Ireland's history has long been illuminated, and enlivened, by bizarre, colourful, extravagant, unfettered individuals: ripe country-house eccentrics, saints, scholars, bucks and hell-rakes, duellists, abductors, rhymers and miracle-makers. These factual and fascinating biographical sketches make for 'delightful reading' (Frank Muir). First published in 1975 this new edition includes fresh material and is now in its second printing. Reviews of the 1975 edition: 'Mr Somerville-Large writes with elan and erudition' -- Tim Heald, The Times. 'A delightful compendium of sheer nuttiness. If, as sociologists suggest, eccentricity is a luxury, Ireland is portrayed in this book as one of the most luxurious countries anywhere.' -- Malcolm MacPherson, Newsweek. 'Mr Somerville-Large has probed the annals of dim Anglo-Irish families to produce a rare gallery of human curiosities. All human life is here with a vengeance, and in these affectionately presented pages its vagaries know no bounds. ' -- William Trevor, The Guardian. 'Peter Somerville-Large has parcelled up as colourful a batch of nature's sports as could be found a whisker this side of lunacy, and has written about them in a witty detached prose style which admirably sets off their extraordinary behaviour S delightful reading.' -- Frank Muir, The Spectator

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