This biography of The "Great Earl", Gerald, 8th earl of Kildare by Donough Bryan is an important landmark in the scholarship of late mediaeval Ireland. Bryan's research was excellent and typified the emerging commitment to evidence based history. Tragically Bryan died before he could complete his research aged only 28, but his mentor, Professor Edmund Curtis of Trinity College, ensured that the work was completed and published in 1933. Gerald Fitzgerald, 8th earl of Kildare (1456-1513) was a towering political figure. Often referred to as the "uncrowned King of Ireland" he was both the King's representative in Ireland and often the greatest threat to royal authority. By allying himself with the powerful O'Neills in Ulster, and other Gaelic and Anglo-Norman lineages, he created an imposing bloc of mutually dependent interest groups. His success in achieving this authority, and maintaining it, is the principal theme of Bryan's work. Bryan covers all aspects of the history of this time with skill and evident knowledge. The book is a must for all scholars of this period.
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