As a study of both Tudor Anglo-Irish relations and the sixteenth-century, Morgan’s work is first rate, thoughtful, well-researched and subtle. Fascinating piece of detective work… No serious student of late Tudor Ireland can afford to ignore this rigorous and painstaking analysis. Between 1594-1603 Elizabeth I faced her most dangerous challenge – the insurrection in Ireland known to British historians as the rebellion of the earl of Tyrone, and to their Irish counterparts in the Nine Years War. This study examines the causes of the conflict in the developing policy of the Crown, which climaxed in the Monaghan settlement of 1591, and the continuing resilience of the Gaelic system which brought to power Hugh Roe O’Donnell and Hugh O’Neill. The role of Hugh O’Neill, the earl of Tyrone, was pivotal in the conspiracies leading up to the war and in the leadership of the Irish cause thereafter. O’Neill’s acceptance of an alliance with Spain rather than a fragile compromise with England is the terminal point of the study. By exploiting all the available source material, Dr Morgan has not only provided a critical reassessment of the early career of Hugh O’Neill but also made an original and lasting contribution to both Irish and Tudor historiography. HIRAM MORGAN is lecturer in history, University College, Cork.