In an epic and moving novel spanning three continents, one of the world's greatest writers re-imagines the life of Roger Casement, the most controversial hero of Irish nationalism.
As The Dream of the Celt opens, it is the summer of 1916 and Roger Casement awaits the hangman in London's Pentonville Prison. Dublin lies in ruins after the disastrous Easter Rising led by his comrades of the Irish Volunteers. He has been caught after landing from a German submarine. For the past year he has attempted to raise an Irish brigade from prisoners of war to fight alongside the Germans against the British Empire that awarded him a knighthood only a few years before. And now his petition for clemency is threatened by the leaking of his private diary and his secret life as a gay man...
Vargas-Llosa, with his incomparable gift for powerful historical narrative, takes the reader on a journey back through a remarkable life dedicated to the exposure of barbaric treatment of indigenous peoples by European predators in the Congo and Amazonia. Casement was feted as one of the greatest humanitarians of the age. Now he is about to die ignominiously as a traitor.
Mario Vargas Llosa was born in Peru in 1936 and educated at university in Lima, where he studied Humanities and Law. Always politically outspoken, from 1976 to 1979 Vargas Llosa served as President of PEN and in 1983 presided over the commission which investigated the deaths of eight journalists killed during the Belaunde Government's campaign against the Maoist guerrilla movement. Having once declined the Prime Ministership of Peru in 1984, he was a candidate in the 1990 Presidential elections.
Vargas Llosa was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2010. Peru's foremost writer, he has been awarded the Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world's most distinguished literary honor, and the Jerusalem Prize. His many works include The Feast of the Goat, The Bad Girl, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, The War of the End of the World, and The Storyteller. He lives in London.