Friday, 28 February 2014

The "LOOK" of Charlotte Rampling: The Look ~ Documentary Trailer / Charlotte Rampling: 'I know my power'

Charlotte Rampling: The Look (2011)
What’s Behind That Mona Lisa Smirk?
By STEPHEN HOLDEN in The New York Times

A lesson to be gleaned from “Charlotte Rampling: The Look,” Angelina Maccarone’s fascinating and frustrating documentary portrait of an enigmatic star, might be that it would be foolish to suppose that Ms. Rampling is anything like the transgressive women she portrays on the screen. The same is true of her photographic image, that of a heavy-lidded femme fatale. Could “The Look” be an accident of physiognomy? In this evasive film neither the director nor the star is about to speculate.
Ms. Rampling, now 65, belongs to the short list of cult movie actresses whose combination of
exotic beauty, intelligence and fierce independence lends them a particular erotic mystique. Along with Jeanne Moreau and Isabelle Huppert, she is a screen personality whose smoldering characters project an imperial confidence tinged with disdain. Those catlike eyes, lowered in a seemingly seductive gaze in tandem with a Mona Lisa smirk, send the same danger signals associated with Ms. Rampling’s Hollywood prototype, Lauren Bacall. Both also have deep voices that convey an ominous authority.

Ms. Rampling’s greatest screen performance, a clip from which is included in “The Look,” may be her portrayal of Ellen, an unmarried New England professor of French literature in Laurent Cantet’s “Heading South.” Ellen is the queen bee among a group of middle-aged women who make an annual pilgrimage to a resort in Haiti in the late 1970s to avail themselves of the sexual favors of handsome impoverished beach boys. It is hard to imagine Ms. Rampling as anything like Ellen.

Ms. Maccarone’s admiring study catches Ms. Rampling in conversation with friends and artists on different topics — “Exposure,” “Age,” “Beauty,” “Resonance,” “Taboo,” “Demons,” Desire,” “Death” and “Love” — which the film uses as pretentious chapter titles. The conversations are interspersed with scenes from Ms. Rampling’s films, including Woody Allen’s “Stardust Memories”; Luchino Visconti’s “Damned”; François Ozon’s “Swimming Pool” and “Under the Sand”; Silvio Narizzano’s “Georgy Girl,” the 1966 British film that made her star; and Liliana Cavani’s “Night Porter,” in which she plays a concentration camp survivor who reunites years later in a Vienna hotel with the sadistic Nazi guard (Dirk Bogarde) who tormented her.

Rounding out the list are “The Verdict” (Sidney Lumet) and “Max Mon Amour,” Nagisa Oshima’s comedy in which she plays a diplomat’s wife who has a passionate affair with a chimpanzee. Conspicuously missing is her recent cameo in Todd Solondz’s “Life During Wartime.”

The conversations seem unrehearsed. Although Ms. Rampling has more to say on some topics than on others, there are no blinding revelations or titillating confessions. Talking with the photographer Peter Lindbergh in “Exposure,” she remarks, “If you want to give anything worthwhile of yourself, you have to feel completely exposed.” For her nudity seems never to have been a big deal. The “Taboo” segment examines a risqué series of self-portraits, “Louis XV,” that the German fashion photographer Juergen Teller shot.

For all her readiness to bare her flesh, Ms. Rampling reveals little of her inner life, and the film stints on biographical information. The closest thing to a nugget of wisdom is her stated belief in not running away from emotional pain. You should “let it happen to you,” she declares.

Her scattered observations on life, love and death are eminently sensible, rooted in an unflappable self-possession. She makes one reference to the emotional “chaos” of her younger days and more than one to her sister’s suicide at the age of 23, but her tone is dispassionate. Her major relationships — with the actor and publicist Bryan Southcombe; the French composer Jean-Michel Jarre; and to her current longtime companion, Jean-Noël Tassez, a French businessman — go unmentioned. Many of the artists and intellectuals with whom she converses are barely introduced, if at all.

