James Charles Roy has been a peripatetic “independent scholar” since 1969, when he left his job in New York City, bought a 500 cc BSA “Royal Star” in London, and took off for Ireland (“it was the cheapest place to go and hang out, as well as being the most interesting place on earth”). His fascination with Ireland has been lifelong, beginning when his parents visited the island in 1955 for two months, bringing their family of three children in tow, and stretching through his purchase and renovation of Moyode Castle in County Galway. He has written innumerable articles on Irish history and seven distinguished books, including The Fields of Athenry and Islands of Storm, a Book-of-the-Month and History Book Club selection. He lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts with his wife, the artist Jan V. Roy.
News and Events
Hear James Charles Roy speak about his book, The Elizabethan Conquest of Ireland, at the 2022 Newburyport Literary Festival.
Lady Gregory Reception
Pre-publication praise for All the World at War:
"The First World War has produced a vast literature and Roy's treatment of the subject ranks with the best. He has immersed himself in a vast range of primary and secondary sources and his text demonstrates a sophisticated appreciation of the issues involved in that conflict. A superb book, full of fascinating detail and written in a most appealing style, a veritable page turner. This particular version deserves to become a classic." —Professor Jack Spence, OBE, distinguished scholar of war and international history, Fellow of King’s College London
"James Charles Roy's history of the First World War offers a vivid and wide-ranging narrative, encompassing both events and individuals in a kaleidoscopic approach to a well-known story." —C. Brad Faught, professor of history and global studies, Tyndale University; author of The Oxford Movement, The New A-Z of Empire and Kitchener: Hero and Anti-Hero, among other titles.
"This is an unusual history of the First World War, the fruit of long reflection, research and much travelling. A rich and thought-provoking book. It doesn't offer a straight narrative history of the war. Anyone ignorant of that might be better to read other works first. But there is a great sweep to Roy's work, and his character sketches are acute and – to my mind – fair."
—Allan Massie, The Scotsman, novelist and critic, author of A Question of Loyalties.