Birthright: The True Story That Inspired Kidnapped

Birthright: The True Story That Inspired Kidnapped


By (author) A. Roger Ekirch

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  • Publisher: WW Norton & Co
  • Format: Hardback | 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 154mm x 232mm x 10mm | 281g
  • Publication date: 12 February 2010
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0393066150
  • ISBN 13: 9780393066159
  • Illustrations note: 26 illustrations; 3 maps
  • Sales rank: 316,483

Product description

No saga of personal hardship so captivated the British public in the eighteenth century as that of James Annesley, the presumptive heir of five aristocratic titles and scion of the mighty house of Annesley. Kidnapped at twelve years of age by his uncle, Annesley was shipped from Dublin to America in 1728 as an indentured servant. He finally managed to escape after thirteen years, returning to Ireland to bring his nemesis, the Earl of Anglesea, to justice in one of the epic trials of the century. Award-winning author A. Roger Ekirch explores how, in an age without DNA laboratories, Annesley could hope to prove his identity and his legitimacy after such a long absence. Richly evoking the volatile world of Georgian Ireland - complete with its violence, debauchery, ancient rituals and tenacious loyalties - Ekirch recounts an extraordinary family drama of betrayal and loss but also of resilience, survival and redemption.

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Author information

A. Roger Ekirch is a professor of history at Virginia Tech and the award-winning author of At Day's Close and of Birthright. He lives in Roanoke, Virginia.

Review quote

The story of Jemmy Annesley, kidnapped at 12 and shipped from Dublin to the American backwoods in 1728 by his wicked Uncle Richard, certainly recalls an early episode in the story of young David Balfour. But the tale of Annesley's picaresque adventures is excitingly dramatic in its own right and Professor Ekirch has researched it with academic relish as a real-life oddity that is no stranger than fiction. --Iain Finlayson"

Back cover copy

This gripping book tells a remarkable true story. . . . Roger Ekirch expertly illumines eighteenth-century societies in the British colonies and the seedy underside of Georgian Dublin. His masterly, sympathetic and racy reconstruction of the adventures of Jemmy Annesley at last fleshes out the truth behind the tales told by Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson. Toby Barnard, University of Oxfor An extraordinary work of history by one of America s most imaginative historians, a true story more fascinating than fiction. Gordon S. Wood, professor of history emeritus, Brown University "