On Easter Sunday, 23 April 1916, the Irish Republican Brotherhood's military council put their names to the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, declaring that they were the provisional government of an Ireland free from British rule. In effect, each man had knowingly signed his own death warrant. Since then, the Seven have been eulogized and used as political weapons by many. To challenge the morality of the Rising was to be denounced as unpatriotic, even un-Irish. One hundred years on, however, there is an increasing recognition within Ireland that it's time for the founding fathers to come under proper scrutiny. Award-winning author Ruth Dudley Edwards explores how these men - from contrasting backgrounds and with starkly different personalities - came together to initiate an armed rebellion that profoundly changed the course of Irish history. She draws on a lifetime's research and reflection to separate each man from his myth, assess his virtues and flaws and bring together the strands of 1916's revolutionary web. What made the Seven believe themselves entitled to stage a rebellion without authorisation from the organisations they claimed to represent? Did they share a coherent vision? Brilliant, thought-provoking and captivatingly told, The Seven challenges us to judge the actions of Ireland's founding fathers and to determine what their legacy has really been. In William Faulkner's words, 'The past is never dead. It's not even past.'
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