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'.




 

 

 

Did You Know?
Potatoes were made illegal in France for 24 years ! The French became convinced that the South American vegetable could cause a whole host of diseases, including leprosy, so in 1748, the cultivation and consumption of potatoes was strictly outlawed. It wasn’t until an imprisoned medical army officer named Antoine Auguste Parmentier survived in his prison cell subsisting solely on a diet of potatoes that acceptance of the food began to shift. After being released from prison, Parmentier went on to write a thesis about its health benefits, helping to overturn the law and re-introduce the potato to the French public in 1772. Within 20 years, potatoes became one of the most popular, and indeed, important foods in France. Even the ornamental royal gardens in Tuileres Palace in Paris - originally filled with flowers and exotic plants - were converted into potato fields.




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