"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.
At the North American launch of Dylan Thomas' Selected Poems, beautifully bound and published by The Folio Society to mark the centenary of Thomas' birth, Frank read Fern Hill and talked about his own history with Thomas's family and work. Frank, who had written a presented a BBC documentary on Dylan Thomas some years ago, also shared a personal memory of the actor, Richard Burton, reciting the poem at a table in a Dublin restaurant.
To secure your own copy of this marvelous book, go to The Folio Society.
Another issue of the wonderful "Public Domain Review". In this edition Frank has contributed a marvelous piece on Beatrix Potter, and PD has enhanced it with the most charming photographs and illustrations.
One of Frank Delaney's most endearing new projects, a series of short stories produced as e-books called, "Storytellers," began as a means of introducing his novel "The Last Storyteller," in which the character of an itinerant Irish Seanchai is central to the plot.