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Head of Zeus
Battle of the Four Courts
Battle of the Four Courts: The First Three Days of the Irish Civil War by Michael Fewer

A meticulous, compellingly readable reconstruction of those three summer days that ignited the civil war – the defining event of modern Irish politics.

The Irish Civil War began at around four o'clock in the morning on June 28, 1922. An 18-pounder artillery piece began to fire on the thick granite walls of the Four Courts – a beautiful eighteenth-century complex of buildings that housed Ireland's highest legal tribunals.

Inside the courts a large party of IRA men were barricaded – a clear sign that the treaty ending the war of independence would never be accepted by passionate republicans. After three days of fighting, with the buildings in ruins, the garrison surrendered. But the Four Courts also housed Ireland's historical archives, and these irreplaceable documents were destroyed, with burnt paper raining down over the city. This was a cultural disaster for the new state and its historical memory.

Michael Fewer has a sure command of the political and military history of those years, and a mastery of the architectural and technological aspects of the battle. His recreation of this tragic episode is an intimate, detailed and essential addition to the literature of the Irish Revolution.

Head of Zeus, an Apollo book * History
01 Nov 2018 * 352pp * £7.99 * 9781788546638
'A compelling blend of political and military history places the reader at the heart of the action and leaves them wanting more'
Irish Independent
'An excellent addition to the literature surrounding a traumatic period in Irish history'
Munster Express
'The whole story, nearly a century old now, loses none of its mesmerising power in Michael Fewer's hands. We put his book down all the wiser, all the sadder'
Catholic Herald
'A fascinating blend of political, military and architectural history, this book places the reader in media res in the company of a large dramatis personae'
Irish Times

Michael Fewer

Michael Fewer
Michael Fewer enjoyed thirty years as an academic and practicing architect, and was a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland, when he took up writing full-time in 2000. He has written twenty-two books on walking, travel, history and architecture, and his recent nature book for children was a bestseller. He was a consultant contributor to the Encyclopedia of Ireland and has featured in RTÉ television programmes and on RTÉ Radio's 'Sunday Miscellany'.
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