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1847: A Chronicle of Genius, Generosity and Savagery

Having grown up in an Irish country house built in 1847, historian Turtle Bunbury has long harboured a fascination with that epic year, pitched at the frenetic centre of a momentous century. Here he has assembled 36 stories from around the world that capture the spirit of the age.

Bursting with all manner of human life and endeavour, 1847 embraces the tales of the intrepid explorers who charted the Americas to show-stopping entertainers like Lola Montez and General Tom Thumb; the famine-starved Irish to persecuted German emigrants; the ivory-tinkling genius of Liszt and Mendelssohn to the horse-bound Comanche warriors who dominated the Texan plains; the American opium magnates who ran roughshod over China to the Irish soldiers who fought for Mexico; and the ground-breaking inventors of the telegraph and the Christmas cracker to the Arctic explorers and Australian settlers who pushed against the frontiers of the known world.

1847 is a rich and stirring portrait of a chaotic globe surging towards the modern age, where eclectic characters and revolutionary events collide to reveal a world of bold genius, fearsome savagery and the most noble generosity.


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Publication Date

September 2016




Hardback, 384 pages

Country of Origin



Gill Books


240 x 160 mm


By Turtle Bunbury

Availability Status


Turtle Bunbury is one of Ireland’s most acclaimed historians, as well as a television presenter and public speaker. His books include the award-winning, bestselling Vanishing Ireland series and the much-admired The Glorious Madness. He lives in County Carlow, Ireland, with his wife, Ally, and daughters, Jemima and Bay.

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