Through the Gate of Ivory


‘A vivid recreation of a distant epoch, this book combines fine storytelling with the wisdom of a sage who knows that Irish identity was always a matter of negotiation between different traditions . . . Its pacy narrative is at once vivacious and scholarly – the outcome of an imagination which has been chastened by a strong sense of actual historical forces.’ – Declan Kiberd

‘Patrick Devaney has meticulously researched this recreation of life in 17th century Ireland, based on a true story. It is as lively and engagig as Sharon Penman’s account of Wales in Here Be Dragons. This is a pacy, informative read.’ – Anne Dunne, Irish Indpendent

‘A fine read … the story line is absorbing’ – Tom Widger, Sunday Tribune

Trinity student Charles Stanihurst, the son of a Dublin merchant and a Roscommon chambermaid, flees his native city after assaulting an English officer and heads for the West of Ireland, where he encounters a culture virtually unknown within the pale. Beyond the Shannon much of the old Gaelic way of life is still intact, though under growing threat from the political power and land greed of the ‘foreigners’. Charles is forced to confront divisions between his Anglo-Irish and Gaelic loyalties, while seeking his spiritual father, Bishop William Bedell, who is translating the Old Testament into Irish.

Set in post-Flight of the Earls, pre-Cromwellian Ireland of 1641, this novel tells the gripping story of a struggle between two opposing cultures that set the scene for the rebellion sealing the fate of Gaelic Ireland.

‘An absorbing story, with the events and characters vividly described.’ – Colm Lennon

‘Excellently sustained, beautiful and scholarly prose . . . a classic . . . the period details are superb.’ – Sheila O’Hagan

PATRICK DEVANEY is a Roscommon-born teacher, poet and writer. This is his first book.



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Weight 0.5 kg

May 2003


215 x 135mm, 288pp