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For the Liberty of Ireland, at Home and Abroad

The Autobiography of J. F. X. O’Brien

James Francis Xavier O’Brien is best known as a Fenian and member of the Irish Parliamentary Party, but his autobiography reveals an exciting life of bohemian travel before he entered nationalist politics. Born in Waterford, the young O’Brien studied in Paris, where he befriended artist James McNeill Whistler, left to join William Walker’s military campaign in Nicaragua, then settled in the cosmopolitan city of New Orleans on the eve of the American Civil War. He describes in detail his return to Ireland, his leadership in the Fenian insurrection of 1867 and subsequent imprisonment, and his conversion to constitutional nationalism and election to Parliament. Written between 1895 and 1897, the autobiography offers a defence of O’Brien’s political journey when competing factions were fighting for Irish nationalist hearts and minds. The autobiography is published here for the first time, edited and with a critical introduction by Jennifer Regan-Lefebvre.

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Table of Contents

Introduction by Jennifer Regan-Lefebvre For the Liberty of Ireland, at Home and Abroad - The Autobiography of J. F. X. O’Brien.

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