Red and the Green
The scene is Ireland. The time, 1916, is the eve of the famous tragic Easter Rebellion in Dublin, which startled Europe even in the midst of the First World War.
A single Anglo-Irish family provides the extremely diverse characters. Pat Dumay is a Catholic and an Irish patriot. His relentlessly pious mother pursues her own private war with his step-father, a man sunk in religious speculation and drink. Pat’s English-bred Protestant cousin and rival, Andrew Chase-White, an officer in King Edward’s Horse, puzzles out his complex emotions about Ireland and Frances, the girl he loves, against a background of the fear of death, while Frances’s father, Christopher Bellman, scholar and cynic, finds love of Ireland a more passionate matter than he had bargained for. Weaving these people together into a tragi-comic pattern moves Millie Kinnard: fast, feminist, and only just respectable.
As rebellion looms nearer, tension mounts in the sombre rain-soaked Dublin streets; and if, in the end, death disperses most of the people, this is felt to be as inevitable as in a Sophoclean play.