’ for the very ownership of their town. A terrier pup reveals the truth of the relationship between a poacher and gamekeeper. A seasoned drinker subverts the ‘dry’ policy of a train chartered by a Pioneer pilgrimage. An old man puts on his best suit for this own wake, telling his family he will be dead by nightfall. And a blind woman only truly realizes her blindness when forced to abandon her home.

Stories of enduring friendships and close family ties form the heart of Death of a King. Often hilarious, and as fresh as the day they were written, these stories delicately but potently reveal their characters’ lives in all their toughness and tenderness.

‘A writer of genius.’ – Samuel Beckett

‘De Faoite’s special achievement is twofold. Firstly, there is a music to the language and a rush to the heart of the matter that, combined with the natural speech rhythms of the people, give an impulse to the work that is irresistible. Secondly there is the kindliness of the vision, a kindliness not unmixed with a cool and observant eye, that make the characters of another age come alive in our own.’ – John F.Deane

‘First and foremost, Seamus de Faoite was a storyteller, stories written down, stories talked to you in his whirlwind of warm conversation. He could make everything and everybody live before your eyes.’ – Benedict Kiely


Seamus De Faoite, a native of Killarney, was a friend and contemporary of both Bryan MacMahon and Brendan Behan. He founded the Killarney Players, who performed his first play ‘The Night of the Moon’. After working as a postman, he moved to Dublin, where he worked in advertising to support his theatrical career – and acted in The Gaiety’s production of his play ‘The Cardinal and the Crows’. Read more here.

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Weight 0.35 kg
Dimensions 215 × 136 mm
Publication Date

May 2005


Paperback, 246pp