In reading The Weans at Rowallan one has to remember that the children are Irish, and neglected at that, and that the country is Irish and rather wildly Irish, and to remember also the history of the family. Taken as a series of episodes in the life of an ordinary family suitable for literature, the book might easily offend by its lapses here and there into something very like brutality. But it is the history of a very special family living under very curious conditions.
e children these tales about their home. They, though they had friends in every cottage, had never heard one word of either haunting sorrow or curse. It is true that sometimes, coming home in the evening from a long day's expedition across the mountains, they felt a strange sense of depression when they came to the big iron gates. For no reason, it seemed, a foreboding of calamity chilled their spirits, and sent them, at a run, up the avenue into the house to the warm shelter of the kitchen, to be assured by Lull's cheerful presence that their mother had not died in their absence, and life was still happy.
There were five of them: Mick, Jane, Fly, Patsy, and Honeybird. The tales people told of their home were not the strangest part of their history. Their father had been a man hated by his own class for his broad and generous views at a time when the whole country was disturbed, and loved by his poorer neighbours for the same reason. He had been murdered by a terrible mistake. It was not the master, Mi