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Lives Less Ordinary (Paperback)

Dublin's Fitzwilliam Square, 1798-1922

Military > By Century > 19th Century

Imprint: Liffey Press
Pages: 312
Illustrations: 60
ISBN: 9781739789275
Published: 31st January 2024



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“So that’s our setting. Sixty-nine houses, four corners of Georgian Dublin but just one address. Scope enough for some remarkable tales and extraordinary lives. Homes that … provide a backdrop for drawing room intrigue, revelry and temperance, devilry and romance; the abandon of artistic expression and the restraint of social convention…. So follow me, dear reader, into Fitzwilliam Square.”


Fitzwilliam Square on the south side of Dublin provides the setting and a true-life cast of characters for Lives Less Ordinary, which examines how the people of this Georgian square impacted on the history of Dublin and the wider world. These disparate denizens from a small residential enclave permeated every walk of Irish life – political, legal and cultural – in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

In this updated edition, we follow the inhabitants of Fitzwilliam Square into nineteenth century courtrooms; we witness their soldier sons on a succession of battlefields through personal reminiscences; we examine their remarkable artistic and literary output; we hear amusing anecdotes about the politicians, doctors and academics who lived there, including tales about duels, ghosts and political and personal scandals.


On their own, the sketches offer an intriguing portrait of individual lives, but woven together they provide a fascinating overview of Irish life at a particular place and time. The stories are varied and wide-ranging, but they are anchored by the fact that they only involve those inhabitants of the sixty-nine houses of Dublin’s Fitzwilliam Square.


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