"Every legend and all mythologies exist to teach us how to run our days. In kind fashion. A loving way. But there's no story, no matter how ancient, as important as one's own. So if we're to live good lives, we have to tell ourselves our own story. In a good way." So says James Clare, Ben MacCarthy's beloved mentor, and it is this fateful advice that will guide Ben through the tumultuous events of Ireland in 1956.
The national mood is downtrodden; poverty, corruption, and a fledgling armed rebellion rattle the countryside, and although Ben wants no part of the upstart insurrection along the northern border, he unknowingly falls in with an IRA sympathizer and is compromised into running guns. Yet despite his perilous circumstances, all he can think about is finding his former wife and true love, the actress Venetia Kelly.
Parted forcibly from Ben years ago, Venetia has returned to Ireland with her new husband, a brutal man and coarse but popular stage performer by the name of Gentleman Jack. Determined not to lose Venetia again, Ben calls upon every bit of his love, courage, and newfound gun-running connections to get her back. And as Ben fights to recapture his halcyon days with Venetia, he must finally reconcile his violent and flawed past with his hopes for a bright and loving future.
Brimming with fascinating Irish history, daring intrigue, and the drama of legendary love, The Last Storyteller is an unforgettable novel as richly textured and inspiring as Ireland itself.
The Public Domain Review (a fresh, classic and polished on-line portal into the rich, lush world of content in the public domain) commissioned Frank to write about his beloved James Joyce (in time for Bloomsday); Beatrix Potter, on whom Frank had done a delightful and affectionate BBC documentary some years ago; and the marvelous English artist, Eric Ravilious. We've gathered them here for you:
Frank illuminates the visual nature of James Joyce's prose and suggests the value in making a conscious effort to see the words on the page, rather than merely to read them. Seeing Joyce
In this edition Frank's delightful piece on BP, enhanced it with the most charming photographs and illustrations. On Beatrix Potter
Time and Place: Eric Ravilious. Frank suggests that the watercolors and woodcuts of Eric Ravilious captured not only the time and topography of the country, but the personality of England between-the-wars. Eric Ravilious