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Revolution and Evolution


Edited By John Strachan and Alison O'Malley-Younger

The essays in this collection all revolve around the notion of change in Ireland, whether by revolution or by evolution. Developments in the shared histories of Ireland and Great Britain are an important theme throughout the book. The volume begins by examining two remarkable Irishmen on the make in Georgian London: the boxing historian Pierce Egan and the extraordinary Charles Macklin, eighteenth-century actor, playwright and manslaughterer. The focus then moves to aspects of Hibernian influence and the presence of the Irish Diaspora in Great Britain from the medieval period up to the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century celebrations of St Patrick’s Day in Manchester. The book also considers the very different attitudes to the British Empire evident in the career of the 1916 rebel Sir Roger Casement and the Victorian philologist and colonial servant Whitley Stokes. Further essays look at writings by Scottish Marxists on the state of Ireland in the 1920s and the pronouncements on the Troubles by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
The book also examines change in the culture of the island of Ireland, from the development of the Irish historical novel in the nineteenth century, to ecology in contemporary Irish women’s poetry, to the present state of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland. Contemporary Irish authors examined include Roddy Doyle, Joseph O’Connor and Martin McDonagh.


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Bryneich – Rìoghachd Ghàidhealach: The Gaelic Foundations of the Golden Age of Northumbria PAUL L. YOUNGER 61


Bryneich – Rìoghachd Ghàidhealach: The Gaelic Foundations of the Golden Age of Northumbria Paul L. Younger The veneration of a real or supposed Celtic past is undergoing a curious, paradoxical process of simultaneously suffering two diametrically opposite fates: a positive fate in the realms of popular culture, and a negative one in the sphere of academic endeavour. In everyday life, the ‘Celtic brand’ has become so successful that it is almost impossible to find a town of any size in Britain, North America or, indeed, much of mainland Europe, which does not boast at least one Irish theme pub, usually decorated in a standard faux-retro style, which casually blends elements of dusty Georgian archi- tecture with scattered words in Irish, and folksy decorations based on the swirling patterns of illuminated manuscripts that drew on traditions of the La Tène culture. So widespread has the ‘Plastic Paddy Pub’ become that one of the best reasons to visit Ireland nowadays (at least if one avoids the Temple Bar area) is precisely for the relative absence of Irish theme bars. This proliferation of what might be described as a rehabilitated ‘Celtic Cool’ has particularly flourished in the decade since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement on 10 April 1998. Most members of the Irish diaspora in Britain now in their late forties and fifties can remember the opposite trend when the Troubles first began to penetrate British consciousness in the late 1960s and early 1970s: the abrupt cessation of public...

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