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Franco-Irish Connections in Space and Time

Peregrinations and Ruminations


Edited By Eamon Maher and Catherine Maignant

Strong cultural, commercial, literary and intellectual links have existed for many centuries between the Celtic cousins France and Ireland and continue to flourish today. This book explores some of the connections that have been forged over space and time by groups and individuals travelling between the two countries.
Covering subjects as varied as travel literature, music, philosophy, wine production, photography and consumer culture, and spanning the seventeenth through to the twenty-first centuries, the collection draws attention to the rich tapestry of interconnections and associations which confirm this unique and mutually beneficial friendship. The book examines the role of figures such as Boullaye-le-Gouz, Coquebert de Montbret, Sydney Owenson, Alain de Lille, Augusta Holmes, Alain Badiou, Wolfe Tone, Jacques Rancière, the ‘Wine Geese’, the O’Kelly family, Marguerite Mespoulet, Madeleine Mignon, Jules Verne, Hector Malot, Harry Clifton, John McGahern, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Kate O’Brien, John Broderick, Brian Moore and François Mauriac. The essays will appeal to both academic and general readers and to anyone with an interest in Franco-Irish relations.


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When it comes to ‘reimagining’ Ireland, as the series in which this study is appearing purports to do, it is always useful to consider how the country is perceived by those ‘outside’ its borders. Equally, it can be instructive to ref lect on how Ireland relates to other societies, or how it applies certain values acquired elsewhere to its own particular context. It is dif ficult to explain the significant impact Ireland has exerted, and continues to exert, around the globe. At times it seems as though our politicians and diplomats enjoy almost unlimited access to the most inf luential figures in countries like America, Great Britain, China and France. By examining Franco-Irish connections in space and time, and the especially close and longstanding friendship that exists between France and Ireland, it is possible to discover a lot about how Ireland has attained the enviable position it occupies on the world stage. While some of the gloss of our image was undoubtedly tarnished during the Celtic Tiger boom and bust, and the relationship with France strained by some strident talk from former President Sarkozy in relation to our generous corporation tax regime, nevertheless there is still a ‘special’ relationship between the two Celtic cousins, one that is based on mutual respect and appreciation. Connections between France and Ireland go back to prehistoric times and they were well-established when Rome reigned supreme in most of Europe, with the exception of Ireland. In those remote times, Irish chief- tains imported Gaulish wine,...

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