Fitzwilliam Square on the south side of Dublin provides the setting and a true-life cast of characters for Lives Less Ordinary, a book that shows how people from a small residential enclave impacted on the history of Ireland and the wider world. By using the residents’ own correspondence and memoirs, as well as contemporary accounts in chronicles and journals, this unique history is told through their perspectives. We follow the legal inhabitants of Fitzwilliam Square into the nineteenth century courtrooms of the state trials; we witness its soldier sons on a succession of battlefields through their own correspondence and reminiscences; we hear intriguing anecdotes about the politicians, writers and artists from the square, including tales of duelling, ghost stories and political and personal scandals. On their own, the sketches that make up this book would be historical footnotes, but woven together they provide a detailed and fascinating overview of Irish life at a particular place and time. The stories are varied and wide-ranging, but they are anchored by the fact that they only involve those inhabitants of the 69 houses of Fitzwilliam Square.