Morgan Llywelyn

Morgan Llywelyn

Historian and novelist Morgan Llywelyn was born in New York City, but after the death of her husband and parents in 1985 returned to Ireland to take up citizenship in the land of her grandparents and make her permanent home there.

After making the shortlist for the United States Olympic Team in Dressage in 1975, but not making the team itself, she turned to writing historical novels exploring her Celtic roots. The most successful of these was Lion of Ireland - The Legend of Brian Boru, which was published in 1980 and has sold into the millions of copies.

She received the Novel of the Year Award from the National League of American Penwomen for her novel The Horse Goddess as well as the Woman of the Year Award from the Irish-American Heritage Committee for Bard: The Odyssey of the Irish. The latter award was presented to her by Ed Koch, then-mayor of New York City.

Morgan is also the author of A Pocket History of Irish Rebels for the O'Brien Pocket Books Series.

In 1990 Morgan Llywelyn turned to writing for the young reader, with the publication of Brian Boru, Emperor of the Irish, a biography in the novelistic style, by The O'Brien Press, Dublin. For this book she won an Irish Children's Book Trust Bisto Award in 1991. Her second book for the young reader is Strongbow, The Story of Richard and Aoife (The O'Brien Press) 1992, for which she won a Bisto Award in the Historical Fiction category, 1993 and the Reading Association of Ireland Award, 1993. Her third novel for young readers, entitled Star Dancer, (The O'Brien Press) was drawn from her experience of the world of showjumping and dressage. She has also written The Vikings in Ireland, an exploration of what actually happened when the Norsemen landed in Ireland.

Morgan's latest book for children is Pirate Queen, the story of Grace O'Malley, told partly through letters from Granuaile to her beloved son. It is a thrilling tale of adventure that brings this unorthodox and inspiring historical figure to life.

Teaching Resources: free to view and download

Cave of Secrets

  • Download Teaching Guides: Teaching guide to the book by Peter Heaney

Granuaile: Pirate Queen

  • Download Teaching Guides: Teaching Guide for Pirate Queen by Peter Heaney

The Young Rebels

  • Download Teaching Guides: Four Page Teaching guide

  • Download Teaching Guides: Morgan Llywelyn answers the most frequently-asked questions about her novel

  • Download Teaching Guides: Teaching guide to the book by Liz Morris

Strongbow - The Story of Richard and Aoife

  • Download RBFS: Teaching ideas for fifth class from O'Brien Reading Programme

  • Download Teaching Guides: Teaching guide from O'Brien Teaching Guides Collection 1

Brian Boru - Emperor of the Irish

  • Download RBFS: Teaching ideas for fifth class from O'Brien Reading Programme

  • Download Teaching Guides: Teaching guide from O'Brien Teaching Guides Collection 2

Star Dancer

  • Download RBFS: Teaching ideas for fourth class from O'Brien Reading Programme

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1014: Brian Boru & the Battle for Ireland

Written by Morgan Llywelyn, Maps by Terry Foley

The date was Good Friday, April 23rd in the Year of Our Lord 1014. The most ferocious battle ever fought in Ireland was about to begin...

Read about the life of Brian Boru and the battle that changed the course of Irish history in this exciting and accessible account.

A Short History of Ireland's Rebels

The stirring story of eighteen of Ireland's greatest rebels, from the sixteenth century to today. The personalities featured include Grace O'Malley, Theobald Wolfe Tone, Daniel O'Connell, Countess Markievicz, Patrick Pearse and Michael Collins.

Cave of Secrets

Pirates and crooked rulers make seventeenth-century Ireland a dangerous place. Tom’s father has had savage losses in business and his whole world is under pressure. Tom starts mixing with smugglers in Roaringwater Bay and learns all about boats and smuggling – and secret treasure. And then Tom discovers the best-kept secret of all ...

Granuaile: Pirate Queen

A story of immense bravery and daring, as Granuaile takes on the great Norman lords, smuggles weapons and mercenaries for the Ulster Gaelic O'Donnell and O'Neill clans and finally goes to confront Elizabeth Tudor herself.

The Young Rebels

A stirring story set against the background of the 1916 Rising. John Joe is a pupil in Padraig Pearse's school, and gets caught up in the dramatic events of the Rebellion. Compelling and evocative.

Strongbow

The Story of Richard and Aoife

The dramatic story of the Norman conquest of Ireland in the 12th century. Full of battles and warfare, but a story of love, too, between an unlikely pair - wilful and wild Irish princess Aoife, and Strongbow, the Norman invader.

Brian Boru

Emperor of the Irish

An enthralling account of the life of Brian Boru, who grew to become High King of Ireland before dying in the Battle of Clontarf in 1014.

Star Dancer

From the land of the racehorse, an international bestselling author writes a horse story for children. An adventure story about growing up, filled with thrills and excitement, and a tingle of danger.