This fascinating study explores the career of Ireland's first modern diplomat, Daniel O'Daly. Born in Kilsarkan, County Kerry, in 1595, he became a significant figure in seventeenth-century ecclesiastical and political life at a time when Ireland's relationship with Europe was both considerable and subtle. He was an historian, founder of an Irish college and a convent in Portugal, confessor and advisor to queens and kings, and a prime mover in both the Stuart Restoration of Charles II and the Portuguese Restoration. Shortly before he died in 1662, he was nominated as bishop elect of Coimbra, Portugal.
Margaret Mac Curtain held the Burns Chair of Irish Studies at Boston College from 1992 to 1993. She was awarded the Eire Society of Boston Gold Medal in 1993 for her writings on Irish women's history. Mac Curtain has been active in political and social causes. She chaired the National Archives Advisory Council from 1997 to 2002 and contributed to the Treoir 2000 report on the state of the Irish language at the end of the 20th century.