In Proteus Stephen thinks of Ireland, "then and now," as a "Paradise of pretenders." In the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries a number of quixotic pretenders to English and Irish thrones used the island as their stage. The "then" part of Stephen's judgment is clear enough, but it is harder to say what contemporary relevance he may see in the stories he calls up.

JH 2015

Edward's grave, near where the battle of Faughart was fought. Source:

Thomas FitzGerald, 10th Earl of Kildare. Source:

Perkin Warbeck, drawn by an unknown artist. Source:

Lambert Simnel with Irish supporters, drawn by an unknown artist, from the 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, vol. 25 (1910). Source: Wikimedia Commons.