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Updated on October 15, 2012

Frank Delaney's creative, historical, novel - Tipperary

Frank Delaney, author of the "New York Times," bestseller, "IRELAND," has crafted a meticulously researched journey through his homeland. The focus is on Castle Tipperary, one of the "grand houses" of the Anglo-Irish.

It's story is told through the love of Charles O'Brien, for April Burke, the only child of a noble Irish family. While trying to woo her, Charles, a travelling healer, convinces April to petition for ownership of the castle as her birthright. It languishes in disrepair, a victim of tenant evictions, the famine, and general abandonment.

April rejects Charles and marries a lout who pays for the restoration of the castle but leaves April's life in ruins. Charles comes to her rescue, but the ill-fated Easter Rising intervenes, and both the great house and their love are thwarted once again.

The struggles of Delaney's characters for survival mirror the history of Ireland during the colonial years from 1860 to 1922. It's a tale told many times, yet Delaney's careful scholarship and compelling storytelling bring it uniquely alive.

A sophisticated historical fiction

TIPPERARY: A Novel of Ireland - by Frank Delaney

Editorial Review

Seventy-five years after the death of Charles O'Brien, an Anglo-Irish itinerant healer and occasional journalist born in 1860, his memoir is discovered in a trunk. The result is this touching novel from Ireland author Delaney, in which the manuscript's putative discoverer adds his own unreliable commentary to the fictive Charles's probably embellished perceptions - making for a glowing composite of a volatile Ireland.

Charles claims to treat Oscar Wilde on his deathbed; advise a young James Joyce, "When you write... be sure to make it complicated. It will retain people's attention;" tell an appreciative Yeats the story of Finn MacCool; and inadvertently bring down Charles Stewart Parnell. He also meets the founders and leaders of Sinn Fein and the IRA, and will, as will Ireland itself, entwine his fate with theirs.

At 40, never-married Charles meets the love of his life, an Englishwoman who repeatedly spurns him and exploits him, but who has a large role to play in his life. The narrator claims that his interest in Charles and April is academic, but he eventually confesses that he suspects their stories have some personal relationship to his own.

My Review

Tipperary: A Novel

"Like all Irish I have a story to tell and I know it." So writes Charles O'Brien, the unforgettable hero of bestselling author Frank Delaney's extraordinary novel .. a sweeping epic of obsession, profound devotion, and compelling history involving a turbulent era of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century that would shape modern Ireland.

What keeps the novel from collapsing under the weight of such vast material is the author's use of this one man's experiences during these decades; his life serves as a paradigm for the country's experiences at large, particularly as they pertain to the two intertwined issues dominating Irish national life: land reform and home rule.

"Born into a respected Irish-Anglo family in 1860, Charles loves his native land and its long-suffering but irrepressible people. As a healer, he travels the countryside dispensing traditional cures while soaking up stories and legends of bygone times .. and witnessing the painful, often violent birth of land-reform measures destined to lead to Irish independence. At the age of forty, summoned to Paris to treat his dying countryman, the infamous, tragic genius, Oscar Wilde, Charles experiences the most fateful moment of his life. In a chance encounter with a beautiful and determined young English woman, eighteen-year-old April Burke, he is instantly and passionately smitten, but callously rejected and repeatedly spurned. Vowing to improve himself, Charles returns to Ireland, where he undertakes the preservation of the great and abandoned estate of Tipperary, in whose shadow he has lived his whole life .. and which, he discovers, may belong to April and her father.

As Charles pursues his obsession, he writes the "History" of his own life and country. While doing so, he meets the great figures of the day, including the legendary Charles Parnell, brilliant writers William Butler Yeats, and George Bernard Shaw and James Joyce. And he interacts with many crucial participants in the battle for Irish Home Rule, including Michael Collins himself.

