Fitzgeralds And Butlers
The greatest of the feudal families ? the so-called Normans - who came to Ireland in the wake of Strongbow and King Henry II, the rival Fitzgeralds and Butlers built up their power as representatives of the English kings. The Fitzgeralds, in particular, intermarried with the ancient princely families of Ireland, and the head of the family, the mighty Earl of Kildare, lived much of the time like a great Irish prince himself. The story of these families, their disputes and their bids for power is told in two chapters of the first book of Rutherfurd's Irish saga: 'The Pale', and 'Silken Thomas'.