Tho' It Were Ten Thousand Miles

A Love Story

by William H. A. Williams



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 9/29/2011

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 300
ISBN : 9781456794972
Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 300
ISBN : 9781456794965
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 300
ISBN : 9781456794958

About the Book

Seamus O’Rouke’s obsession with a girl he discovers on You Tube turns into love when Fiona MacKenzie turns up on his Midwestern campus. While the sixty-five-year-old Irishman’s pursuit of this twenty-year-old folk singer is against all reason, rhyme does play its role. Seamus is adept at wielding poetry, as well as music, art, gourmet meals and fi ne wine, in his campaign for the heart of his green-eyed auburn-haired beauty.

Fiona is haunted by the earlier death of her Scottish father and by the resulting loneliness, which she tries to hide beneath her usually self-confident exterior. She tries to keep from being overwhelmed by Seamus’ larger-than-life personality. Gradually, however, her skeptical common sense gives way before the onslaught of this unreconstructed Irish Romantic.

During their brief months together, this age-crossed pair discovers that romance is a tightrope strung between incomprehension and farce. As told through a his/her dual narrative, these two head-strong and highly articulate individuals continuously collide, often comically, as they struggle to comprehend the nature of their love. In spite of moments of often bawdy comedy, questions of love, age, loss and death thread their way through the story. As Fiona observes, “What strange ways love has of going about her business.”

About the Author

William H. A. Williams is a historian, writer and musician, living in Cincinnati. Tho’ It Were Ten Thousand Miles is his first work of fiction. The Irish elements in the novel—the male protagonist’s vocabulary and speech patterns, bits of folklore and songs, references to Dublin and the West of Ireland—are based on the author’s knowledge of and experiences in Ireland. In addition to American and German universities, Williams taught at University College, Dublin, and spent his summers in a thatched cottage in West Donegal.

Apart from H. L. Mencken and H. L. Mencken Revisited (Twayne, 1977, 2001), most of Williams’ academic work has dealt with Ireland and Irish America. He is the author of ‘Twas Only an Irishman’s Dream: Images of Ireland and the Irish in American Popular Song Lyrics, 1800-1920 (University of Illinois Press; recipient of an ASCAP award, 1996) and Landscape, Tourism and the Irish Character: British Travel Writers in Pre-Famine Ireland, 1750-1850 (Wisconsin University Press, 2008). His latest book, Inventing Irish Tourism, The First Century, 1750-1850, was published in 2010 (Anthem Press, UK). Williams edited for publication Daniel O’Connell, The British Press and the Irish Famine: Killing Remarks, written by my late wife, Leslie A. Williams (Ashgate Press, UK, 2003). The author was also a researcher and consultant for The Long Journey Home, the PBS series about Irish America.

In addition to his academic work, Williams has also engaged in freelance journalism. His articles and reviews have appeared in Irish and in American newspapers and magazines. While in Ireland he wrote the monthly “Letter from Dublin” for the Baltimore Sun. Most recently, he has been a North American stringer for Irish Music Magazine.

As a performer, Williams have presented his program of Irish-American songs at Irish festivals and on campuses around the country. His musical, Maggie Murphy’s Home, has been staged at the Milwaukee Irish Fest and in Cincinnati. He is a member of three folk groups, including Ceol Mhór, a Cincinnati-based Irish band.