She calls herself "a historical novelist specializing in the Celtic culture". But to millions of readers of such books as Brian Boru, Red Branch, Lion of Ireland, and Grania, Morgan Llywelyn simply makes history come alive within her pages. She makes us live the lives of Cuchulain and Brian Boru, as well as the druids and bards who came to occupy Ireland in times past.
Morgan Llywelyn was born in New York to Welsh Irish parents but these days she lives in Ireland full time where she serves as Chairman of the Irish Writers' Union. She is also the only woman to have walked the entire length and breadth of Ireland on her own two feet, walking a total of 427 miles for charity.
"It meant walking over 30 miles a day for sixteen days with no break," she said.
Her latest novel 1916: A Novel Of The Irish Rebellion is the story of the Irish fight for freedom, seen through the eyes of the orphaned Ned, having recently returned to Ireland after losing his parents in the Titanic sinking. It is the story of the brave men and heroic women who, for a few unforgettable days, managed to hold out against the might of the British Empire to realize an impossible dream.
Already a bestseller in hardcover in both America and Ireland, and now available in paperback, Morgan says of 1916: The book tells the story of the conspiracy of poets who led Ireland's fight for freedom early in this century. It is the first of a trilogy that will follow Ireland's history - violent, romantic, political, and filled with intrigue - from the beginning of the century until its midpoint.
No less a critic than the Hon. John P. Flaherty, Chief Justice of Pennsylvania, has written, " '1916' is indeed an important book. Morgan Llywelyn has done more than anyone to bring the rich history of Ireland to life. In fact, Morgan Llywelyn has radically changed the public perception of the past as it regards Ireland and her people."
Morgan's books reveal lengthy bibliographies and have also been translated in a number of languages. Even some of her novels have been optioned for motion pictures, among them The Lion Of Ireland, Grania, and Bard.
Among my personal favorites are Lion of Ireland and Red Branch, as well as the fantasy she co-wrote with Michael Scott, Silverhand, Arcana 1 and Silverlight, Arcana 2. Her books have also influenced a few of my Celtic stories like Awaken the Lord of the Dance and Sisters of the Morrigan.