Cover image for The rising of the moon : a novel of the Fenian invasion of Canada
The rising of the moon : a novel of the Fenian invasion of Canada
Ellis, Peter Berresford.
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, [1987]

Physical Description:
10 unnumbered pages, 9-636, 1 unnumbered page ; 21.5 cm
General Note:
Color illustration of front of dust jacket from the 1869, "Battle of Ridgeway, " lithograph in the Rare Book Room of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library RBR WNYO 1987.E4 Adult Non-Fiction Grosvenor Room-Rare Books-Appointment Needed

On Order


Author Notes

Peter Berresford Ellis was born in Coventry, Warwickshire, England on March 10, 1943. Even though he received a BA and an MA in Celtic Studies, he decided to become a journalist and worked at numerous weekly newspapers throughout England and Ireland. In 1968, he published is first book, Wales: A Nation Again, about the Welsh struggle for political independence. He became a full-time writer in 1975 and has published over 90 books under his own name and the pseudonyms Peter Tremayne and Peter MacAlan. One of his best known works under his real name is The Cornish Language and its Literature, which is considered the definitive history of the language. In 1988, he received an Irish Post Award in recognition of his services to Irish historical studies. Under the pseudonym Peter Tremayne, he writes the Sister Fidelma Mystery series. He received the French Prix Historia for the best historical mystery novel of 2010 for Le Concile des Maudits (The Council of the Cursed).

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In a grand and sweeping manner, Ellis reconstructs the doomed effort of a group of grimly determined Irish-American Fenians to establish a viable Irish republic-in-exile and military base in British North America. In 1866, Gavin and John-Joe Devlin, Civil War veterans of Irish descent, enlist in the army of the Irish Republican Brotherhood and pledge to participate in an idealistic, yet imprudent, invasion of Canadian territory. Despite contrary motivations, the two brothers display remarkable loyalty to their ill-fated cause, waging fierce battle against insurmountable odds. A finely detailed fictional treatment of a largely neglected historical event, lavishly fraught with romance, peril, and tragedy. MF. [OCLC] 87-1648

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this lengthy, highly detailed novel, which skillfully combines deft storytelling with extensive historical research, Ellis portrays two impassioned brothers enmeshed in the abortive attempt to establish an Irish Republic-in-exile in British North America (now Canada) right after the Civil War. Following their military service, New Yorkers Gavin and John-Joe Devlin must reorganize their lives. Gavin concentrates on exposing an affluent senator who profits from urban corruption. After the senator's ruffians assault him, Gavin leaves the city, and, like John-Joe, joins the Irish Republican Brotherhood, an organization primarily composed of Irish veterans eager to emancipate Ireland from despotic English rule. Brotherhood membersknown as Fenians, a name derived from the Fianna, legendary warriors of ancient Irelandintend to use the envisioned Irish outpost to send their ships against England. In mid1866, the Devlins and other Fenian soldiers launch their doomed attack on English troops in Canada, never doubting that ``to fight, to protest, is to win.'' Ellis enhances this chronicle's inherent drama by exploring the personalities and motivations of combatants on both sides. The hardiness of idealistic beliefs and the appalling ferocity of warfare are strikingly depicted. (July 20) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Returning home to New York City following four years of active duty, all Irish-born Gavin Devlin wants to do is put the nightmare of the Civil War behind him, pass the bar exam, and proceed with his life. Gavin soon becomes haunted by the misery of the Irish immigrant's lot. Somewhat against his will, Gavin is drawn into the Irish Republican brotherhood, or Fenians, and embroiled in their plan to invade Canada and form an Irish republic-in-exile from which to negotiate with the English the liberation of Ireland. This well-written, thoroughly researched novel is rich in historical and military details. It is the story of an intense young man's coming of age, but also an intriguing and readable tale about a little-known incident in American history. Maria A. Perez-Stable, Western Michigan Univ. Libs., Kalamazoo (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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