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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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Part II Philosophical, Cultural and Commercial Exchanges in Space and Time


Eugene O’Brien The Year(s) of the French: The French Revolution as a Spatio-Temporal Event Intellectual and political connections between Ireland and France have been long-established at all levels of societal, linguistic and cultural inter- action. In terms of historical specificity, the French Revolution has been seen as a template for the actions and ideological position of the United Irishmen, whose 1798 Rebellion owed a lot, in both form and substance, to the revolution that began in Paris on 14 July 1789. In this chapter, I will look at how the French Revolution travelled to Ireland, and also at how what I term the ‘real’ of the revolution has travelled through time to have very dif ferent ef fects on the Irish and French public spheres. In a historical context, Theobald Wolfe Tone, the leader of the 1798 Rebellion in Ireland, said that his political position was inf luenced largely by the French Revolution, which, as he wrote later ‘changed in an instant the politics of Ireland’, dividing political thinkers from that moment into ‘aristocrats and democrats’.1 Perhaps the central socio-political inf luence of the French Revolution was the libertarian and emancipatory thrust of its informing secular Enlightenment ethic. Enlightenment theories of society and government, embodied in practice by the French Revolution, of fered an example of how a seemingly stratified and hierarchical society could be completely changed according to the will of the people. They also of fered an ethical demand that alterity, in the shape of the people,...

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