Revolution and Evolution
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.
Whitley Stokes’s Immram: Evolution, Ireland and Empire ELIZABETH BOYLE 101
Whitley Stokes’s Immram: Evolution, Ireland and Empire Elizabeth Boyle During the course of the nineteenth century, many young Irishmen travelled to the farthest reaches of the British Empire as members of the admin- istrative, judicial and military personnel which sustained that imperial project. One such Irishman was Whitley Stokes (1830–1909), who ini- tially had been called to the bar in London but, having been unable to attract sufficient work to support himself as a barrister there, decided to travel to Madras in the hope of obtaining a regional judgeship or post in the Governor General’s office (TCD MS 7389, no. 64).1 Stokes made his journey to India in 1862 and spent twenty successful years there, working closely with the jurist Sir Henry Maine, codifying Anglo-Indian criminal and procedural law, and eventually becoming President of the Indian Law Commission (Best, 1951). However, a century after his death, Stokes is less well known for his contribution to legal administration, than for his prolific and lasting contribution to scholarship in Celtic languages and literature. Many medieval Irish texts are to this day only available in printed form in Stokes’s editions and translations, which he published regularly from the middle of the nineteenth century until his death. Stokes’s circle of friends and acquaintances included many eminent scholars of medieval Irish cul- ture and history, including George Petrie and Eugene O’Curry, as well as some of the most significant literary and cultural figures in nineteenth- century Dublin and London: Sir Samuel Ferguson, Sir...
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