Blasphemers & Blackguards: The Irish Hellfire Clubs.
Blasphemers & Blackguards: The Irish Hellfire Clubs
Merrion / Irish Academic Press
c/o International Specialized Book Services
920 Northeast 58th Avenue, Suite 300, Portland, OR 97213
9781908928016, $19.95, 248pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Prostitutes, pimps, cutpurses, murderers, and bawdy houses.... What were the hellfire clubs of 18th-century Ireland? Were they really elite groups who engaged in obscene orgies, devil worship, and the ritual murder of servants? These questions have intrigued virtually everyone who has visited the supposed hellfire club meeting place in the Dublin Mountains, or heard the lurid stories that are associated with it. Cutting through this veil of myth and legend, "Blasphemers & Blackguards: The Irish Hellfire Clubs" reveals the truth about these mysterious societies by uncovering striking new information about the outrageous activities of these clubs--provocative blasphemy, taboo sexual activities, atrocities (most shockingly, the ritualistic murder of a servant), and the clubs' habit of toasting the devil.
Critique: Enhanced with period illustrations, extensive notes, a lengthy bibliography, and a comprehensive index, "Blasphemers & Blackguards: The Irish Hellfire Clubs" is an informed and informative history that is extraordinarily well written, meticulously researched, and deft presented. While very highly recommended for both community and academic library Irish History Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists, it should be noted that "Blasphemers & Blackguards: The Irish Hellfire Clubs" is also available in both a hardcover edition (9781908928030, $59.95) and a Kindle edition ($9.99).