Just how general may be the interest in the subject of this biography will have little to do with its success. That depends on the handling, which is dramatic, poetic, fervid. O'Faclain is a master at catching the spirit of the Irish character and has made an unforgettable figure of the brilliant, inspired, unstable, at times unscrupulous, courageous leader. He has never overplayed his hand. He makes the character its own drama. A vital page out of Irish history. Not easy reading, for O'Faclain assumes, perhaps, too much understanding of the situation at the time, a century ago. But once caught in the magic of his style, one reads with joy.