The story of the Battle of the Boyne has been brought to life at the Museum of Orange Heritage in Belfast.
Drogheda-based author, Nicola Pierce, led two workshops for young people and adults at the outreach facility, reading extracts from and explaining the rationale of her latest historical novel, ‘Kings of the Boyne’. The book is a fictional account of the seminal 1690 battle of the Glorious Revolution between King William and King James.
Miss Pierce also used the context of her four novels – the sinking of the Titanic, WWII’s Battle of Stalingrad, the Siege of Derry and the Battle of the Boyne – to explain her approach to writing about history for children.
The public readings set the factual historical context of ‘Kings of the Boyne’, with the author explaining how she preferred to use real people, such as Gerald O’Connor, 19, a dutiful son and Jacobite, whose account of the battle can be found in the National Library in Dublin. For the Williamite side, she brought back the Derry brothers from her previous novel ‘Behind the Walls’, Robert and Daniel Sherrard, who were part of the original 13 apprentices who locked the four gates of Derry against a Catholic army in December 1688.
Miss Pierce expressed her appreciation to the Orange museum for hosting the event.
She said: “It was such an honour and thrill for me to be invited to speak at the museum. I’m not a historian but I love showing my way into something like the Battle of the Boyne and discussing the challenges of presenting it in a novel for younger readers. And I was really excited to see for myself King William’s letter and saddlecloth.”
Curator of the Museum of Orange Heritage, Dr Jonathan Mattison, said: “Creating better understanding of all aspects of history is important, especially Irish history. Today’s event with author Nicola Pierce, is another example of how the Museum of Orange Heritage is helping the whole community understand the events of the Glorious Revolution. Nicola has written a number of historical fiction books for young people and we are delighted to have her discussing her two books about the Glorious Revolution and Williamite and Jacobite War in Ireland.”
Among the guests at Tuesday morning’s workshop was The High Sherriff of Belfast, Alderman Tom Haire.
Kings of the Boyne, published by O’Brien Press, is currently available to purchase at the Museum of Orange Heritage shop, priced at £8.