Robert Emmet was the leader of the doomed July 1803 Irish rebellion. After a rapidly convened trial he was executed for treason by the British government in September 1803. He quickly became a legend, fuelled by his speech from the dock after the judge pronounced sentence, his doomed romance with Sarah Curran, the moving scenes from his last night in prison, and his courage and defiance at the scaffold. 200 years after his death, many nationalists can still recite by heart his famous death oration. Marianne Elliott unravels the myth. She shows how myth-makers and patriots created one of the most powerful legends in modern history.