Beyond the Book: Background information when reading This Human Season

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This Human Season

by Louise Dean

This Human Season
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2007, 384 pages
    Feb 2008, 384 pages

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Beyond the Book

A Short History of Northern Ireland (map)

  • English involvement in Ireland began around 1170 when Dermot Mac Murchada, King of Leinster (one of 4 Irish provinces) asked for Henry II's help to return him to the throne from which he'd been ousted (for more about Henry II see sidebar to The Serpent's Tale above). Henry (great-grandson of William the Conqueror of Normandy) invaded but in the ensuing battle Dermot died and Henry named himself Lord of Ireland.
  • Over the next couple of centuries English expansion was consolidated, with many of the Norman lords marrying with locals and thus, over the generations becoming indistinguishable from the Irish.
  • During the 15th century the English were driven out until they retained only a small area of land around Dublin, known as "the Pale" (hence the expression, 'beyond the pale').
  • In the 16th century, the Tudor monarchs ...

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