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Easter Dawn – Reviews

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Easter Dawn was one of the most successful books to arise over the course of the centenary commemorations of the Easter Rising, with positive reviews in newspapers such as the Irish Times and the Irish Independent, as well as magazines such as Socialist History.

Easons’ bookshop placed it in their top five ‘1916’ bestsellers of the year. Turtle helped to promote the book through a series of talks nationwide with the ‘Paths to Freedom’ roadshow, as well as a major talk in Chicago on 30 June.




“Possibly the best-seller of the centennial … the whole story easily told and illustrated by a brilliant populariser. Documents and cuttings in facsimile, and photographs galore”.
Books Ireland, November 2015.




‘A highly readable account of the Rising peppered with short pen portraits of its leading lights and some lively background on the plethora of military and cultural organisations that laid much of the groundwork for the rebellion. Bunbury’s odyssey through the areas in Dublin, and around the country, which played a significant part in the rebellion is engaging.’
Mary Carr,
Irish Mail on Sunday.

The US edition of this book was called ‘The 1916 Rising – The Photographic Record’ and was published by Rowman & Littlefield.



“Bunbury writes with the flair of a story teller, the detail of an historian, and the empathy of a friend. He brings people to life with their environmental and genetic influences explained, allowing us to easily place ourselves in the shoes of others … In rapid fire he introduces the Rising’s contributors in eminently readable fashion … The book reveals many surprises. The commander of the German U-boat that brought Roger Casement to Ireland in his abortive gun running in 1916, went on to sink 36 allied ships in the First World War. In 1966 he was an official guest of the Irish government at the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Rising. There’s still more to learn with Bunbury’s outstanding “Easter Dawn” on this the 100th anniversary.’
Harold Peacock,
History Out There, July 2016.


‘It was my great fortune to find your Easter Dawn book at the GPO gift shop and I want you to know that it’s the most comprehensible (as opposed to comprehensive) title I’ve ever read. Not only was the book laid out beautifully graphically, the 3-4 page “chapters” struck the perfect balance for readers new to the subject. As they say in baseball, you knocked it out of the park”.
Brian Downes,
John Wayne Birthplace & Museum,
Winterset, Iowa.




RTE’s Eileen Dunne chooses ‘Easter Dawn’ when asked for her suggestions for “Xmas reading tips? RTÉ presenters pick their faves” (Sunday 20 Dec 2015)


‘’If Yeats had saved his pencil lead,'” inquired Paul Muldoon cheekily, “would certain men have stayed in bed?” If so we might have been saved the avalanche of books about the Rising. The batch [of four] under review are classified as “coffee-table books” which generally suggests weight rather than substance, designed for show rather than study, to be picked up at idle moments and left down just as quickly. This, however, is to undervalue what is on offer. Each in its own way, these are substantial pieces of scholarship which add to our appreciation of what was happening on the streets of Dublin at Easter 1916 and open the way to further debate.

Easter Dawn, by Turtle Bunbury (Mercier) is clearly coffee table in format, design and production values … the effect is a quick tour of the terrain, competently setting the events in the context of political and cultural developments in Ireland and more widely, a handy route map to the fighting and the aftermath. There are informative, if sometimes quirky pen-portraits of the main actors, and other lesser characters. There is a wealth of contemporary source material and photographs and evidence of assiduous research and archival retrieval.’




“A handsome hardback with many fine and rare images … a fine survey of Easter week 1916.”
RTE Guide, November 2015.

‘Bought your new book yesterday. I can’t leave it down. It’s a very easy read. Wishing you great success with it. Brings me back to leaving cert and why I fell in love with Irish history.’ – Mark Fitzell.

Turtle with Joe Duffy at the Easter Dawn launch, 2015.

‘A gorgeous book – fabulous’ – Madeleine Forrest.

‘Very entertaining book. Loved the profiles. And the pics.’ – Martina Reilly.

‘Wonderful book and so very well presented. Best of luck with it it’s a fantastic work. Well done.’ – Seaghan Mac Cionnaith.

‘Turtle, your book is gorgeous. It’s really well-done. Congratulations.’ Kalen Landow, Maryland.

‘A well-researched insight into a dramatic week that changed Irish history’ – Evening Echo (Cork)

‘I have received your new book for Christmas and i am enjoying reading it.’ – Kevin Doyle.

“A subject that I find very interesting. Enjoyed immensely.’ Pat Slingsby, Angus, Scotland.

‘Thank you for giving me back a deep and abiding love of my history and land.. for reawakening the passion I once held to know what truly happened in 1916 and it’s aftermath..putting flesh and blood on the bones of those now gone, instead of the sanitised version thrown across my desk at school! What genius to have given the main players their own pages ..the events that guided their lives, like Casement’s past in the Congo, transforming atrocities into a revolution for freedom. And such a treasure trove of photographs that spoke a thousand words..pure gold! Having the privilege of reading Easter Dawn I feel I got to experience the light and shadow of those who lived, loved and fought for their dream of a free, united Ireland in 1916. Your words are both spare and rich, elegiac, profound and deeply deeply moving.’- NC Britton, Co. Sligo.

Poster for the ‘Paths to Freedom’ roadshow.

‘A great read really well produced and equally welcome for children and adults – I like it’s vignette and pictorial style. A great book – sensitive, reverend and fun’ – Paul Horan.

‘A lovely book to bring home’ – Patrick Quigley.

‘Just finished Easter Dawn – gorgeous and well written.’ – Dr. Daniel Clausby.

‘Excellent book, really enjoyed it’ – Paschal Marry.

‘Great book’ – Lynn Brady. Resident Genealogy Officer, Glasnevin Trust.

‘The book looks fantastic and reads very well – my hearty congratulations on seeing it through to publication.’ – Brian Kirby, Irish Capuchin Provincial Archives, Church Street, Dublin 7

‘Just to say how much I enjoyed reading Easter Dawn … well done’ – Ted Mustard.

‘A very concise, clear and interesting version of the Rising and the illustrations are beautiful.’ – Gillean Robertson Millar.

‘Massively impressed … Delighted your book is doing so well. The kids in my class selected it as the best overall account- praise indeed!!!’ – Shay Kinsella.

‘I have in fact already purchased two copies of both Easter Dawn and Glorious Madness as Christmas presents for friends and have flicked through them before wrapping them and I must say that I found them excellent, informative and very well presented. You really are to be congratulated.’ – Eamonn Dillon.

‘I bought my copy at Dublin airport. A very insightful and historical read.’ – Fiona Symes, Australia.

‘Got my copy a few weeks ago. Very well researched. Very well presented. Excellent record of our history.’ – Paul Dangerfield P Rice.

‘Great book considering how much has been written over the past 100 years, always something new to learn with a fresh perspective’. – Al Martin.

‘Am much enjoying your book “Easter Dawn” that my wife produced for me on Christmas morning. Well done on an interesting book & do keep up the good work.’ – David Rea, Fermoy.

‘I wanted to drop you a quick note as I just bought your book ‘Easter Dawn’” – a wonderful book, very well written, wonderfully designed, like all the books you have made so far. We have them all.’ – Renate Helnwein, Co. Tipperary.

‘Great read’ – George Jones.

‘Congratulations on the new book, it looks great and I enjoyed reading it’ – Lar Joye, National Museum of Ireland.

‘Very good’ – Jack Ó Drisceoil.