This is not to say that “Charlotte Rampling: The Look” is a complete washout. A tease is more like it, an examination of the surface. Ms. Rampling is presented as an endlessly watchable mystery, an aloof but affable sphinx. But we knew that already.


Opens on Friday in Manhattan.

Written and directed by Angelina Maccarone; director of photography, Bernd Meiners; edited by Bettina Böhler; music by Judith Kaufmann; produced by Charlotte Uzu, Gerd Haag, Michael Trabitzsch and Serge Lalou; released by Kino Lorber. In French, with English subtitles. Running time: 1 hour 34 minutes. This film is not rated.

A version of this review appears in print on November 4, 2011, on page C12 of the New York edition with

Charlotte Rampling: 'I know my power'
Her chilly sensuality has hooked directors from Woody Allen to Lars von Trier. Charlotte Rampling talks to Catherine Shoard about her no-go areas, Hollywood 'crap' – and why we might not like her new documentary
Catherine Shoard

If you were to create an installation that captured the essence of Charlotte Rampling, it would almost certainly involve a stuffed lion and a king-sized bed. And you'd probably place them not in a room, but by a bar, on a beach, at the French Riviera. In this way you'd convey the imperious gloss, the fearsome sensuality, the hint of the ridiculous in Rampling's eat-you-for-breakfast pose.

As luck would have it, this is exactly the scene when we sit down to talk in Cannes. There is a stuffed lion, there is a king-sized bed. Impervious to the taxidermical horror behind her, Rampling perches on a pouffe and fixes me with her laser gaze. The lion peeps over her shoulder; by comparison, he is a pussycat.

Rampling, now 65, is all over this year's festival: she is drumming up interest in Julia, a thriller by her son Barnaby Southcombe, as well as promoting Lars von Trier's Palme d'Or contender Melancholia, in which she plays a woman based on the director's own mother. "She's dead, so he can do it now," she explains. "He hated her. She ruined his life, he said."

It's a small role, yet still a recognisable Rampling monster: all lipstick and bitterness and icy outbursts. So recognisable, in fact, that a ripple of laughter greeted her first line at yesterday's press screening. "Domineering? What a load of crap," she says when her ex-husband (John Hurt) describes her as such in a speech at the wedding of their daughter (Kirsten Dunst).

Rampling is also the subject of a new documentary, The Look, which is screening out of competition. The title comes from two-time co-star Dirk Bogarde, who once wrote: "I have seen the Look under many different circumstances . . . The glowing emerald eyes turn to steel within a second, [and] fade gently to the softest, tenderest, most doe-eyed bracken-brown." The film features plenty more like this: Paul Auster, a friend, tells her that she is more beautiful now than she was as a young woman. A group of elderly men who bump into her in the Tuileries garden in Paris are delighted when she gives one of them a kiss.

Shot by German newcomer Angelina Maccarone, The Look carries Rampling's "absolute stamp of approval"; the actor had final cut. "It was simply a condition of my involvement," Rampling says evenly. "If this film is about me then I have to accept it, and if I can't accept it, I have to know it can be destroyed. I'd rather it didn't exist if it wasn't something I couldn't recognise as being in some way close to who I am."

Not everyone has the confidence to be so unapologetically controlling, but Rampling has form. Last year, she made headlines when an attempt to co-author an autobiography with a friend came undone, ending in legal action. "A lot of people have asked me to do written things or have someone else write them for me," she says. "I've tried lots, nothing's worked. I can't express what I want to express yet."

