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Head of Zeus
The Ballad of Lord Edward and Citizen Small
The Ballad of Lord Edward and Citizen Small by Neil Jordan

From multi-award-winning author and film director Neil Jordan comes a thrilling reimagining of a turning point in Irish, American and European history.

'A masterwork from one of the most inventive artists of our day' John Banville
'A writer of uncommon talent' Irish Times
'An expertly spun ballad defined by themes of belonging, illusion and fidelity' RTÉ Culture

Eutaw Springs, South Carolina, 1781, the American War of Independence. A runaway slave saves the life of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, a British army officer and the younger son of one of colonial Ireland's grandest families.

The tale that unfolds is related by Tony Small, the slave who becomes Fitzgerald's manservant and friend. While details of Lord Edward's life are well documented, little is known of Tony Small. In this gripping narrative his character considers the ironies of empire, captivity and freedom, mapping Lord Edward's journey from being a loyal subject of the British Empire to becoming a leader of the disastrous 1798 rebellion.

This powerful new work of fiction brings Neil Jordan's inimitable storytelling ability to the drama of real events and a long-forgotten chapter in Ireland and Britain's history.

Head of Zeus, an Apollo book * Historical Fiction
26 May 2022 * 352pp * £9.99 * 9781803289298
'A masterwork from one of the most inventive artists of our day'
John Banville
'An expertly spun ballad defined by themes of belonging, illusion and, fundamentally, fidelity'
RTÉ Culture
'Jordan is a writer of uncommon talent, particularly around pacing and visual description'
Irish Times
'The historical research is evident [and] as with his previous novels, Jordan creates an evocative sense of time and place... Although the book is an odyssey, tracking thousands of miles across the globe, the pace is leisurely'
The Times
'Neil Jordan is one of Ireland's greatest, if ever-so-slightly unsung, novelists'
Hot Press
'The historical facts are here, in this beautiful work, laid out like a Dublin street ballad with its verses and chorus and a short afterword, containing a chapter poignantly titled 'The Greatest of These' from Corinthians 13, and Jordan doesn't seek to reinvent these men, rather to enhance them'
Sunday Independent
'This panoramic, painstakingly researched novel – told through Small's voice – is a convincing reconstruction of the way their lives interlocked despite origins in diametrically opposed worlds'
Irish Independent
'Creates a vivid new perspective'
Sunday Times
'An atmospheric take on a fascinating friendship'
The Times
'This strange relationship – of indenture, but also of mutual need – defines this thrillingly written, gripping tale that revisits many of Jordan's lifelong preoccupations with class, Irishness and sexuality to powerful moving effect'
Neil Jordan
Neil Jordan
Neil Jordan is an Irish film director, screenwriter and author based in Dublin. His first book, Night in Tunisia, won a Somerset Maugham Award and the Guardian Fiction Prize in 1979. He is also a former winner of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Irish PEN Award, and the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award. Jordan's films include Angel, the Academy Award-winning The Crying Game, Michael Collins and The Butcher Boy.
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