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Reinterpreting Emmet

Essays on the Life and Legacy of Robert Emmet

Robert Emmet’s life, death, and immediate elevation into the pantheon of Irish nationalist heroes are well known. These essays on Emmet’s life and legacy, however, demonstrate a new interdisciplinary approach to studies of the Irish nationalist hero. "Reinventing Emmet" includes essays on commemoration, literature, legal history and aspects of the Emmet legacy not explored elsewhere, such as studies of his influence on American culture, and draws on research from young as well as established scholars. Robert Emmet is an Irish (and Irish-American) nationalist icon. Although Emmet’s rebellion of 1803 was an embarrassing failure, his speech from the dock prior to his execution for high treason has captured national and international imagination. The trial, the speech, and the image of Emmet have in many ways superseded his actual achievements, and have been perpetually reproduced across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, culminating in the bicentenary of Emmet’s rebellion in 2003. But what is Emmet’s legacy? Is there more to this iconic figure than a failed rebellion and a memorable speech?

256 pages

History: British and Irish History

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Table of Contents

Introduction Section 1 Revisiting Emmet - ’The cause of treason seems to have gone out of fashion in Ireland’ - Dublin Castle and Robert Emmet, Thomas Bartlett Revelation and Romanticism - The Revolutionary Ideology of Thomas Russell, James Quinn ’Permanent tranquility will not be established while the present system is continued’ - Charles James Fox and Ireland 1801-3, Patrick Walsh ’Unhappy is the man and nation whose destiny depends on the will of another!’ - Social and linguistic perspectives on Robert Emmet’s mission to France, Sylvie Kleinman ’The reptile that had stung me’ - William Plunket and the Trial of Robert Emmet, Maeve Ryan Section 2 Reinventing Emmet - Missing Robert Emmet - William Godwin’s Irish Expedition, Timothy Webb Robert Emmet and Nineteenth-Century Irish America, Charles Fanning Prophecy and Posterity - Robert Emmet in America, Patrick M. Geoghegan Saying ’No’ to Robert Emmet, Norman Vance ’It might be just as well, perhaps, to forget about poor Emmet’, Anne Dolan Section 3 Reflections on Emmet - Pearse’s Emmet, Seamas O Buachalla Robert Emmet and Roger Casement, W. J. Mc Cormack The Trial of Robert Emmet, Adrian Hardiman Index.

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