He has been described as ‘that obnoxious individual’ and ‘the traitor we expected him to be’, while also being hailed as one who has ‘insight into so many details of Irish affairs’. It is difficult to disagree with any of these assessments of Captain William Henry O’Shea, not even the latter paean that comes from his own pen. Although his ambition did not burn with sufficient heat and his vindictiveness knew too few bounds, he was nonetheless of considerable significance to the late Vicotria period in Irish history. Most of his import derives from his role in the felling of the tallest tree in the Irish political forest, Parnell, by citing him as co-respondent in the divorce of his wife Katharine.
Myles Dungan’s biography makes to attempt to rehabilitat O’Shea’s reputation, but it throws light on some of the more obscure aspects of his personal and political life: his bizarre alliance with elements of the Irish Republican Brotherhood; the extent of his awareness of the relationship between his wife and Parnell; and his alleged complicity in a Tory plot to discredit the Irish leader.
|Dimensions||.244 x .150 x .400 mm|