On the morning of August 9 th 1690 the most powerful army in Europe, personally led by William Prince of Orange, blasted a 300 foot gap in the walls of Limerick and marched into the city. 30,000 professional soldiers drawn from all across Northern Europe fought their way through the narrow streets against just 8.000 badly trained and poorly armed defenders.
Only one outcome seemed possible.
But that was not to reckon with the women of Limerick. Arming themselves with kitchen knives, cobblestones and broken bottles they charged the invading army with such ferocity that they stopped it in its tracks and gave their men-folk the chance to regroup and counterattack. The city was saved and the course of Irish and European history changed.
This novel sets out to tell the story of the men and women who fought at Limerick. It does so both through the lives of the ordinary citizens and soldiers, and those of the better known historical figures of the time - William of Orange, Patrick Sarsfield. Tyrconnell and de Boisseallau.
It begins with the arrival of the Irish army at Limerick on July 8th defeated and demoralised after the Battle of the Boyne, and takes the story forward to August 9 th and the heroic stand of the defenders of Limerick - abandoned by their king, deserted by their French allies, facing impossible odds, and yet emerging triumphant.
The raid at Ballyneety and the Siege itself form the major set pieces of the book. but it also gives a sense of the conflict as it was experienced by those within the city walls and perhaps explains how it was that the inhabitants of the poorest and most disadvantaged part of a divided city became its saviours in its hour of need.
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