When Desmond FitzGerald died on?? September ????, obituaries paid tribute to his involvement with organizations such as the Irish Georgian Society and the Irish Architectural Archive. Over the previous decades, however, Desmond achieved far more than has yet been acknowledged. Not only did he battle to save his ancestral home, Glin Castle, from destitution but he ensured the survival of many other historic houses in Ireland, raising large sums at home and overseas for this cause. Without his passion and commitment, Ireland’s architectural heritage today would be much the poorer. A pioneer in the field of Irish cultural studies, Desmond was awarded a postgraduate scholarship to Harvard, where he began a thesis on eighteenth-century Irish architecture. At a time when little was known about the subject, even in Ireland, Desmond’s research proved invaluable and brought Irish design to the attention of the public. The range of his interests and the consistently high quality of his published material across the spectrum of Irish architecture, the decorative and fine arts, furniture and interior design, meant he paved the way for all subsequent writers on these subjects. While The Last Knight celebrates Desmond FitzGerald’s great public legacy, it is also an assessment of the man. Robert O’Byrne has spoken to a wide range of family, friends and colleagues from his schooldays onwards and read many of his letters and papers. The result is a rounded portrait of a very distinctive Irish patriot.