O’Donovan Rossa’s Prison Life. Presentation Copy (1874)

Author: Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa

Book ID: 63004

Price: 1,695.00

Author: Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa

O’Donovan Rossa’s Prison Life. Six Years In Six English Prisons. New York: PJ Kennedy, 1874. First Edition. Pp vii, 440, [4] adverts. Frontispiece portrait of the author. Publisher’s smooth green cloth boards, upper & lower covers with decorative gilt ruled margins and inner panel, title lettered in gilt to spine, all edges in gilt. Head of spine worn, corners bumped, crease to lower board. A well used copy with occasional neat pencil annotations and underlining to the text, but contents generally in good condition throughout. Housed in slipcase.

Presentation copy, Inscribed by the Author on front free endpaper:

“‘To Pym Yeatman Esq. In Remembrance of the few days we spent together in America and with the Kind Regards of O’Donovan Rossa. New York Aug. 27, / 77

Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa was born in Rosscarbery, County Cork in 1831. He was imprisoned in 1865 as a result of his activities as manager of the nationalist newspaper “The Irish People” and served his prison sentence in a variety of prisons in England. The Fenian prisoners were granted early release from jail in 1871 following a public enquiry into the conditions in which they, including O’Donovan Rossa were held. All the released prisoners were forced to emigrate and O’Donovan Rossa moved to New York where he joined Clan na Gael and the Fenian Brotherhood & edited the United Irishman. He raised £40,000 for the Fenian movement and funded the Holland Submarine Project. He died in New York City in 1915 and was returned to Ireland for a hero’s burial with Padraig Pearse reciting his famous oration at his graveside:

“The Defenders of this Realm have worked well in secret and in the open. They think that they have purchased half of us and intimidated the other half. They think that they have foreseen everything, think that they have provided against everything; but the fools, the fools, the fools! — they have left us our Fenian dead, and, while Ireland holds these graves, Ireland unfree shall never be at peace.”

A newspaper photograph clipping of O’Donovan Rossa’s funeral scene at Glasnevin Cemetery, is pasted to the front free endpaper.

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