A Story of the Flight of the Earls
by Aubrey Flegg (Author)
After having lost at the Battle of Kinsale, Hugh O’Neill, the great Ulster chieftain, is hounded and hunted in his own land. As he plans his escape from Ireland forever, his young son Con disappears and is in great danger. Pursued by Sir Arthur Chichester’s soldiers, it is up to his cousin, Fion, and friends James/Seamus and Sinead to find him before he falls into the hands of the English. In a time of treachery, where friends become traitors as easily as a change in the weather, will they arrive at Lough Swilly in time to board the ship for France? Or will they all get left behind, to be fugitives or captives for the remainder of their lives … or worse?
Fugitives! is a complex and familiar story, clearly told without succumbing to overglorification or simplification. It is honestly written, maintaining the nobility of the tale. The characters of Fion, James and Sinéad are realistic and tangible. Their relationships and the conflicting situation in which they find themselves help to create an exceptional depiction of life in Ireland in the 1600s. The addition of the wandering poet/lawyer character, Haystacks, gives us a foundation, accurately portraying the swift and, sometimes brutal, shift in social structure. The inclusion of Flegg’s ‘Historical Notes – Fact and Fiction’ builds understanding and helps place the novel in its proper context. Against the background of accurate historical representation, Aubrey Flegg has created a novel that is dramatic, engaging and thoroughly captivating.