She says she wasn't interested in Maccarone making a conventional documentary. "If you were to find all the people I've worked with and ask them what they think of me, they're all just going to say, 'Oh, wonderful', and it'll just be a lot of blah." So instead we have eight conversations between Rampling and one or other of her pals, each with a particular theme, sometimes involving a bottle of red, always drawing on one of her landmark performances. She talks exposure with the photographer Peter Lindbergh, as well as her breakthrough role in Georgy Girl. She hops aboard Auster's houseboat in Brooklyn to chew the fat about getting old. The subject of taboo is put to bed with the artist Juergen Teller, who shot her (and himself) naked for a 2004 fashion campaign. Cue footage of her two films with Bogarde: Visconti's The Damned, in which she played a young wife sent to a Nazi concentration camp; and Liliana Cavani's The Night Porter, featuring Rampling as a former camp inmate in a sadomasochistic relationship with her ex-guard. The film ends with the theme of love, a conversation with French writer-director Joy Fleury and Fleury's daughter, spliced with footage from Max, Mon Amour, starring Rampling as a diplomat's wife besotted with a chimp.

The Look is an unsettling film, even at its cosiest. Evidently, Rampling wants to make some kind of personal statement after years of submitting to the vision of others, but it is also incredibly exposing. So this is what makes her tick, these are her friends, her family, her confidantes, her concerns. And this is the look, the side of herself, that Rampling thinks the most flattering – or at least the one she wants to share with the world. Did she have any doubts about making it quite so intimate?

"I needed those types of people," she says. "Otherwise it would have been false. At one stage, it was suggested one of them might be a well-known actress, and I thought, 'I don't think it would really work.' I know a lot of actresses, but I don't have that kind of relationship with them." Why not? "Perhaps there's a competitivity, something animal there."

In Cannes, the film has been warmly received. Is she expecting a British audience to be tougher? There is a pause. "Possibly England might not like it. Although it's not French, they'd say it's self-indulgent, chatting away about oneself. The British can be like that. They can put barriers up on certain interesting pieces of cinema for that reason – it's a pity."

'I'm not staying in this madhouse'

Rampling was born in Essex, the daughter of a colonel and a painter. She still keeps a flat in London, but has been based abroad since the late 60s, working in Italy, and then relocating to France with her second husband, Jean-Michel Jarre, in 1976. They divorced some 20 years later; since then she has been engaged to the Parisian tycoon Jean-Noël Tassez.

She says she is comfortable Channel-straddling: it means she has stranger status wherever she is, an extra edge of mystery. In France, she is known simply as La Legende; in Britain, she stands on the edgy end of national treasure. (Some years ago, Barry Norman coined the verb "to rample", which he defined as "an ability to reduce a man to helplessness though a chilly sensuality".)

This duality also aids Rampling's inbuilt contrarianism. "Ever since I was a small child I've had this feeling – it's in my nature, and so it's not even pretentious – that if everyone's going one way I will go the other, just by some kind of spirit of defiance. That's how I can keep myself alive and interested and my emotions going. I could have been a superstar in America – I was certainly taken out there. But I said, 'No way, Jose, I'm not staying here in this madhouse.' So I left and I said, 'I'm gonna make arthouse films now.' I'm gonna find directors that want me for deeper things than all this crap. I knew I couldn't survive in Hollywood, actually. It would send me really round the bend."

She speaks with the certainty of someone who is rarely disagreed with, though what she says is essentially true: Woody Allen, for one, adjusted the schedule of Stardust Memories to fit around Rampling's diary, so that she could play his dream woman. The world has been her oyster; it's just that she has sometimes opted not to shuck it.

In the past, Rampling has said that her choice of roles is dictated not by a desire to entertain, nor by financial imperative, but as a means of self-examination, a way of testing her own limits. (A breakdown in the early 80s, following the birth of her second son, only amplified that impulse.) She laughs when I ask if this is still what drives her – less gravelly now, a touch more grandmotherly. "Yes, that's one of those grand statements I make. I must explore desert ground and see what can grow. But there are limits. I know in my heart what I would never do." What's that? "It's very simple. I'm actually very straight. In all areas. Funnily enough. But my straightness allows me to be incredibly daring in where I'm prepared to go."

