In the spring of 1867, with the new underwater cable bringing word to America of a rising throughout Ireland, the New York-based Fenian Brotherhood decides to make good on a long-standing commitment to provide military aid to its counterpart in Ireland, the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Experienced Union Army officers -- Civil War veterans of the Federal Army's Irish Brigades -- become cargo, along with thousands of long-stockpiled weapons and millions of rounds of ammunition. All are loaded aboard a two-masted, square-rigged brigantine that sails in April from Sandy Hook, New York, to Ireland's western highlands. The rest, as they say, is history.
"Erin's Hope" is a historical novel that blends real and composite characters into actual and fictionalized events associated with the little-known nautical expedition that took a one-ship Fenian "armada" on a 9,000-mile voyage that proved to be a military mission that both succeeded admirably and failed miserably.
Through its main characters, "Erin's Hope" traces the social, political, economic and deeply personal origins of 19th Century Irish-American involvement in what remains, well more than a century later, an ongoing struggle over British involvement in Irish affairs