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France and Ireland in the Public Imagination


Edited By Benjamin Keatinge and Mary Pierse

This engaging collection of essays considers the cultural complexities of the Franco-Irish relationship in song and story, image and cuisine, novels, paintings and poetry. It casts a fresh eye on public perceptions of the historic bonds between Ireland and France, revealing a rich variety of contact and influence. Controversy is not shirked, whether on the subject of Irish economic decline or reflecting on prominent, contentious personalities such as Ian Paisley and Michel Houellebecq. Contrasting ideas of the popular and the intellectual emerge in a study of Brendan Kennelly; recent Irish tribunals are analysed in the light of French cultural theory; and familiar renditions of Franco-Irish links are re-evaluated against the evidence of newspaper and journal accounts.
Drawing on the disciplines of history, art, economics and literature, and dipping into the good wines of France and Ireland, the book paints a fascinating picture of the relationship between the two countries over three dramatic centuries.
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← viii | ix → Acknowledgements

The editors are deeply indebted to all who have facilitated the publication of France and Ireland in the Public Imagination. The inspiration owes much to Eugene O’Brien and John McDonagh (Mary Immaculate College, Limerick) who organized an Association for Franco-Irish Studies (AFIS) conference on the theme in 2012. The realization depended on the essay writers, on the patience of the publishers, and on the financial generosity of AFIS, to all of whom we are very grateful for their contributions. Particular thanks are due to Eamon Maher, General Editor of the Reimagining Ireland series, and to Christabel Scaife at Peter Lang, for their support. As always, the tolerance of colleagues, friends and family has been essential and is much appreciated.

Cork and Skopje, January 2014← ix | x →

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