She grins, and concedes that some instances of this licence to be daring are less radical than others – a cameo in Streetdance 3D, for example. But there is one surprising no-go area. Rampling shudders at the memory of watching Angelina Jolie process up the red carpet for Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life the previous evening. "She must have been there 20 minutes. And when I thought about what it meant, being there for all that time, not even speaking, I thought: Well, that's what I never, ever could do. I know the power of my look, of who I am. And I'll turn it on for the film or the photo session. But it's a question of knowing what you can and can't take. It would burn me. I would be absolutely burned."

Charlotte Rampling on The Look

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

The Mad Sculptor: The Maniac, the Model, and the Murder that Shook the Nation by Harold Schechter

 The Mad Sculptor: The Maniac, the Model, and the Murder that Shook the Nation
by Harold Schechter
Beekman Place, once one of the most exclusive addresses in Manhattan, had a curious way of making it into the tabloids in the 1930s: “SKYSCRAPER SLAYER,” “BEAUTY SLAIN IN BATHTUB” read the headlines. On Easter Sunday in 1937, the discovery of a grisly triple homicide at Beekman Place would rock the neighborhood yet again—and enthrall the nation. The young man who committed the murders would come to be known in the annals of American crime as the Mad Sculptor.

Caught up in the Easter Sunday slayings was a bizarre and sensationalistic cast of characters, seemingly cooked up in a tabloid editor’s overheated imagination. The charismatic perpetrator, Roger Irwin, was a brilliant young sculptor who had studied with some of the masters of the era. But with his genius also came a deeply disturbed psyche; Irwin was obsessed with sexual self-mutilation and was frequently overcome by outbursts of violent rage.

Irwin’s primary victim, Veronica Gedeon, was a figure from the world of pulp fantasy—a stunning photographer's model whose scandalous seminude pinups would titillate the public for weeks after her death. Irwin’s defense attorney, Samuel Leibowitz, was a courtroom celebrity with an unmatched record of acquittals and clients ranging from Al Capone to the Scottsboro Boys. And Dr. Fredric Wertham, psychiatrist and forensic scientist, befriended Irwin years before the murders and had predicted them in a public lecture months before the crime.

Based on extensive research and archival records, The Mad Sculptor recounts the chilling story of the Easter Sunday murders—a case that sparked a nationwide manhunt and endures as one of the most engrossing American crime dramas of the twentieth century. Harold Schechter’s masterful prose evokes the faded glory of post-depression New York and the singular madness of a brilliant mind turned against itself. It will keep you riveted until the very last page.

Schechter Puts You Inside the Mad Sculptor Case, January 14, 2014
By Michael R Gates
This review is from: The Mad Sculptor: The Maniac, the Model, and the Murder that Shook the Nation (Hardcover)

On Easter Sunday in 1937, police were called to the scene of a triple homicide at an apartment in a fashionable Manhattan neighborhood. The victims were Veronica "Ronnie" Gedeon, a pretty young model who'd earned her living posing, often in dishabille or even nude, for the popular detective magazines of the day; Mary Gedeon, Veronica's mother, who was separated from her husband; and their boarder, an Englishman by the name of Frank Byrnes. The two women had been strangled to death, their lodger beaten and stabbed in the back of the head, and while the police questioned an array of possible perps, they really had no solid suspects. Until, that is, a close examination of Veronica's diary pointed them to Robert Irwin, a handsome young sculptor who had once dated Veronica's sister, Ethel. Irwin, an talented young artist who had trained under two of America's most prominent and successful commercial sculptors, was known for his off-the-wall ideas about art, metaphysics and religion, and life in general. Not only that, he was known to have a violent and uncontrollable temper, and there was reason to believe that he held a grudge against the family for encouraging Ethel to break off her relationship with him. How police tie Irwin to the murders and the efforts to bring him to justice form the focus of Harold Schechter's THE MAD SCULPTOR: THE MANIAC, THE MODEL, AND THE MURDER THAT SHOOK THE NATION, a true-crime book that far outranks most others of the genre in terms of both quality and readability.

