Turtle Bunbury chats over dinner about his book ‘1847 A Chronicle of Genius, Generosity & Savagery’

We are really pleased that historian and author (and one of our fondest friends) Turtle Bunbury will be joining us at Ballyvolane House to chat about his latest book ‘1847 A Chronicle of Genius, Generosity & Savagery’ over dinner on Friday, 17th November 2017.


1847 A Chronicle of Genius, Generosity & Savagery

Having grown up in an Irish country house built in 1847, historian Turtle Bunbury has long harboured a fascination with that epic year, pitched at the frenetic centre of a momentous century. Here he has assembled 36 stories from around the world that capture the spirit of the age.

Bursting with all manner of human life and endeavour, 1847 embraces the tales of the intrepid explorers who chartered the Americas to show-stopping entertainers like Lola Montez and General Tom Thumb; the famine-starved Irish to persecuted German emigrants; the ivory-tinkling genius of Liszt and Mendelssohn to the horse-bound Comanche warriors who dominated the Texas plains; the American opium magnates who ran roughshod over China to the Irish soldiers who fought for Mexico; and the ground-breaking inventors of the telegraph and the Christmas cracker to the Arctic explorers and Australian settlers who pushed against the frontiers of the known world.

1847 is a rich and stirring portrait of a chaotic globe surging towards the modern age, where eclectic characters and revolutionary events collide to reveal a world of bold genius, fearsome savagery and the most noble generosity.


Venue: Ballyvolane House

Date: Friday, 17th November 2017

Time: 7.30pm drinks in the drawing room, 8pm long-table dinner in the dining terrace

Price: €60 per person to include Turtles talk and a 3-course dinner

Bookings: Please email us, phone 025 36349 or book online with a credit card or your Paypal account using the button below. Please note we are taking 100% payment in advance and the tickets are non-refundable.

Turtle Bunbury

Turtle Bunbury is a best-selling author, historian, public speaker and TV presenter based in Co. Carlow Ireland. His books include “1847 - A Chronicle of Genius, Generosity & Savagery” (2016), “Easter Dawn - The 1916 Rising” (2015), “The Glorious Madness - Tales of the Irish & the Great War” (short-listed for Best Irish-published Book of the Year 2014) and the award- winning “Vanishing Ireland” series.

Turtle is a co-presenter of the ‘Genealogy Roadshow’ TV series, a past presenter of ‘Hidden Histories’ on Newstalk Radio’s Breakfast Show and founder of the History Festival of Ireland. His work has been published in National Geographic Traveler, The World of Interiors, Playboy, The Irish Times etc.


‘I’ve always loved Turtle’s writing, the wit and heartbeat in his history. “1847” is, for me, the best thing he has done so far. It is vivid, surprising, hugely entertaining; an unforgettable encounter with an extraordinary year.’ 

2016 Oscar-nominated director Lenny Abrahamson.


‘The book that I have been buying for my friends this Christmas … a very entertaining read indeed … a brilliant read, an incredible insight into what was going on around the world in the darkest years.’ 

Patrick Geoghegan, Talking History, Newstalk 106.

‘Like many people I associate Turtle Bunbury with the ‘Vanishing Ireland’ books … He must be one of the most versatile authors of his generation, writing about travel, the Irish in the First World War and many other subjects. He is a serious historian with a light touch in writing. This time he has managed to make an episodic book, spanning just one year in the nineteenth century. It is consistently entertaining, thoroughly researched and a pleasure to read. It swings from tragedy to comedy and back. This is done with a light hand and the result is highly readable. It was difficult to remember that I was writing a review, not reading for my own pleasure, and I shall be looking up Turtle Bunbury’s earlier books.’ 

Marjorie Quarton, Books Ireland, January 2017.

  • Please click here to purchase a copy of 1847 A Chronicle of Genius, Generosity & Savagery and his other published works.

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