Tag: The Immortal Irishman by Timothy Egan (page 1 of 2)

The Immortal Irishman by Timothy Egan Book Review

I read this book as part of the 2017 European Reading Challenge.

 

The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became An American Hero*

by Timothy Egan

(*Amazon Affiliate link)
 

Ireland Years

Thomas Francis Meagher (pronounced “Mar”) was born in 1823 into a wealthy merchant family in Waterford, Ireland. His father was a member of the British parliament and Thomas was well-educated, a graduate of Stonyhurst College, a Jesuit institution in Lancashire, England. Thomas could have lived the life of a wealthy heir; instead he became involved in the fight for a free Ireland. He witnessed the Great Hunger of the 1840s, when millions died from starvation and millions more emigrated. Known as “Meagher of the Sword,” Thomas put his enormous oratorical skills to work on behalf of the Young Irelanders, working for the repeal of the Act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland. It was this work that led Meagher to be a member of the core group behind the Young Irelander Rebellion of 1848, during which he was arrested, tried, and convicted for sedition. His original sentence of “hanging, drawing, and quartering” was commuted to transportation for life to Tasmania, a penal colony of Great Britain at the time.

Escape From Tasmania

Meagher’s stay on Tasmania was short, about a year and a half, and then he was able to arrange an escape to America in 1852. Within a few short years upon his arrival in New York City, Thomas studied law and journalist and made his living as a lecturer, traveling around the United States, drawing large paying crowds eager to hear him speak on Ireland, the Great Hunger, and his experiences. Meagher took a stand against the anti-immigrant Know-Nothing Party during the 1850s, which created some financial hardships for him. Thomas also married the daughter of a wealthy, old-blood New York family, Elizabeth Townsend, whose family disowned her due to their marriage.

The Civil War

When the Civil War began, Meagher helped enlist Irish immigrants to fight on the Union side, eventually forming Company K of the 69th Regiment, which became known as the “Fighting 69th” of the New York State Militia. Brigadier General Meagher commanded this brigade, which fought in some of the fiercest battles of the Civil War – Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg – with distinction and suffered great losses.

Montana

After the ending of the Civil War, Meagher was appointed territorial governor of Montana, where he became embroiled in a dispute with a group of vigilantes. He died in 1867 under mysterious circumstances, falling overboard from a steamboat in the Missouri river. There was much speculation at the time whether he was murdered or simply fell over as a result of drunkenness, but nothing was ever proven one way or another and his body was never found. Thomas Meagher is honored by statues in numerous locations – the Montana State Capitol in Helena; Waterford, Ireland; the Antietam battlefield – and also has received numerous honors in the years since his death.

Conclusion

I consider myself a bit of an Irish history buff, so I was a bit dismayed to realize the scope of Meagher’s accomplishments and realize that I had never previously heard of him. Obviously I need to do more reading! I’m very glad I saw this book on the “new arrivals” bookshelf at my local public library and picked it up simply because it dealt with an Irish personage. This was a really interesting read; Meagher lived a varied and exciting life, witnessing great events across several continents, and yet felt that he never really found a place he could call home. His home was Ireland, where he could never return due to his conviction of treason, and while the United States eventually became his home, he always yearned for one last glimpse of the old country.

Weekly Review 01.16.17

Outside My Window… I have an uptown Houston city view from my third floor hotel window, a mix of sky scrapers, restaurants, businesses, clubs, and housing.  If you want it, it’s probably here somewhere.
I am thinking… that I will have a pretty nice two-week stay here.   Our suite has lots of room, including an office area, space for food (fridge, etc.) and a jacuzzi.  I plan to enjoy it.
I am thankful for…  the warmer temperature that comes with being 300 miles farther southeast, nearer to the Gulf Coast.
From the kitchen… no kitchen sounds, as there’s no kitchen!
I am hoping… that I can be productive these next two weeks, and also take some time to visit a museum or the zoo or something fun.
I am reading… The Immortal Irishman, by Timothy Egan (for the 2017 European Reading Challenge) – but this was left home, so I won’t be reading it for a couple of weeks.  The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larrson, which is the first of a trilogy.  Since Book 3 is the next book in our  100 Book List reading challenge, I want to read the first two in the trilogy.  I don’t like reading books out of order.
I am busy creating… a counted cross stitch Santa piece.
I am hearing… the TV in the background, along with the room a/c unit.
Around the house & garden… Christmas décor is still up and looking nice. David is in charge of the house while we’re gone.  The garden has been froze hard several times now, so I don’t know how much will come back in the spring.  I’m not worrying about it now.
In other news…  Bill’s cold is finally better.  He was still complaining all weekend about his brain being foggy and he’s still coughing and sneezing occasionally (and complaining of sore ribs), but today he was up early and read to get to work.  I’ve noticed improvements in his health each day over the last three days, even if he didn’t see it.  So far, I’m not showing any signs of coming down with it (knock on wood).
One of my favorite things… exploring new area.  I spent a couple of hours this noontime, found Whole Foods, scoped out a couple of restaurants, and just generally got my bearings.  I know now the major cross streets within a 2-3 miles area and can find my way back to the hotel without needing the GPS.
Our Weekly Overview… 
Monday: Bill working with the Houston client.  I’m hanging out at the hotel – ran to Whole Foods for lunch and lunch supplies for the coming week.  Later I’ll drive to the Galleria, meet Bill at the food court, and figure out where we’ll be eating supper.  That’ll be how every late afternoon is spent for me.  David is working today.
Tuesday: Bill works with the Houston client.  I’ll hang out at the hotel, hopefully get in a walk, write a book review, and begin to work on blogs.  David is off work, but scheduled to go in for the Manager’s meeting that he was invited (requested) to attend.  I’ll be interested to hear his report from that meeting.
Wednesday: Bill works with the Houston client.  I’ll hang out at the hotel, hopefully get in a walk and work on updating blogs and setting up new blogs.  David is off work.
Thursday: Bill works with the Houston client.  I’ll hang out at the hotel, walk, and continue working on blogs – unless I decide to take this day to explore further, have some fun.  A lot will depend upon how the work is going on the blogs and how much paid work pops up during the week.  David has work today.
Friday: Bill works with the Houston client.  I’ll hang out at the hotel, walk, and continue working on blogs.  David has work.
Saturday Sunday:  David works.  Bill & I will do so sightseeing.  Options are:  Galveston Beach, downtown Galveston, and Houston Space Center.
Here are some picture thoughts I am sharing …

