The present volume of the NEW IRISH LIBRARY is the first published since I succeeded Mr. Rolleston as Assistant Editor. The responsibility of seeing it through the press is increased by the fact that, for the first time since the series began, the Editor, owing to absence from home on urgent private business, has been obliged to leave this task almost entirely to me. Since it was announced, some time ago, that Dr. Todhunter had undertaken to write a popular Life of Sarsfield, this volume has been awaited with much interest.

The name of Sarsfield is not only a household word in every Irish home, but his memory is revered wherever his deeds are known, and patriotism and valour are prized. Struggling under immense difficulties, and thwarted at every turn by incompetent superiors, he redeemed the honour of his country, and vindicated the gallantry of his race. The story of his life has now been told with the single purpose of doing him justice, and of placing a truthful and impartial narrative of the events in which he played so distinguished a part, before the youth of the nation to whose fortunes he was devoted and true. In carrying out his work, Dr. Todhunter has treated Sarsfield’s personal history as a part of the general history of the time. He has pieced together every biographical fragment he has been able to collect, and given it a fit setting in his short narrative of the principal events of the Jacobite War in Ireland. He has endeavoured to get at some clear conception of the succession of events in the various battles and sieges; and, not content with studying the somewhat conflicting contemporary accounts, has visited the principal battlefields, towns besieged, and other places mentioned in the narrative, including Limerick, Athlone, Aughrim, and the Boyne.

R. BARRY O’BRIEN, September 1st, 1895.