One thing that makes THE MAD SCULPTOR the cream of the true-crime crop is that author Schechter, a professor of American literature and culture at Queens College in New York, did extensive scholarly research to ensure that the facts of the case are accurate. But it's clear that he didn't just limit himself to researching the details of the murder alone. Schechter researched the historical context surrounding the crime, too, uncovering the bits and pieces that made up the patchwork of American culture at the time. And he also uncovered plenty of information about the secondary players in the case: Irwin's parents, defense lawyer Samuel Leibowitz, psychiatrist Fredric Wertham, and newspapermen Harry Romanoff and John Dienhart, to name just a few. Thus, instead of giving readers the expanded tabloid version offered by most of today's true-crime books, Schechter offers up a riveting story with a richly detailed setting and fully three-dimensional characters. In other words, THE MAD SCULPTOR reads more like a historical novel--but one that is completely factual--instead of a stodgy history book or a stoic fact-by-fact news report.

So, by the time you've finished THE MAD SCULPTOR: THE MANIAC, THE MODEL, AND THE MURDER THAT SHOOK THE NATION, you'll feel like you've actually taken a trip back to Depression-era America. You'll feel you got to know the mad sculptor Robert Irwin and his victims, and you'll have more than an inkling of how the social and cultural environment in which they lived enabled such a crime to occur. You'll also have gotten a glimpse inside the heads of the attorneys, psychiatrists, police officers, judges, newspaper reporters, and the like, and you'll understand why some of them had sympathy for Irwin while others wanted to send him straight to the electric chair. You'll come away feeling like you were an insider in the case rather than a casual spectator, and isn't that what we fans of true crime really want--to see the crime and the players from the inside out so that we can try to make sense of it all? If you answered yes, then you'll definitely want to pick up a copy of Schechter's book.

HAROLD SCHECHTER is a professor of American literature at Queens College, CUNY. He is best known for his historical true-crime writing and for reference works such as The A-to-Z Encyclopedia of Serial Killers and The Serial Killer Files. Robert Kolker is a New York magazine contributing editor, a finalist for the National Magazine Award, and the author of Lost Girls. He writes frequently about issues surrounding criminal justice and the unforeseen impact of extraordinary events on everyday people. He lives with his family in Brooklyn. -

Monday, 24 February 2014

The Last Knight: A Celebration of Desmond Fitzgerald.

The Last Knight: A Celebration of Desmond Fitzgerald
Robert O'Byrne

Irish Georgian Society, €25

Desmond FitzGerald liked to introduce himself as a boarding house-keeper; under no illusion about title or inheritance, life was about effort, purpose, inquiry and not a little fun along the way. This attitude made an indelible mark within and beyond these shores.

Despite being a prolific collector and writer on Irish art, architecture, furniture and decorative arts, his collaborator on Painters Of Ireland, Professor Anne Cruickshank, confesses they knew little of the subject before they began research on the seminal book.

In this tribute to the Knight of Glin, Robert O'Byrne provides a rare insight into the early years and his developing taste and interests. O'Byrne demonstrates a clear grasp of the influences which came to bear on his passion for Irish heritage. Entitled The Last Knight, it celebrates a unique man without whom Ireland's art historical publishing would be sadly lacking and many architectural treasures would be a pile of rubble.

A photograph of a young Knight graces the cover, the epitome of golden youth framed in a castellated manor, he cuts a handsome figure and grasps a pike as if symbolising his defence of Irish heritage. A large key dangles from his finger – custodian and host, he kept open house for all who shared his interest and passion.

Tender insights are revealed in letters to his mother, Veronica, written while he was only 12 at Stowe school. They convey the loneliness of a boy away from home, his father dead and his mother in a distant place; he collects rare coins, developing his keen sense of value and rarity. It is not long, however, before Desmond is in Harvard, dating beautiful debutantes, establishing lifelong links with America or back in London leading the 1960s celebutantes. His first marriage to the beautiful and eccentric LouLou de la Falaise was short lived, though they remained friends and her death came but a few months after his.

