Gadzooks, these follies have elicited fractious debates!
A distant Irish cousin, Desmond Fortescue Outlaw (descendant of a piratical clan on my mother’s side) has countered using family prerogative, and reminds me that no doubt the Best Folly Known to Man is that which graces Carton, home of the FitzGerald family, Dukes of Leinster. Designed by Richard Castle, it was commissioned by Katherine Conolly, widow of famed Speaker William Conolly (1662-1729), in order to employ several hundred of the poor and destitute left during the Irish famine of 1740-41. It is 140 feet tall!
That is patronage with a purpose.
Desmond wishes that you fair Reader be advised as well that the Conolly Folly holds a special place in every Irishman’s heart due to the fact that the beautiful Mariga Guiness is buried there at it’s foot. She was a magnificent force in Irish preservation who galvanized a movement that continues to gain momentum today. Mariga in repose.
Visit Robert O’Byrne who blogs as the Irish Aesthete. He reports magnificently on all things Irish.
So, the American response?
Is this our best? Readers, do not fail me. Desmond has suggested a challenge. By St. Patrick’s Day offer up a folly of equal scale, character, gravitas as that of the Conolly Folly or painted green we shall be.