"Tipperary also features a second "historian:" a present-day commentator, a retired and obscure history teacher who suddenly discovers that he has much at stake in the telling of Charles's story. In this gloriously absorbing and utterly satisfying novel, a man's passion for the woman he loves is twinned with his country's emergence as a nation. With storytelling as sweeping and dramatic as the land itself, myth, fact, and fiction are all woven together with the power of the great nineteenth-century novelists.

Tipperary once again proves Delaney's unrivaled mastery at bringing Irish history to life. Highly recommended for all fiction collections.

About the Author of Tipperrary - A Novel

Author - Frank Delaney

Author - Frank Delaney
Author - Frank Delaney

About Frank Delaney

Frank Delaney was born October 24, 1942 in Tipperary, Ireland, at a time when wandering storytellers still haunted the country. He enjoyed a long career in broadcasting first in Ireland and then in Britain before he became a full-time writer. Frank Delaney's confident storytelling and well-crafted warm and rich Irish characterizations enrich the fascinating and complex periods of Irish history.

Before his novel Ireland, a bestseller and his first novel to be published in the United States, and Simple Courage: A True Story of Peril on the Sea, his American non-fictional debut, he had several fiction and non-fiction bestsellers in the United Kingdom. These include: The Celts (also a renowned BBC documentary series), James Joyce's Odyssey and A Walk to the Western Isles.

Frank Delaney has been a judge for the Booker Prize and he writes frequently on literary and historical subjects for American and British publications.

Delaney lives in Litchfield County, Connecticut, with his wife, writer and marketer, Diane Meier.

Reviews Praising Delaney's .. Tipperary

Frank Delaney - 2011
Frank Delaney - 2011

Praise for Frank Delaney's - "Tipperary"

"The narrative moves swiftly and surely...A sort of Irish Gone With the Wind , marked by sly humor, historical awareness and plenty of staying power." - Kirkus Reviews

Another meticulously researched journey...Delaney's careful scholarship and compelling storytelling bring it uniquely alive. Highly recommended." - Library Journal

""Sophisticated and creative." - Booklist

"Read just a few sentences of Frank Delaney's writing and you'll see why National Public Radio called him 'the world's most eloquent man.'" - Kirkus Reviews , "Big Book Guide 2007" From the Hardcover edition.

Other Fictional Historical Books of Ireland

by Frank Delaney

Historical Novels of Ireland - by Frank Delaney

Since 2006, Delaney has published five Novels of Ireland, all addressing, decade by decade, the twentieth century history of his homeland.

Non-Fictional Books About Ireland

by Frank Delaney

The History of Ireland - It really happened .. as recorded.

A Man of Many Talents

Frank Delaney

"Shannon," A Novel by Frank Delany

The Matchmaker Of Kenmare - by Frank Delaney

Re: JOYCE - Podcasts on James Joyce's "Ulysses"

Author - Frank Delaney
Author - Frank Delaney

FRANK DELANEY is a man who enjoys a challenge. June 16, 1904 he set out to explain one of the most daunting books in the English language -James Joyce's "Ulysses"- line by line on the internet. Fifty-two podcasts later, he had reached the end of Chapter One. "Some chapters are five times as long," he observes, "and the book gets more complicated as it progresses, so it could take another 30 years." That would bring Delaney to the age of 99. He thinks he will probably not move on to "Finnegan's Wake."

The idea of the "Re:Joyce" podcasts developed after Delaney's publishers told him that he needed to promote himself on the internet. (He was writing a series of novels about Ireland.) "Ulysses" is full of allusions which are easily missed by the general reader, 'But when I looked at the annotated editions, there were lots of gaps. I thought, 'Why not do the book in such a way that there is not a single unexplained reference?'"

Delaney is an unashamed to popularize - something, he says, that he learned as a presenter of BBC arts programs. "I was introduced to the idea of 'smuggling' - presenting a big and complex idea in a comprehensible way. The first radio program I did about Joyce had Snoopy as the other item, and the podcasts are in that vein."

