Great Hatred: The Assassination of Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson MP

Faber & Faber. Aug. 2022. 464p. ISBN 9780571372805. $27.95. HIST
McGreevy (Wherever the Firing Line Extends) explores the events leading up to the assassination of Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson. From 1919 to 1922, Ireland was swept by violence as the country prepared for long awaited Home Rule. A treaty had been negotiated with Great Britain, but Eamon de Valera, president of the socialist political party Sinn Fein, wouldn’t accept it; he wanted nothing less than independence, not Commonwealth status. Ireland needed to make it to the parliamentary election without the country blowing up. Into this furor stepped war hero Wilson. Opposed to any form of Home Rule, he was at odds with his own government and loathed by Irish nationalists. He exacerbated things by accepting an appointment as advisor to the Protestant Ulster government. A truce brought an end to the Irish War of Independence on July 11, 1921. But 10 days later, two IRA soldiers ambushed and killed Wilson outside his London home. That made him the first sitting Member of Parliament to be assassinated since 1812. The killers were eventually caught and hanged, but Wilson’s death came close to derailing peace talks and violence plagued Ireland through 1922.
VERDICT McGreevy’s restrained account of this affair should appeal to lay and academic readers.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing