From the generals and field commanders through to the troopers and nurses on the front lines, the Irish served at every turn in the Great War.
They tore through the skies in flimsy biplanes. They soared across the seas in battleships. They charged across the tortured earth with bayonets fixed. They wrapped bandages and dabbed softly in the field hospitals. They prayed, they sang, they killed, they wept and they died.
Popular historian Turtle Bunbury is renowned for uncovering important forgotten stories from our past. Here he reveals many never-before-heard tales of the Irish heroes and heroines whose lives coincided with one of the most brutal conflicts our world has ever known - including nuns, artists, sportsmen, poets, aristocrats, nationalists, nurses, clergymen and film directors.
By turns poignant, enlightening, whimsical and darkly comic, this is history as it should be - free-wheeling and finely tuned to the rhythms of the human heart.
`Magnificent book...a superb production...something to be proud of...' Gay Byrne on Sunday with Gay Byrne, Lyric FM.
`An absolutely beautiful book... A lavish production with lots of pictures, lots of maps - it really captures the whole era.' Patrick Geoghegan on Talking History, Newstalk FM
'A piece of Irish history that was sort of wilfully forgotten for a long time. The Glorious Madness is wall to wall with tales of some very interesting characters, including a number who played an important role in Irish history.' Anton Savage - Savage Sunday, Today FM
`The impressively versatile Turtle Bunbury is known for his sensitively written, well-observed Vanishing Ireland series of books and his appearance on RTE's Genealogy Roadshow. He also toured this year as one of the lecturers in the Great War Roadshow, headed by Myles Dungan. Now, also marking the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, Bunbury marches into what once would have been a no-man's land for historians ... There is much to enjoy here. Bunbury has an eye for irony and pathos and a fluid attractive writing style. It's packed worth personalities and stories of courage under fire amid truly unimaginable slaughter, of mind-boggling military incompetence and of individuals emotionally afflicted by reports of courage in another cause at home. The cast of characters is formidable.' Emmanuel Kehoe, Sunday Business Post
[In The Glorious Madness] Turtle continues the wonderful listening and yarn-spinning he has honed in the Vanishing Ireland series, applying it to veterans of the First World War. The stories he recreates are poignant, whimsical and bleakly funny, bringing back into the light the lives of people who found themselves on the wrong side of history after the struggle for Irish independence. This is my kind of micro-history.
John Grenham, The Irish Times
A wonderful book packed with great individual stories and pictures which bring the Irish participation in the Great War vividly alive.
Sean Farrell, Irish Independent
Based on first-hand accounts of the conflict, this collection of character portraits and stirring anecdotes brings to life the hopes, fears and ambitions that defined Ireland's `lost generation'.
Peter Costello, The Irish Catholic
Turtle Bunbury's book about the Great War is a great read, a dramatic confection of remarkable stories about remarkable events and individuals slapped together with great dexterity and professionalism. ... This is military history as entertainment on a scale we have not seen since, well, the First World War ...
This is one book that can be judged by its cover.
Padraig Yeates, Dublin Review of Books
Turtle Bunbury has pulled together a sumptuous collection of stories that show the Irish contribution to the Great War with extraordinary tales of derring-do. This is the book you must give your father, and when he opens it on Christmas day there will be stories that will surprise even him ... This is not a `deep dive' history book, but it is a colourful record of Ireland's Great War and a tribute to many of her heroes.
Andrew Melsom, Irish Examiner, 15 January 2015