While at the Victoria and Albert Museum he worked with great names of art and architectural research, Mark Girouard, John Pope-Hennessy, and developed a lasting friendship with the indomitable Maurice Craig. He married the love of his life, Olda Willes, the relationship that endured and supported all else. Photographs throughout the book provide a wonderful narrative, while Olda's beauty shines through the ages.

The Last Knight: A Celebration Of Desmond Fitzgerald
 Friday 29 November

Desmond FitzGerald, 29th Knight of Glin can be acclaimed for having achieved an astonishing amount prior to his death in September 2011. As an architectural and art historian, he was among the first to recognise and celebrate the work of Irish artists and craftsmen, bringing this to the attention of an international audience. As an advocate of architectural conservation and preservation, especially through his work as President of the Irish Georgian Society, he worked tirelessly to ensure a future for the country's architectural heritage. As a collector and tastemaker, he equally helped to encourage greater appreciation at home and abroad of Ireland's outstanding artists, architects and designers over many centuries. The Last Knight, by Robert O’Byrne, will examine and celebrate all these aspects of Desmond FitzGerald's life, and serve as a rallying call for the present generation to emulate his work. Published by the Irish Georgian Society, members attending dinner will be invited to share a pre dinner drink at a private launch for this wonderful book with all proceeds from the book's sale going to benefit the Irish Georgian Society. Full details will be sent with dinner acknowledgement.

 The Knight of Glin (dormant or extinct 14 September 2011), also known as the Black Knight, or Knight of the Valley  was a hereditary title in the FitzGerald families of County Limerick, Ireland, since the early 14th century. The family was a branch of the FitzGerald dynasty, or Geraldines, related to the Earls of Desmond (extinct), who were questionably granted extensive lands in County Limerick by the Duke of Normandy by way of conquest. The title was named after the village of Glin, near the Knight's lands. The Knight of Glin was properly addressed as "Knight" (not, as one might expect, "Sir xxxx FitzGerald").

The family name "FitzGerald" comes from the (Norman) French "Fils du Gerald", i.e. "Son of Gerald".
"The coat-of-arms of the Glin family is: Ermine a saltier gules. Crest: a boar passant gules, bristled and armed or. Motto: Sahnit a Boo. The arms of the various families in Ireland are similar. The Knights of Glin bear as supporters two griffins collared and chained, and have a second crest: a castle with two towers, issuant from the sinister tower a knight in armor holding in the dexter hand a key proper. The Glin family seat is at Glin, Glin Castle, county Limerick, Ireland."
Like the Knights of Kerry, the Knights of Glin descended from one of the younger or illegitimate sons of The 1st Baron Desmond and Honora (daughter of Hugh O'Connor, of Kerry) thus Kings of Connacht. Lord Desmond was also known as Sir John Fitz-John or Seán Mór na Sursainge, and he lived c. 1260. The last knight, Desmond FitzGerald, 29th Knight of Glin, died on September 14, 2011.