Excerpts from: The Economist - "Deciphering James Joyce - Happy Bloomsday"

"Re:Joyce" podcasts may be enjoyed at WWW.FRANK DELANEY.COM

A Rap Tribute to James Joyce - Recorded by Frank Delaney

Storytellers: The Druid - The Kindle Edition

Editorial Review"Long long ago, when the pigs ate the apples off the trees and the birds flew upside down" - so begins a tale by an Irish fireside. And thereby Frank Delaney, the New York Times bestselling author of Ireland, launches Storytellers, a new series of short stories in the oral tradition, created specially for e-readers. In his first story, this master of the legendary form creates The Druid, a fascinating character full of cunning and false magic, who tries to win the hand of a beautiful girl.

The Druid (Frank Delaney Storytellers Book 1)
The Druid (Frank Delaney Storytellers Book 1)

In this brilliant, canny short-story, Delaney shows us again how storytellers weave their own magic, full of subversive ideas, powerful images and the lyrical music of language.


Books by Frank Delaney - Please let me know.

Will this lens entice you to read more of Frank Delaney's books?

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Thank you for visiting this lens: "Tipperary - A Novel" by Frank Delaney. Do you like historical books?

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Comments for "Tipperary" - It's your turn now.

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    • LaraineRoses profile imageAUTHOR

      Laraine Sims 

      6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @takkhisa: I hope you like it. Delaney is a master storyteller!

    • takkhisa profile image


      6 years ago

      I like reading novel and i would like to read this one. Thank you :)

    • LaraineRoses profile imageAUTHOR

      Laraine Sims 

      6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @RuralFloridaLiving: I have read all of Frank Delaney's books. They are historical but he tells a good story too!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thank you for your recommendation. Tipperary - A Novel sounds like a good read.

    • LaraineRoses profile imageAUTHOR

      Laraine Sims 

      6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @tombonner: Thank you for visiting. I hope that you enjoy Delaney's books as much as I do.

    • tombonner profile image


      6 years ago

      I like historical fiction and I have an interest in Ireland. I not familiar with Frank Delaney, however. Thanks for sharing, I will have try some Delaney fiction.

    • LaraineRoses profile imageAUTHOR

      Laraine Sims 

      6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @serendipity831: It is a great read! Thank you for visiting. I'll be by to visit soon.

    • LaraineRoses profile imageAUTHOR

      Laraine Sims 

      6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Kailua-KonaGirl: I just know that you won't be disappointed. Delaney is a marvelous story teller and he ties in history seamlessly with his tales. I thoroughly enjoyed this book! thank you for the blessing and addition to your Angel lens. I will be visiting shortly.

    • serendipity831 profile image

      Drake McSherry 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, WI

      Sounds like a grand book, I may have to read it. Thanks much for the suggestion.

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 

      6 years ago from New York

      Because of your review I have added it to my Amazon wishlist to be shipped once I have the free shipping quota matched. *Squid Angel Blessed* and added to "My Squid Angel Blessings for 2012" in the "Books, Poetry & Writing » Books" neighborhood. In fact, you are the 1st lens to be featured in this category.

    • Rangoon House profile image


      6 years ago from Australia

      Ireland is a magnificently beautiful country and could easily awaken the dreamy novelist in us all. I look forward to reading "Tipperary".

    • LaraineRoses profile imageAUTHOR

      Laraine Sims 

      6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @JoyfulReviewer: I encourage everyone to read it. Thank you for reading my review.

    • LaraineRoses profile imageAUTHOR

      Laraine Sims 

      6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @OhMe: Thank you, OhMe. It really is an excellent book to read if you are at all interested in Irish history but I think that anyone might enjoy it.

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image


      6 years ago

      I haven't read "Tripperary", but your review makes it sound like a great read.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I enjoyed your review of Tipperary by Frank Delaney. It really sounds so interesting. Congrats on being listed in Best Books of 2011.

    • LaraineRoses profile imageAUTHOR

      Laraine Sims 

      7 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @WillBorden: Thank you, Will. I appreciate your support in my endeavors.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hi Laraine,

      Definitely a very interesting, in-depth book review! Fine work, Laraine!!



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