The Geraldines and medieval Ireland

The making of a myth

Peter Crooks & Seán Duffy, editors

Catalogue Price: €29.95
ISBN: 978-1-84682-627-6
Catalogue Price: €50.00
ISBN: 978-1-84682-571-2

March 2017. 446pp; ills.

‘This book exposes many of the myths created by the family itself or by those who sought to use it and its history to further their own ends. Through meticulous scholarship, long-standing assumptions, such as the family’s total assimilation into the Gaelic milieu, becoming “more Irish than the Irish themselves”, hell-bent on rebelling against the English Crown, are seriously challenged by expert authors drawn from both sides of the Irish Sea … This is an excellent book and a fine addition to the bookshelves of anyone interested in medieval Ireland’, Randolph Jones, The Ricardian (2017).

'This book will undoubtedly prove invaluable to this and future generations of researchers as a useful reference for the cadet branches of the Geraldines as well as the Kildare and Desmond families ... The collection as a whole provides a wealth of information about the Geraldines and their worlds, from their establishment in Ireland to later political intrigues, the lives and libraries of the later earls of Kildare, and their relations with the Irish, and finishes with a consideration of their legacy in the nineteenth century ... The Geraldines and medieval Ireland is a stunning contribution to the history of the Geraldines that combines rigorous scholarship with refreshing insights that add further nuance to our understanding of broader historical and historiographical debates', Eamon Darcy, History Ireland (July–August 2017).

'Beginning with a fascinating paper by Seán Duffy on the role of Gerald of Windsor and his immediate family as royal dapifers and castle custodians … the reader is then taken through evidence for the family from the twelfth century (three papers), the thirteenth (two), fourteenth (one), fifteenth (two) and sixteenth (three) … this book … should stimulate further engagement with the field', Catherine Swift, Journal of Irish Archaeology (2017).

'This superb collections of essays [is] an accessible, yet scholarly, volume, showcasing new research on many aspects of the first six centuries of the family in Ireland ... [A] rich and coherent survey of one of the most important dynasties of the medieval and early modern British Isles', Paul Dryburgh, The Parliamentary History Yearbook Trust (2018).

'This handsome volume [...] comprises fifteen scholarly chapters which examine the first six centuries of FitzGerald family history from the generation after the Norman conquest of England (1066) to the demise of the earls of Desmond during the reign of Elizabeth I [...] The editors and contributors are to be credited with producing a collection which, in addition to its rich details and breadth of diverse perspectives, offers a sustained, rigorous and coherent examination of the Geraldine myth [... and] sheds fascinating light on the mythification of one of Ireland's most influential families', Mary Ann Lyons, Studia Hibernica (2018).  


'The Geraldine's and Medieval therefore comes as a welcome and important contribution to our understanding of medieval Ireland and the place of the Geraldine dynasty therein ... This book is, overall, a landmark study and provides and excellent template for exploring the history and development of other lineages in late medieval and early modern Ireland. It will, moreover, be of interest to a wide audience, From an academic point of view these essays will be of value to budding scholars and established academics alike, and provide an accessible guide to recent research as well as pertinent primary and archival sources. They will, moreover, hopefully also help simulate further research into what is a rich, if in many ways, unexplored field. On a more general level, also, this collection will be of interest to people engaged in family history and the history of locality. In sum, it is an excellent production, a must-have for anyone interested in medieval Ireland and its relevance today.', Simon Egan, Forum for Medieval and Renaissance Studies in Ireland, (2017–2018).