Through the Gate of Ivory

By: Patrick Devaney

Publication Date: May 2003


Through the Gate of Ivory by Patrick Devaney

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, Through the Gate of Ivory tells the gripping story of a struggle between two opposing cultures that set the scene for the rebellion sealing the fate of Gaelic Ireland.

‘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

‘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

‘This is a gritty novel dealing with drinking in taverns, horse racing, hurling matches, sex romps in castle halls, knife attacks in courtyards and other stirring adventures of its 17th century hero, Charles Stanihurst. It is, however, much more than that.’ Customer review


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



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Weight 0.5 kg
Dimensions 136 × 215 mm
Publication Date

May 2003


Paperback, 288pp