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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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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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