FOOTPRINT UPON WATER is a compelling novel, spanning forty years in the life of an Anglo-Irish family struggling to come to terms with a frightening new Ireland.  With the sudden death of their overbearing father, the Fellows sisters of Fellowescourt find themselves plunged into a hostile world, where the old attitudes of religious and political superiority seem increasingly irrelevant.

The elder sister Katherine, whose passionate nature has been repressed and distorted by her Victorian ideals of duty and self-sacrifice, works desperately to keep the home together and make her sisters face the realities of the loss of the family fortune. But their new poverty combines with war, illness and rapidly- changing times, to frustrate her efforts, threatening her only hope of happiness – as the wife of Lawrence, the gentle, over-yielding Rector of Fellowescourt. Through it all, Katherine holds on to a central obsession – to leave her spiritual imprint on the character of her orphaned niece Susan. The clash of wills between the two reverberates through this marvellous book.


BARBARA FITZGERALD was born in Cork in 1911, the daughter of John Gregg, later Archbishop of Armagh. She was educated in London and Dublin and later gained a First in Modern Languages in Trinity College Dublin. She married Michael Somerville, a nephew of Edith Somerville, and they settled in Africa for some years. She returned to Ireland during the war and went to live with her two children in the Bishop’s Palace in Armagh. It was here that We Are Besieged, the first of her two novels, was written, and it became a Book Society Recommendation. Her second novel, Footprint Upon Water, was not published until 1983, a year after her death in Dublin.

Praise for BARBARA FITZGERALD's We are Besieged:

One of the most engaging books I have read this year.’ Mary Kenny
A genuine novel of Ireland’s passions refreshingly lit from a new angle and as such should be read by every Irishman.’  Sean O’Faolain
A small masterpiece.’ Penny Perrick
A semi-precious gem…compulsively readable novel.Irish Independent
Fascinating and informative picture.The Tablet
A highly palatable guide to twentieth-century Irish history.The Spectator
Serious and most promising novel.The Irish Times
Consummately tender and gripping first novel.’ Patrick Skene Catling
Irish Independent

€14.99/£11.99/ $19.50


ISBN: 978 0 95673461 09
234 x 156 mm
October 18 2012

 Also available on Kindle £6.81