This Desmond family are descended from Maurice FitzGerald, Lord of Lanstephan, a companion-in-arms of Strongbow Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, the Norman conqueror of Ireland. Went to Ireland in 1168, being sent with ten knights, twenty esquires, and one hundred archers, to assist Dermot MacMurrough, king of Leinster. He died 1 September 1177, buried in the friary of the Grey Friars of Wexford. Maurice was the second son of Gerald de Windsor, Constable of Pembroke, Wales and his wife given to him by Plantagenet Norman English King Henry II, the South Welsh Princess Nesta or Nest ferch Rhys thus descended from Howell the Good, king of the Britons who codified Welsh Law. Maurice FitzGerald's children were: Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald, justice of Ireland, who built the castle of Sligo and is ancestor of the Dukes of Leinster. William, Baron of Naas, county Kildare, and ancestor of the Viscount Gormanston. Thomas FitzMaurice FitzGerald married Elinor, daughter of Jordan de Marisco, and sister to Herve de Monte Marisco, constable of Ireland, and of Geoffrey de Marisco, Lord Justice of Ireland in the reign of King John. He died 1207.
John FitzGerald, 1st Baron Desmond, of Shanid, County Limerick, Lord of Connelloe and Decies, married (first) Margery, daughter and heir of Sir Thomas Fitz-Anthony, Lord of Decies and Desmond. These domains were confirmed to him by Prince Edward, the Black Prince in 1260. He married (second) Honora, daughter of Hugh O'Connor, of Kerry. By his first wife he had a son: 1. Maurice Fitz-John FitzGerald, who was Lord of Decies and Desmond, and ancestor of the FitzGeralds, Earls of Desmond, who ranked among the most powerful nobles of Ireland for more than two centuries. By his second wife he had issue: 2. Gilbert Fitz-John, ancestor of the White Knight. 3. Sir John Fitz-John, mentioned below. 4. Maurice Fitz-John, ancestor of the Knights of Kerry. 5. Thomas Fitz-John, ancestor of the Fitzgerald of the Island of Kerry.
John Fitz-Thomas FitzGerald, by virtue of his royal seigniory as a Count Palatine, created three of his sons by the second marriage, knights; and their descendants have been so styled in acts of parliament, patents under the great seal, and all legal proceedings, up to the present (1910) time. He founded the monastery of Tralee, and was buried there in 1260.
(VII) Sir John Fitz-John, Knight, was the first Knight of Glin, and had from his father the castles of Glincarbery and Beagh, county Limerick, Ireland. Children: John Fitz-John, mentioned below. Gerald Fitz-John, ancestor of the family of Clenlish and Castle Ishen, County Cork, Baronets.
VIII) Sir John Fitz-John del Glin was succeeded by his son.
"The earliest tradition I could find about Glin went back to 1569, when the [15th] knight, Thomas FitzGerald[disambiguation needed], was barbarously executed in Limerick. His mother, who was present at the execution, seized his head when he was beheaded and drank his blood. She then collected the parts of his dismembered body and put them in a linen sheet. When she set out for home with her precious burden she was followed by an immense concourse, including one hundred keening women.
Somewhere east of Foynes some soldiers tried to seize the corpse and in the fight that followed many people were slain. The body was interred in Lislaughtin Abbey in the tomb of his relative, the O'Connor Kerry."
According to another legend, in the early 16th century under Elizabeth I, England set about enforcing loyalty in the western parts of Ireland. When one of her ships came up to the Knight of Glin's castle on the Shannon Estuary, a fierce battle ensued. The ship's captain managed to capture one of the Knight's sons and sent the Knight a message that he should surrender or else the son would be put in one of the ship's cannons and fired against the castle wall. He replied that as he was virile and his wife was strong, it would be easy to produce another son.
The tradition about the siege of Glin castle differs in many respects from the facts as given by Carew in Pacata Hibernia. We do know that tradition can be a completely distorting mirror, but the popular memory of a local event such as a battle, siege or massacre would be more vivid and more lasting and in essence more trustworthy than Carew's narrative, who was prejudiced and gives a complete travesty of the facts.
The garrison of the castle, according to tradition, was divided into two sections, one of which was commanded by Donall na Searrach Culhane and the other by Tadhg Dore. Before the siege began, Carew, who had the knight's child as hostage, sent an order to the knight to surrender the castle at once or else he would blow the child out of the mouth of the cannon. The knight's answer was remembered but can only be rendered here by algebraic symbols: Gread leat. Ta X go meidhreach fos agus Y go briomhar. Is fuiriste leanbh eile do gheiniuint.
