Richly illustrated, this history of the Conollys of Castletown, Co. Kildare, takes a novel approach to following the fortunes of the family over eight generations: from the construction by William Conolly in the 1720s to the sale of the house in 1965, it is related through the individual lives of family members. Their interconnected biographies reveal opposing perspectives and trace how the terms of settlements and wills impacted on members of the extended family. Highlighting the significance of women to Castletown’s survival and the life stories of lesser-known residents, the author creates a rounded account of those who once occupied the house and the circumstances leading up to its near sale in 1808 following a bitter family rift. Encompassing diverse figures – some center stage in major international events – this study of the Conollys provides fresh insights into their familial, social, political and cultural networks in Ireland and England. This book was written in parallel with the Office of Public Works’ new presentation of the Tom Conolly Room at Castletown where visitors are now introduced to generations of the family through portraiture.
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