Elephant origami display on the side of the jacuzzi in our room.

Weekly Overview 01-09-17

Sunrise on Lewisville Lake

Outside My Window… the sun is shining brightly, the temperature made it to 60s today (finally!), but the breeze is still cold.  Glad for the sunshine, though.

I am thinking… that I’m not going to get everything done that I’d like to get done before we leave for Houston next weekend.

I am thankful for… sunshine!  Warmer temperatures!

From the kitchen… the InstantPot just beeped, so the brown rice cooking in it is done and being kept warm until I get to it.  The kitchen is a mess!  I’ve been lazy about cleaning up after myself yesterday and today – the only thing I’ve washed is the Vitamix container, and that’s only because I’ve used it 3 times today:  morning smoothie, hummus, and mocha.  I’ll need to clean it soon, though, as I plan to make Classic Red Thai Curry With Tofu And Mushrooms for supper!

I am hoping… Bill’s cold is better by the time he comes and that I don’t come down with it.

I am reading… The Immortal Irishman, by Timothy Egan (for the 2017 European Reading Challenge).  I finished Sisters One, Two, Three by Nancy Star (The 26-Book 2017 Reading Challenge) which I rather liked (wasn’t sure I would).  Tonight I will start reading the next book in the 100 Book List reading challenge, The Mill River Recluse by Darcie Chan.

I am busy creating… a counted cross stitch Santa piece.

 
 
I am hearing… “Somebody To Love” by the Infamous Stringdusters, a bluegrass group I discovered on Spotify this morning.

Around the house & garden… Christmas décor is still up and looking nice. I’d like to take the tree down before we leave for Houston, but I’m not sure that will get done.  The décor I’ve decided to leave until early February, when it will then be time to put up spring décor.

In other news…   the wall art I ordered from Shutterfly came last Friday and looks wonderful.  As soon as I get it hung, I’ll post a picture.  I chose one of the pictures of Fiona from our excursion a year ago to Alligator Point, Florida.  Unfortunately, the wall calendar holder that I ordered from Lang was not constructed properly – I called them this morning and they refunded my payment but the item itself is out of stock and won’t be available until April.  I believe, though, that the fix to the hanger is a relatively easy one, so I’ll have Bill look it over when he gets home and maybe I won’t be ordered another one.

One of my favorite things… discovering new groups/music that makes me feel good.

 

 

Our Weekly Overview… 

Monday: Bill is in California at Citrix Summit.  David was scheduled to work, but called in sick (he doesn’t seem sick, but then again, he only used 2.5 sick days last year, leaving a couple on the table that he lost at the New Year).  I’ve worked on paying bills, HUBN accounts, mailed out a couple of hats to Liana, dropped checks at the bank, picked up groceries, and made a good bit of food (see above).  Tonight I’ll work on my counted cross stitch piece while watching the College Football game and maybe catch Bill on Skype.

Tuesday: Bill flies home late in the afternoon, so I’ll have to drive to DFW Airport to pick him up around 9 p.m., provided his flight is on time.  I’ll work more on our accounts (try to get Quicken caught up this week) & whatever HUBA/HUBN work comes in.  David is off (Tuesday & Wednesday are his weekend).

Wednesday: Bill works from home for the rest of the week.  I have an appt, in the morning with the car dealership for an oil change, an inspection, and a driving light repair.  Around that I’ll work on laundry and our accounts.  David is off.

Thursday: Bill works remotely for the client in Houston.  I’ll keep on with Quicken and other office work as needed.  David works.

Friday: Bill works from home, I’ll work on Quicken and prepping for our 2 week stay in Houston, and David works.

Saturday: & Sunday:  David works.  Bill & I will drive to Houston one of these days (not sure which yet), as he has two weeks on site there for the client he’s been working with since early December.  So I’ll be doing last minute laundry, packing, making checklists for David, stocking up on groceries for David, deciding whether to take my Vitamix with me to Houston.  And if we decide to drive down on Saturday, I’ll be doing all this on Friday!

Here are some picture thoughts I am sharing … I took Bill to the airport very early Sunday morning.  By the time I got home, the sun was beginning to brighten the sky, so I drove the couple of miles to a boat landing on Lewisville Lake and took some pictures.  The temperature was 22, so there’s ice all over the banks of the lake – something you don’t see very often!

And there were ducks!

The Icarus filter highlights the ice rather nicely.

 

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