The assault on the castle then began under the command of Capt. Flower but was beaten back with slaughter by the defenders. Three brothers named Giltenan played a heroic part in repulsing the attack and slew some of the best of Flower's men. Carew called up fresh reinforcements, which he placed under the leadership of Turlough Roe MacMahon, who lived at Colmanstown castle, County Clare, almost opposite Glin. Turlough was a man of evil reputation who had already committed many dreadful crimes against his own kith and kin and against the Irish people at large. He was the father of the celebrated Maire Ruadh MacMahon. He is referred to in a poem of the time as
Traolach Ruadh an fhill agus an eithigh
do mhairbh a bhean agus a leanbh in eineacht.
The second assault also failed, but Turlough was determined to carry it through , for he hated with a hatred which evil men are known to feel towards those they have mortally injured. In the meantime the cannonading had played havoc with the defences of the castle. In the third attempt MacMahon was able to move in a large body of men who, after a gallant defence by the garrison, succeeded in capturing the castle. The Giltenans, Tadhg Dore and his brother, and Donall Culhane and two of his sons were slain in the final defence. Some of the garrison tried to escape by jumping into the water surrounding the castle, but only three men succeeded in getting away. These were Mahon Dillane, Lewy O'Connor and Donall Beag Culhane (whose father was slain in the last defence of the castle).
The "Old Castle" of Glin, the scene of the above battle, is a ruin. The tower still stands with a historic plaque in place. After the destruction of the old castle, the Knights built the "New Castle", a beautiful Georgian mansion, on the banks of the Shannon Estuary about a mile west of the old site. The last Knight lived there until his death (as well as in Dublin and London).
The 17th Knight, Gerald FitzGerald, was a Member for Limerick County in the Irish Patriot Parliament of 1689, called by James II during the Williamite war.
Under the Penal Laws of the 18th century, the Knights converted to the Church of Ireland to preserve their property. The surrounding villagers remained Roman Catholics, a division indicated today by the two churches in the village of Glin.
Following the war of independence and during the ensuing Civil War, in the early 1920s, Irish Republican Army (IRA) soldiers, from nearby North Kerry came to the 27th Knight Desmond FitzJohn Lloyd FitzGerald to tell him that no one whose title to land came from the English Crown could keep their land. The Knight immediately produced a document in Latin, supposedly from Duke of Normandy, indicating that his title did not originate from the English Crown at all. The baffled IRA men left the Knight with his properties, which he holds to this day. Another version of the incident relates how the then Knight, who was an invalid and used a wheelchair, refused to leave the mansion when ordered to do so, as the IRA intended to set it alight. He insisted on staying, they left, and the mansion still stands.
The 29th and last Knight (dormant or extinct) was Desmond FitzGerald, son of Desmond Wyndham Otho FitzGerald, 28th Knight of Glin. He had a MFA degree from Harvard University. He was married, firstly in 1966, to Louise Vava Henriette Lucie Le Bailly de La Falaise, the daughter of Count Alain de la Falaise and his wife, the former Maxime Birley. By his second, the former Olda Ann Willes, whom he married in 1970, he had three daughters: Catherine (previously married to Edward Lambton, 7th Earl of Durham, remarried in 2010 to Dominic West, Nesta and Honor. He represented the art auctioneers Christies in Ireland and was elected president of the Irish Georgian Society. Since he had no male heir, the title Knight of Glin became apparently dormant or extinct. There has been some speculation[by whom?] that there is an heir male of the body needing to prove their claim to the title, surviving through the 24th Knight of Glin, Lt. Col. John Fraunceis FitzGerald's second son Edmond Urmston McLeod FitzGerald, who was born in 1817 at Glin Castle and who married Ellen Sullivan, born in Ireland, 1822, died in Ogdensburg, New York, United States, in December 1895. Children, born in Ireland: Edmond Urmston, deceased. Richard, mentioned below. John Fraunceis, living in Ogdensburgh, Margaret. Gerald, who died in Ireland.