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

  • pdf-logoDownload Teaching Guides: Teaching guide to the book by Peter Heaney

Granuaile: Pirate Queen

  • pdf-logoDownload Teaching Guides: Teaching Guide for Pirate Queen by Peter Heaney

The Young Rebels

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

  • pdf-logoDownload Teaching Guides: Teaching guide to the book by Liz Morris

Strongbow - The Story of Richard and Aoife

  • pdf-logoDownload RBFS: Teaching ideas for fifth class from O'Brien Reading Programme

  • pdf-logoDownload Teaching Guides: Teaching guide from O'Brien Teaching Guides Collection 1

Brian Boru - Emperor of the Irish

  • pdf-logoDownload RBFS: Teaching ideas for fifth class from O'Brien Reading Programme

  • pdf-logoDownload Teaching Guides: Teaching guide from O'Brien Teaching Guides Collection 2

Star Dancer

  • pdf-logoDownload RBFS: Teaching ideas for fourth class from O'Brien Reading Programme