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Distributed for University College Dublin Press

The Tale of a Great Sham

With an Introduction by Margaret Ward

In late-nineteenth century Ireland, an agrarian revolution was brewing, spearheaded by the 1879 formation of the National Land League, who sought to a pathway for impoverished tenant farmers to own the land they worked. The ideas of the all-male organization were so incendiary for their time that, in 1881, its leaders created the Ladies Land League so “that the women might carry on the work after the men were imprisoned” and appointed Anna Parnell—sister of Land League president Charles Stewart Parnell—as its head.

Tale of a Great Sham is Anna Parnell’s account of the work of the Ladies Land League, as well as a detailed analysis of what she saw as the shortcomings of the National Land League’s executive members. Anna was a committed radical and remained one even after her brother Charles had dropped his most progressive views in favor of what she saw as a watered-down compromise—the so-called “great sham” of the Kilmainham Treaty, which did little to alleviate the injustices suffered by tenant farmers. Featuring an introduction from the renowned feminist historian Margaret Ward, Tales of a Great Sham is a comprehensive study of an important group overlooked for too long in the chronicles of Ireland’s radical past.

120 pages | 8 1/4 x 5 1/4

History: British and Irish History

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Table of Contents

ContentsAcknowledgementsIntroduction: Dana HearneTHE TALE OF A GREAT SHAMAntecedents of the Land LeagueThe FamineThe Land LeagueThe Working of the Land League Rent at the Point of the Bayonet The Ladies’ Land LeagueThe Land ActThe No Rent ManifestoThe End of the Land LeagueThe Ballina and Phoenix Park Murders The End of the Ladies’ Land·League Sequel of the Land LeagueConclusion Appendices Bibliography Notes

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