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Distributed for University College Dublin Press

Ireland’s Polemical Past

Views of Irish History in Honour of R.V. Comerford

How societies use the past is one of their most revealing traits. Using this insight "Ireland’s Polemical Past" examines how the inhabitants of nineteenth and twentieth-century Ireland plundered their pasts for polemical reasons. The ten essays explore how revolutionaries, politicians, churchmen, artists, tourists and builders (among others) used the Irish past in creating and justifying their own position in contemporary society. The result is a varied portrait of the problems and tensions in nineteenth and early twentieth-century society that these people tried to solve by resorting to the Irish past for inspiration and justification to make their world work. This is a book that will appeal to those who have an interest in the making of modern Ireland as well as those concerned with writing about the Irish past at any level.

240 pages

History: British and Irish History

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Table of Contents

Introduction The Church of Ireland and perceptions of Irish church history, c. 1790-1869, Jacqueline Hill ’By memory inspired’ - the past in popular song, 1798-1900, Maura Cronin Local memories and manipulation of the past in pre-famine County Leitrim, Jennifer Kelly Perceptions of Ireland and its past in nineteenth-century national school textbooks, John Coolahan An illustrious past - Victorian prosopography and Irish women writers, Margaret Kelleher Narratives of exile and displacement - Irish Catholic emigrants and the national past, 1850-1914, Enda Delaney Isaac Butt and Charles Stewart Parnell - the history of politics and the politics of history, D. George Boyce Forward to Methuselah - the progress of nationalism, R. F. Foster Excavating the Emerald Isle - the use of the past in Irish tourism, Irene Furlong Kildare County Council and perceptions of the past, Tom Nelson National patrimony and political perceptions of the Irish country house in post-independence Ireland, Terence Dooley Index.

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