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Ireland and the Czech Lands

Contacts and Comparisons in History and Culture

Series:

Gerald Power and Ondrej Pilny

In recent years Irish scholars have become increasingly interested in Ireland’s profound and ongoing relationship with continental Europe. This volume is the first multidisciplinary collection of essays on Irish comparisons and contacts with the Czech Lands from the early modern period to contemporary times. Written by leading specialists and emerging scholars, the essays explore Irish-Czech exchanges and parallels in a variety of fields including history, politics, literature, theatre, journalism and physical education. Collectively, these essays demonstrate that Ireland and the Czech Lands have much in common and that they have enjoyed deep cultural connections: both countries are small European states with imperial pasts and a tradition of mutual migration and cultural transfer. Until now, however, Czech-Irish commonalities and connections have largely been overshadowed by both countries’ interactions with bigger, more powerful nations. This book remedies this neglect, offering new research which not only sheds light on Irish-Czech connections and contacts, but also offers new perspectives on the positions of both societies within the wider European context.

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Jiří Brňovják The Integration of Irish Aristocratic Émigré Families in the Czech Lands, c. 1650-19

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Jiří Brňovják The Integration of Irish Aristocratic Émigré Families in the Czech Lands, c. 1650–1945: Selected Case Studies1 Until 1526 the Estates of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown were par- ticularly self-contained and reluctant to embrace foreigners into their ranks. After the incorporation of the Czech and Hungarian Lands into the Habsburg monarchy this situation gradually began to change. It was part of a bilateral process: for their part, Czech aristocrats acquired oppor- tunities to pursue careers and participate in cosmopolitan milieus beyond the borders of their homeland. The Czech Lands experienced a boom in the inf lux of foreigners after the suppression of the Estates’ uprising in 1620 and during the Thirty Years War. The new legal system imposed by the Habsburgs after the battle of the White Mountain allowed foreign- ers from Italy, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and the Austrian Lands to settle, acquire property, and to enter the ranks of the Estates. In the years that followed, members of Irish, Scottish, French and Belgian aristocratic dynasties abandoned their homelands for political or religious reasons and sought asylum or careers in Habsburg service.2 Some of these émigrés, mostly serving in the imperial army, went to the Czech Lands. There, they 1 This essay was completed with the support of the Czech Science Foundation (Project No. P405/11/1450) and the University of Ostrava (project SGS 11/FF/2013 of the Student Grant Competition). 2 Thomas M. Barker, Army, Aristocracy, Monarchy: Essays on War, Society and Government...

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