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Young Ireland and the Writing of Irish History

In 1842 a small group of Irish nationalists, who would later be known as Young Ireland, founded the Nation newspaper. They saw their mission as awakening the Irish people to the fact that they were an historic nation that should determine its own future. Ireland, they insisted, had a proud history, which told of sufferings bravely endured, resistance that had never faltered and a national spirit that had never been crushed. However, since Ireland’s history had mostly been written by its conquerors, the true record of her past had been misrepresented, leading the Nation to proclaim that ’The history of Ireland has not yet been written’. Rectifying this was one of their most pressing tasks, to which they devoted much of their labour. This work examines why Young Ireland attached such importance to the writing of history, how it went about writing that history, and what impact their historical writings had. Young Ireland and the Writing of Irish History deeply explores the Young Ireland vision of history.Often selective and polemical, but ultimately compelling and powerful, their vison would inspire generations with a pride in Ireland’s history, and would set the scene for the revolutionary period 1916-21 that followed.

228 pages

History: British and Irish History


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Introduction Chapter 1 - Laying The Foundations - The Nation, Education And Temperance Chapter 2 - Reading History - Contemporary Authors, Antiquarians And Foreign Influences Chapter 3 - Writing History Chapter 4 - The Uses Of History Chapter 5 - Making History Chapter 6 - The History Of Their Own Times - Memoirs, Journals And Polemics Chapter 7 - Continuities - From The Celtic Union To Griffith’s ’Ballad History’ Chapter 8 - The Legacy Of Young Ireland’s Writings Notes Biographical Notes Bibliography Index.

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