In the days before scientific advances and the accompanying rise of modern conveniences made life easier, people born with severely limiting disabilities relied very much upon compassion, understanding and networks of support in order to make their way in the world.
Rex Lee’s story is one of somebody who overcame disability, never allowing it to limit his outlook or narrow his horizons. Motivated and guided by a philosophy of mental and physical compensation, he seized every opportunity that was offered to lead an active, fulfilling and independent life.
"Out of desperation was born the motivation to embrace the philosophy of physical and mental compensation: by finding a faculty for the one he lost or never had. Rex is living proof that this can overcome most obstacles to leading a normal and independent life. It has in his own words been ‘a privileged existence’." – friend and colleague, Peter McKevitt (from the Foreword to this edition)
Rex’s story is also the story of Ireland as a country striving to assert itself on the world stage, overcoming barriers and obstacles that history had put in the way. His account spans much of period following Independence. Through his own involvement and activism (including work with organisations such as Macra na Feirme and the Irish Farmers’ Association) he both witnessed and played a part in the making and shaping of the Irish society that has been handed down to us today.
"This memoir celebrates one man’s ability to transcend difficult circumstances and forge a life of adventure and meaning" – Noel French
Rex Lee is an author, film-maker, campaigner on behalf of disabled people and well known for his work with organisations such as Macra na Feirme and the Irish Farmers Association. He holds a Masters Degree in Film Studies from University College Dublin and has also directed a documentary on the monastic history of Kells in Co. Meath, where he lives and works.