book cover of The Big Chapel

The Big Chapel

A novel by

The Man Booker Prize Best Novel (nominee)
"The Big Chapel" was shortlisted for the 1971 Booker Prize and winner of 1971 the Guardian Fiction Prize. It is a novel about a man, a family and a town. Basing his work upon a notorious clerical scandal of Victorian Ireland, Thomas Kilroy has written an anatomy of religious violence that remains relevant. In scenes that range from the private and lyrical to the panorama of a whole community in convulsion, he draws upon a deep knowledge of the history and folklore of nineteenth-century Ireland. While there is a great deal of humour in "The Big Chapel" it is, finally, a work of grave tragic proportions.It is the characters however that remain longest in the memory. Father Lannigan, the anguished demagogue, the man haunted by the implications of his own revolution. Emerine Scully, a man unable to choose, at a time when all men are faced by choice. And Horace Percy Butler, landlord and amateur scientist, a comic, tragic character who is quite unlike anyone else in Irish fiction. The novel is punctuated with extracts from Butler's journal which is itself a remarkable tour de force.

Used availability for Thomas Kilroy's The Big Chapel

Hardback Editions

June 2014 : UK Hardback

Title: The Big Chapel (Revival)
Author(s): Thomas Kilroy
ISBN: 1-905483-80-5 / 978-1-905483-80-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Liberties Press
Availability: Amazon   

September 1971 : UK Hardback

Title: Big Chapel
Author(s): Thomas Kilroy
ISBN: 0-571-09700-6 / 978-0-571-09700-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

May 2008 : UK Paperback

Title: The Big Chapel
Author(s): Thomas Kilroy
ISBN: 0-571-24342-8 / 978-0-571-24342-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA