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Spring 1984

Irish Literary Supplement

Volume three, number one Edited by Robert G. Lowery $2.50


F.S.L. Lyons,
An Appreciation
A look and scholarly analysis

5 of

the most

Prof. Emmet Larkin.

eminent historian of our time, I
M ■

photographs I have seen,

he is

tall and angular; he is a

J JK scarecrow whose jacket is

I the wind, whose

whipped by
stubbled with gray
Erin’s Daughters m chin is

whiskers as he moves slowly down the steep pathway

the waits bobbing
in America landing slip. Below, naomhog
to a

like a
heartbeatin the water, its three-man crew using
documents the struggles that
throbbing swell
Anew book their it in the
oars to keep steady
of Irish to bigotry,
/ women overcome
rushes into the little harbor. On this November day in
JL4m sexism and economic hardship in
1953 the sea has risen to
oppose the leave-taking. Off-
shore in the rain and mist beyond the breaking waves

the fishing vessel St. Lawrence O’Toole stands at an-

chor impatiently for Sean-Tom and

waiting Kearney
the others to board for the voyage to Dingle pier.

Having a Great Blasket Island off the coast of West Kerry is be-

ing evacuated.

Field Day Sean-Tom Kearney had early felt the bitterness of

exile: hard labor and the rootlessness of

John Devitt examines the first of Field loneliness,
I Day’s publications, and finds that each of rented rooms in America. When he first left the Great

the authors shares historical experiences. Blasket in 1901 he was just short of twenty. He went

to Springfield, Massachusetts, and he and a brother

who had come out with him chose to remain and

become American. Sean-Tom lived and worked in

*Comely America for five years before coming home to the

mountain in the sea. After two at home

Maidens’ United
stormy years

in the great Blasket he grew restless and impatient

Ireland’s ideal with and and he tried the States
De Valera thought was
fishing farming,
I Irish women dancing at the crossroads.
he worked the made
again. This time, on railroad,
* JL Ideals change utterly. For the better.
had a tooth capped with gold, and

bought a shotgun for shooting rabbits and fowl. The

second time he returned to Ireland he was determined

Q. & A. with to stay

there permanently.

In he married Nellie Daley, a dark-eyed

John McGahern mainland woman from Dunquin, and they started a

family. There were nine children living in 1934 when

JM Eileen conducts interview
Kennedy an

Nellie died. Kate, the oldest daughter, took on the

p with one of Ireland’s best writers, now in

residence at Colgate University. responsibilities of being mother to her brothers and

sisters, and with her father they raised the childrenun-

til emigration began to take them away. One boy went

to Dublin as a
barman. Another went to England and

Not Even was in the British Merchant Marine during the war.

Eventually, all the children except Kate and young

into English
Sean emigrated from Ireland when their time came.

As if their father’s footsteps guiding them

were they
Finnegans Wake says Bernard
“The like of us will never be again.’’—Tomas O Criomthain live and work in Springfield.

came to �26
Benstock, was not meant to be translated

■ into any other

language; it was written in a

one-time-only language.

A New Look

at the Long Fellow,

De Valera and the


Breaking the Cultural Divide
In Cos. Monaghan is a cultural retreat, the estate of the late Tyrone Guthrie, where artists

°f Ireland—north and south—work at their respective talents, and, in the process, as

X .

Ethna McKiernan reports, a sense of community develops which transcends sectarian barriers.

ISSN: 0733-3390

Editorial Board

Robert G. Lowery, editor and publisher

Maureen Murphy, features editor

• •
Ben technical advisor HISTORY (pages 9-15)

Co-editors Marianne Elliott The Upstart Earl, Nicholas Canny

Alison James Broadsheet Eileen McMahon Ireland and the Irish, A Short History, Karl S. Bottigheimer
Armstrong, Joyce
Kevin St. Patrick’s Jerrold Elizabethan James P. editor
Barry, College Casway Ireland, Myers,
Audrey Eyler, Pacific Lutheran University R. Hill Prince and The Dublin Chamber L.M. Cullen
Jacqueline Pirates, of Commerce, 1783-1983,
Richard Kearney, The Crane Bag, Dublin A
Aaron W. Godfrey Packet of Letters, John Henry Cardinal Newman, Joyce Suggs, editor

Michael Kenneally, MarianopolisCollege,

Patrick J. Corish Paul Cardinal Cullen and the Shaping of Modern Irish Catholicism, Desmond
Kevin Facsimile
McEneaney, Bookshop

Kevin O’Neill Why Ireland Starved: A Quantitative and AnalyticalHistory of the Irish Economy,

1800-1850, Joel Mokyr

EDITORIAL Alan J. Ward Troublesome Business: The Labour Party and the Irish Question, Geoffrey Bell

Joyce Flynn Erin’s Daughters in America: Irish Immigrant Women in the Nineteenth Century,
Hasia R. Diner

W.E. Vaughan Peel, Priests and Politics, Donal Kerr

Three Tom Dunne Political

Violence in

and Irish
Culture and Nationalism,
Government Resistance since

1750-1950, Oliver
1848, Charles



Karl S. Bottigheimer Lord Shannon’s Letters to His Son, Richard Boyle

Stanley H. Palmer Irish Peasants and Political Unrest, 1780-1914, Samuel Clark and James S.

Donnelly, Jr., editors

Desmond Fennell Man of No Property, C.S. The Tom Meda De

Andrews; Barry Story, Ryan;

Valera’s Darkest Hour and De Valera’s Finest Hour, T. Ryle Dwyer; The Age of
De Valera, Joseph Lee and Gearoid O Tuathaigh
Catherine B. Shannon De Valera and the Ulster John Bowman
Question, 1917-1973,

(pages 16-17)


own success.



Afif T. Tannous

Terrorism in Northern

Alfred McClung Lee

Mary Memories, Gerry

started tinkering with the ideaof a book review Kurt Jacobsen Northern Ireland: The Background to Conflict, editor
the John Darby,
publication, we asked ourselves more than a

(pages 18-25) •

few questions. First, were there enough books

Edgar M. Slotkin The Festival of Lughnasa, Maire MacNeill
of Irish-interest to sustain a regular publica-
Maureen Murphy Immediate Aidan Carl Mathews
tion? Second, there enough reviewers Man,
were to
John Devitt A New Look at the Tom
maintain Language Question, Paulin; An Open Letter, Seamus
a variety of opinion in each issue?
Civilians and Barbarians, Seamus and A Version
Heaney; Deane; Sweeney Astray:
Assuming that the answers to the first two
from the Irish, Seamus Heaney
questions were affirmative, our third question
Carla Keating Fr. McDyer of Glencolumbkille: An Autobiography
was whether there was enough general interest
Anthony Bradley Belfast: An Illustrated History, Jonathan Bardon
outside of the scholastic field to attract large
Eithne Fitzgerald Women’s Rights in Ireland, Charles Mollan and Triona Nic Ghilla Choille; Women
numbers of subscribers and advertisers.
and Social Policy—North and South, Eileen Evason and Clara Clark

Since we are still here, you can assume that Dermot Moran Abortion, The Irish Question, Andrew Rynne; Your Rights as an Irish Citizen-, and

worked out everything, but we’re quitehap- Crime and Sean editor
Punishment, Mcßride,

to report that we’ve worked it out beyond Joyce Flynn Sisters: The Personal Story of an Irish Feminist, June Levine; and Up in the Park:

our initial hopes and dreams. In only four The Diary of the Wife of an American Ambassador to Ireland, 1977-1981,
Elizabeth Shannon
issues, we have published reviews by 200
Patraig O’Malley The Crane Bag, The Forum Issue
writers on over 300 books.

• •
As far as circulation and advertising FEATURES

we are equally pleased with the results. The Tom Biuso (1) The Evacuation of the Great Blasket Island

900-member American Committee for Irish An

Emmet Larkin (6-7) F.S.L. Lyons: Appreciation
Studies have entered an en masse subscription Ethna Maeve McKieman (23) Annaghmakerrig, A Cultural Retreat.

to the ILS. Outside the universities, a large Robert G. Lowery (36) The Loss of a Link

number of people who just enjoy reading Eileen Kennedy (40) Q. &A. with John McGahern

about Irish books have subscribed. Further, a John McGahern (41-43) “Parachutes,” A Short Story
number of bookstores now carry the paper on
• •
POETRY (pages 28-31)
its racks. Circulation in Canada has also
Dillon Johnston The Poetry of Austin Clarke, Gregory A. Schimer
blossomed. We haven’t checked yet, but it
James E. White Collected Poems, Desmond Egan
pears that the majority of the members of the
Gerald Da we Tom Paulin
Liberty Tree,
Canadian Association for Irish Studies have
Anthony Bradley Loose Ends, John Hewitt; Running Repairs, Norman Dugdale
subscribed, and those who haven’t have per-

Catherine A. McKenna Early Irish Verse, Ruth P.M. Lehmann

suaded their libraries to do so. Bookstores in
Robert Tracy Quoof, Paul Muldoon
Montreal, Toronto, and other Canadian cities

carry ILS. Circulation in Ireland is still in the • •

beginning stage, and our editors there are con-
Kenneth E. Nilsen The Decline of the Celtic Languages, Victor Edward Durkacz
fident that it will soon take off like a rocket.
Maureen Murphy The Irish Language: An Annotated Bibliography of Sociolinguistics Publications,
There is no reason, they for it not to.
reason, Edwards
1771-1982, John

No matter what the circulation, however,


publications such as ILS cannot subsist on

Gerard McNamara Jonathan Swift: The Brave Desponder, Patrick Reilly
subscriptions alone; the costs are too great.
Mary E. Bryson Literature from the Irish Literary Revival, An Anthology, Vemon L. Ingraham, ed.
Which is why we seek out advertising. Adver-
Maureen Waters Carleton’s “Traits and Stories” and the 19th Century Anglo-Irish Tradition,
tisers have responded to our appeal, and as the
Barbara Hayley
circulation grows their interest will increase.
• •
DRAMA (pages 35-39)
Already, several have placed standing orders
for space in every upcoming issue. Thanks in Frank McGuinness Dockers and The Interrogationof Ambrose Fogarty, Martin Lynch; The Death of

part to advertising, we’re in the black, and Humpty Dumpty, The Closed Door, and The Plays of Graham Reid, Graham Reid

what more can publishing venture want? Rhoda B. Nathan Bernard Shaw and Alfred Douglas, A Correspondence, Mary Hyde, editor

Bobby L. Smith Sean O’Casey’s Autobiographies: An Annotated Index, Robert G.


The Future John O’Riordan Sean O’Casey, James Simmons

James W. Flannery The Irish Theatre, Christopher Fitz-Simon

Based on this success, we have plans for the
Ronald Schuchard Theatre Ann Saddlemyer
will be offering in Business,
future. Shortly we ILS

• •
microfiche to accommodate demands from FICTION (pages 43-47)

libraries. We would like to have a professional Gale C. Schricker The Life of Riley, Anthony Cronin; Oasis, Padraig Rooney

advertising director, and we could use a cir- Robert Tracy The Replay, Michael Curtin; A Time to Dance, Michael MacLaverty; The Trial of
culation manager, both preferably in New Father Dillingham, John Broderick

York, We still need distribution on America’s Audrey S. Eyler Bornholm Night-Ferry, Aidan Higgins

west coast. We hopeto begin publishing in col- Robert E. Rhodes Fools ofFortune, William Trevor

or, and we think that this is just around the cor- Louise Barry The Ante-Room, Kate O’Brien

We believe that ILS would be marvelous The Broad to Mairtin O

ner. a Philip O’Leary Fifteen Short Stories, Padraig O’Conaire; Brightcity,
twice-yearly supplement to a daily or weekly
Irish or Irish-American Most of all, Maureen Connelly They Were Dreamers, James F. Murphy, Jr.

Kevin with Ronan Sheehan; The Dream of a Beast, Neil Jordan

though, we would like to increase our frequen- Barry Boy an
Injured Eye,

Kevin T. Patrick McGinley

cy of publication to three times yearly or McEneaney Foggage,

quarterly. But then, we wonder if there are •


enough books to be reviewed or if there are Bernard Benstock UnderstandingFinnegans Wake: A Guide to the Narrative to James Joyce’s
enough reviewers or if there is enough general Masterpiece, Danis Rose and John O’Hanlon

interest . . .
Armstrong Leopold Bloom: A Biography, Peter Costello

Bonnie Kime Scott Who’s He When He’s at Home: A James Shari Benstock and
We’ll have another progress report in two Joyce Directory,
Bernard Characters David G. Wright
Benstock; of Joyce,
years. We think we’ll still be around.
Kathleen McGrory The James Joyce Songbook, Ruth Bauerle, editor
For the editors

Julian Moynahan Some One Myth: Yeats’s AutobiographicalProse, Shirley Neuman

Robert G. Lowery
Richard Kain Yeats: An Annual of Critical and Textual Studies, and Yeats Annual No. 2,
Richard Finneran, alitor

• •
Letters to the Editor (4) (24) Books in Brief

2ILS, Spring 1984

Bloomsday Gets 20 G’s

A New Irish Co-Editor Xhe RadioFoundation of New York city has

been awarded a $20,000 grant by the NEH to

With this issue, the Irish Literary Supplement produce a dramatizationof Ulysses. The novel

welcomes an addition to its editorial board.; will be divided into 70 half-hour segments,

Kevin Barry, who teaches in the English each with a newly-created introduction by
department of St. Patrick’s College, Joyce-biographer Richard Ellmann.
Maynooth, has attended University College,

Dublin, and Cambridge University where he

centered his research on the 18th-century

tice and theory of literature, especially in rela-

Irish Artists and Grenada
tion to Enlightenment ideas about language.

He is the editorial board of The Crane Bag,

Xhe Winter 1983 Artletter of the Association

Ireland’s premier cultural journal of Irish of Artists in Ireland placed on record “its total

studies, and is a member of the Council of the condemnation of the armed intervention in

Irish Film Institute. In addition to his editorial Grenada by the United States of America,”

responsibilities, Kevin will be coordinating noting that it endangered “the genuine rights
distribution efforts of ILS in Ireland. Kevin of self determinationof the peopleof Grenada

joins Richard Kearney, our other Irish editor. and the freedom and autonomy of its artists.”

Without them, ILS would be a poorer publica-

tion; with them, ILS readers are treated to the

best in Irish criticism and scholarship. Irish Art in New York

New York City has so many art galleries that

an Irish art exhibition occasionally passes

without a notice in any of the major

newspapers. October is obviously a great

month for holding such exhibitions, for there

were three separate presentations that month

in 1983. At the Kelleher Gallery on Lexington

Ave. were eight Irish artists, including Michael

Mulcahy, Michael Cullen, Brian Magurie,

Eithne Jordan, Joe Hanly, Andy Folan,

Charles Cullen, and Sean O’Murcu. Louis le

Brocquy was at the Gimel-Weitzenhoffer on

Madison Ave., and Brian D. Yates held a

two-week exhibition at the American Irish

Historical Society on Fifth Ave.

Year of the French Author Honored

Barry Xom Flanagan, author of the prize-winning

novel, The Year of the French, was chosen the

Kevin 1983 Medalist of the American Irish Historical

Society. Flanagan is the first Irish-American

DUBLIN POET Eavan Boland was the recipient of the Irish American Cultural Institute novelist and the first writer in fifty win
years to
Award of $5OOO in 1983, the Institute’s 18th Annual Literary Award. L-R: Irish actress
the award. The annual journal of the AIHS,
Blanaid Irvine; lACI President Dr. Eoin McKiernan; poet Eavan Boland; and Sean White,
The Recorder, dedicated its number to
MLA Lists Non-birthday Dean of the School of Irish Studies, Dublin.
Flanagan. It included essays and poems by
Xhe Winter 1983 number of the MLA
Benedict Kiely, Seamus Heaney, Kevin
Newsletter noted that 1984is a memorableyear
Sullivan, John Montague, Denis Donoghue,
because it is the centennial of, inter alia, the
Terence Cardinal Cooke, Garret Fitz Gerald,
publication of Huckleberry Finn, the premiere John A. Murphy, Hilary Pyle, and Dorothy
of Ibsen’s The Wild Duck, and the birth of
Sean O’Casey. (What, again?) Reference
books published listed Irish-U.S. Accord
many years ago Publishing
O’Casey as having been born in 1884 (but it’s. Xhe Longwood Publishing Group, Inc. (51
surprising how books still have it).
many newer
Washington Street, Dover NH 03820) have an-
O’Casey himself started this fiction simply
nounced a major publishing deal with the
because he thought he was born in 1884. His er-
University Press of Ireland, headed by Sean

ror helped him to win the Hawthornden

Browne. According to the
one report, agree-
Literary Prize in 1926, which was awarded to a
ment calls for scholarly books in excess of
promising writer under forty years of age (for
$350,000 (!) to be distributed in the U.S. One
Juno and the Paycock, which was written in
of the forthcoming titles is a three-volume
1924). Many years later when he had to obtain
study, Anglo-Irish Literature: A Critical
a birth certificate, he discovered that the year
History. Volume I, edited by Andrew
was 1880.
Carpenter, is “Literatureof the Ascendancy to

1830.” Volume 11, edited by Anne Clune, is

Bowman Gets Prize for Dev Book
“The Gaelic Renaissance, 1831-1922.’’
John Bowman was awarded the Christopher Volume 111, editedby Terence Brown, is “The
Ewart Biggs Memorial Prize in Belfast recently ” “ ”
Modern Period. It is specially priced at

for his book De Valera and the Ulster Ques- for the volume
set, with each selling separately
tion, 1917-1973. Bowman’s book (reviewed in for $3O.
this issue of ILS) was chosen over Edward Ben-

nett’s film Ascendancy, Robert Fisk’s study of “Cal” in Second

Irish netruality, In Time of War-, John
vJeorge Braziller publishers in New York
Hewitt’s poetry collection, Loose Ends’, and
have reprinted another 5000 copies of Bernard
William Trevor’s novel, Fools of Fortune.
MacLaverty’s highly-touted novel, Cal, bring-
Seamus Heaney presented the award to Dr.
ing the in-print U.S. total to 10,000 copies. In-
cidentally, the Irish have reported that

Cal has been made into a film, starring Helen

New Distributors
Mirren and John Lynch. It will be available for

.Irish Books and Media (683 Osceola Ave., St.

viewing within the year.
Paul MN 55105) have become the exclusive

distributor of Blackstaff Publishers (Belfast). New Irish Studies Annual


If Blackstaff has it, get it from St. Paul. In-

W atch for the of a “Modem

cidentally, IB&M has a large supply of both Irish Criticism” journal. Its editor, Michael

scholarly and general books. . . Poetry RACHEL ROMERO, through her Kenneally of Marianopolis College in Mon-
publisher Leon Klayman (PO Box 31428, San Fran-

Ireland is now handled in North America by cisco CA 94131), continues to turn wide variety
treal, has formed an editorial board of Seamus
out a of lino-cut subjects on postcards and
Irish Studies, the same folks who bring Her latest Irish subject is Samuel Beckett, Deane, University College Dublin; Jennifer
you notepaper. to go along with Joyce and O’Casey
Theatre Ireland, The Crane Bag and the Irish (with Yeats in the works). She has nearly fifty others, including Garcia Lorca, Steinbeck, Johnson, Irish novelist; Richard Kearney,

Literary Supplement. Subscriptions are $l2 for Billie Holliday, Edith Piaf, and other artists, singers and writers. Write her for a free editor of The Crane Bag-, Ann Saddlemyer,
this quarterly publication. See the advertise- catalogue. Univ. of Toronto; Bernard Benstock, Univ. of

ment elsewhere in this issue. Tulsa; Joseph Ronsley, McGill Univ.; and

Robert Lowery, editor of the ILS

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ILS, Spring 1984,3

Will the Real Frank Connor Stand? Misrepresentation of ‘Consciousness’ An Incomplete Review Protested


Diggory replies:
1 Terence

qualified praise you are receiving (and

Michael Steinman’s say-nothing review of
Literary Supplement, the George Braziller
ing) for ITS, but after adding
It would be difficult to give a comprehensive
publishing company has been advertising the my own plaudit, of book in the 500 words allotted
account any
James Matthews’ Voices: A Life of Frank I must correct a few misstatements in Terence
book, The Celtic Consciousness, Robert to review by ITS. Gale Schricker ignores
O’Connor. Actually, Steinman doesn’t say Diggory’s review of book, A New
O’Driscoll editor (ISBN 0 8076 1041 0). I my Species this limitation in her to disassociate
nothing. He says—sounding like kin—the of Man: The Poetic Persona of W. B. Yeats, in
bought a copy of this book while on a visit to
ITS from villainies and to distort limita-
my a
book is close to “flawless.” And he, some the Spring 1983
or issue.
the United States. When I got home, however, tion in which I wrote into seeming a limitation
mindless editor, headlines the review “An
I discovered that I had been the victim of “false ITS produced a review of book in record
my in what I read. Such distortion is typified in the
Olympian Portrait ...” The trouble with the the not and for that service deserve the
advertising,” since Braziller edition is time, you slipperiness with which she moves from “Had
piece is that itoffers littleor no evidence—Mat-
the complete work of that published gratitude of authors as well readers. Dig-
name, as as
Diggory addressed himself ...” presumably
thews asserted diligence aside—for the
by McClelland and Stewart in 1981.1 was even gory’s review, however, was noticeably in- in review, to “he would have found . . . ,”
superlatives. (“Almost flawless,” Steinman
more annoyed when I discovered that Braziller complete, addressing itself entirely to the In-
of her book. I
presumably in my reading did
calls Voices, a book that “has no real competi-
had omitted the entire final section of the troduction and first (and shortest) chapter of read Schricker’s book in its entirety, a fact sug-
tion;” “irreplacable,” “unsurpassed,”
book, Section VII entitled “Considerations in four. For other readers who might be in-
gested even by the points to which she takes ob-
“definitive,” “enthralling”; and having ex-
the Transmissions of Celtic Culture: Canada terested in Yeats’s poetic persona,
I would like jection. She refers those abused by review
hausted the vocabularly of boosterism in 2Vi
and the Celtic Consciousness.” to correct some of the errors arising from this to 19 of her book for the explanation of
columns, he credits Matthews by derogating
incomplete reading. First, Diggory claims the
A close examinationof the book reveals no her decision to omit consideration of Yeats’s
unnamed sensationalists, saying, in a curious
book “unquestioningly” equates the pronoun
clue that Braziller has removed 54 pages from plays. Since Schricker does not see fit to quote
phrase, that Matthews “does not probe in
the original The index has been refor- “I” with the poetic persona—this is part so that explanation in her letter, let me provide it
O’Connor’s stormy life for its own sake, as
but not “unquestioningly.” Had Diggory ad-
matted, the cataloguing information con- here: “The empirical aspect of Yeats’s poetic
another literary voyeur.”) It is grossly
it in dressed himself to chapter 4, the culmination
ceals the fact, and there is no mentionof persona derives from the autobiographical in-
I believe, heap such praise
misleading, to upon
of the book’s thesis, he would have found on
the preface the book in T thus
or on jacket or put of the poet himself. Yeats’s poetic
a cheap little tract that sounds on every page of the
Braziller’s advertising. Asa I am page 131 and following an explanation does not in his plays, in which each
consumer, appear
like the academic spluttering of a graduate stu-
“I” as heroic character creating a quest struc-
annoyed; as a Canadian I’m furious; and as character has an objective identity of its own.”
dent from one of the lesser schools of educa-
librarian I’m appalled! How will they ture within the Collected Poems. Chapter 3, I less than direct paraphrase of
a trace attempted no a
tion—illiterate, imperceptive, written with the also unconsidered in the
a citation or ask for a interlibrary loan if they review, deals in detail this statement in review when I
my wrote,
left hoof.
and depth with the theoretical basis of this
do not know that the Braziller edition is an in- “Because they cannot employ Yeats’s T,’
Frank O’Connor was himself surely “an identification. Diggory also objects to the
complete form of the McClelland and Stewart Schricker omits a consideration of Yeats’s
Olympian.” How unfortunate that he should edition? omission of Yeats’s plays from the considera- Aside from the naive of
plays.” conception
be memorialized by Matthews, whose work tion of the Beside the fact that the title
persona. implied in Schricker’s statement, it
You are in a unique position to bring this to persona
William Maxwell correctly characterizes, in a identifies the book as a study of the poetic and
the attention of students, scholars, librarians, seemed to raise a methodological contradiction
perceptive review in The New Yorker (27 June not dramatic persona, there is further explana- with her later treatment of Yeats’s third-person
publishers, and booksellers who are interested
1983), as “smalland mean-spirited.” Maxwell, tion of this decison on page 19. (The dramatic, fiction. On 55, which Schricker insinuates
in Irish and Celtic studies. I believe that you page
who knew O’Connorwell and prized his work, mask-like aspect of the is attended to
persona I did not read, I read, “There is narrative T
would be performing a valuable service if you
amply illustrates the limits of Matthews. in chapter 1.) This well as all
page likewise, as in the tales of ‘The Secret Rose’,” yet I found
could publish a short note advising its readers
(“Item;” O’Connor’s unprofessionalism vis a of chapter 2, should have clarified what Dig- Schricker nevertheless proceeding to discuss
about the loss of the Canadian material from
vis O’Faolain, “a professional man of letters.” at the book’s inconsistent inclusion of
gory sees those tales.
the Braziller edition.
“Item:” O’Connor’s raising the hackles of un-
third-person fiction. Mythologies is studied as Given the limits of assignment, I
named and probably imaginary “trained
Many thanks for your attention.
example of how a persona can structure a
ted to write what seemed possible: a summary
specialists” by the “entertaining petulance” of Is mise le meas, DOROTHY JEAN MILNE
body of discrete stories, thus leading to the
of the main issues involved in Schricker’s book
his comments on Romanesque architecture in Collections Librarian of
discussion in chapter 4 of the quest structure
and of the reasons why her treatment of those
Irish Miles.) In fact, Maxwell says that he fails Memorial Univeristy of Newfoundland
the Collected Poems. Additionally, a reading issues was, to me, disappointing. Should the
to recognize O’Connor in Matthews’ shoddy of chapter 2 would have disclosed that no book find “more thorough and attentive”
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Braziller
book. Who could? Sprinkling it with sonorous company
is attended
“third-person” narrator to but, readers, I
expect they will be even more disap-
Steinman resounds —like invited to reply to this letter.
kudos, a was
again, the first-person persona that is closely than I.
goose. WILLIAM A. FAHEY identified with Yeats.

C.W. Post College

I thank
you for the review and hope future

readers will be more thorough and attentive.


Michael Steinman replies: Fordham University


notice the following comments in the review of


he tends to judge O’Connor’s In Appreciation: Piaras Henebry and Grattan Freyer High Standard
actions more harshly than many may think ap-

propriate.”and Matthews often

let me I the two issues I

that enjoyed
. ,

moloney’s appreciation say

weakens his industrious research by attaching Mick
tion of the late Seumas Ennis
in Rathfamham Castle. A bom rebel, he was
Just saw of the ILS. If you maintain that high
[Spring grand-nephew of Dr. Richard Henebry, a
to it glib, quasi-psychoanalytical conclusions
standard will be doing the cause of Irish
1983] was apposite and warm; Ennis was a Waterford priest who spoke 14 languages (with you
that do neither the book’s diligence nor
familiar figure in Ring, Cos, Wexford, the only life and letters a good service. I look forward to
a Ph.D. from Heidelberg) yet refused to speak
O’Connor justice. Often, he resorts to
Gaeltacht in the southeast of Ireland, future issues. BERNARD LOUGHLIN
surviving English to my grandmother, his cousin, order-
simplistic dichotomy or falls back on cliche, us-
in the late 19505, and many’s the late Director, Tyrone Guthrie Center
seem nos
ing her to throw out her piano from her Cos.
ing banalities to sum up the subtleties of
session we held there while he recorded Waterford farmhouse,
emotions. ...”
a “symbol of British
character or Although the
locals—Nicolas Toibin and Labhras Dreiper, A decent enough she
imperialism.” woman,
two overlap in a scholarly work, there is a
A Splendid Idea
among others—for the BBC. Convivial and
crucial difference between information and
ignored his admonition. (Richard Henebry was

talented, he had a great affinity for the plain, the first to occupy the Chair of Celtic Studies at
judgment. Although I praised Matthews’
Gaelic-speaking people of Ireland. Catholic Univ., Washington, D.C., a chair en- ILS splendid idea and I have
research, had serious reservations about the
I was a

Two other literary figures died in the past dowed by 70,000 Irish-American blue-collar learned much from the issues already
judgments derived from it. Fahey may be of-
year, practically unnoticed: Dr. Piaras workers who wanted Irish to rival other published. Clearly this
fendedby Voices because of this, but he would was a great need; con-

Henebry, S.J., and Dr. Grattan Freyer. They languages at the institution. Later, Henebry,
be to condemn the book as unworthy gratulations on filling it.

for its flaws.

were at opposite ends of the Irish rainbow in who co-founded Ring Gaelic College with ANNSADDLEMYER

almost everything. Henebry, who died in Archbishop Sheehan, opposed Patrick University of Toronto
Secondly, I have the highestpersonal and ar-
Dublin at 70, was a Gaelic enthusiast and a Pearse’s brand of simple Irish, saying it was
tistic respect for William Maxwell, a sensitive
native speaker from Portlaw. He entered the akin “to the mincing gait of a millinery shop-
and gifted writer and a perceptive editor, yet I
A Correction
Jesuits, he told me once, under the misap- walker.” He died at 54 on March 17, 1916,
must differ from his eloquent denunciation of
prehension that they would permit him to con- weeks before the Rising, much, I’m to his
Voices, upon which Fahey relies. Mr. Maxwell
tinue his interest in Gaelic hurlingand football; celestial distress. Richard Henebry was an
was an exceedingly devoted friend of O’Con- review [October 1983) of Stanley
instead he found the sombre Jesuits more in- original.) His grand-nephew, Piaras Henebry, My The Unexpected Shaw,
nor’s; thus, this often unsympathetic book Weintraub’s ow-
terested in rugby and Gilbert and Sullivanthan had much the same kind of single-
desecration of dear ing to a misprint, alludes to the contents as
seems an unforgivable a
in Gaelic pursuits. However, he persevered, mindedness—he remained true to himself and
friend’s Indeed, Mr. Maxwell’s in- “almost a score of previously published
was ordained, with a graduatedegree in Celtic to those of us who admired him; his life inter-
ability to recognize the Michael O’Donovan he (1958-62) pieces.” The dates in parenthesis
Studies, and became a folklore collector in rogated ours.
knew in Voices is tribute to his great love for should have read 1958-82.5.F. GALLAGHER
Ring, where I happened to be curate. He was
the man more than criticism ofthe book for its Freyer, whose last stop on this year’s Trent University
especially interested in linguistics. of the U.S.,
inaccuracies. Fahey should realize that the in- tour was at our college, had stayed
I’d known himsince I was a teenager and fell with us twice in the last 12 months, Cambridge-
dividual perspectives of a close friend and
under his spell. He was a man of integrity and educated, he was widely-travelled—once
scholarly reader might contradict each other,
passion where Gaelic was concerned. Never hitch-hiking across Australia by earning
but each would still be valid and true.

once did we ever converse in English except in from “throwing” ceramics. He was
Finally, I would encourage Fahey to read
the presence of my mother who didn’t speak tickled that the U.S. Air Force Academy had
Thomas Flanagan’s review of Voices {New
Irish. Unfortunately, he fell afoul of his asked him back to lecture to 500 officer cadets
Republic , April 25, 1983), for Flanagan,
superiors in the late 1950s when he was accused about Yeats. Yet, he confided, he would never
another close friend of O’Connor’s, praised it
of being spiritual director to Sean Sabhat of live else but Ireland. He died in Cos.
“sensitive and shrewd,” “astonishingly
as ac-
Garryowen, the Limerickman killed by British Mayo just after his return from what was his
curate,” and “worthy of [its] subject.” Fahey
forces over the Border in 1956. Fr. Henebry “last hurrah” in the U.S.
is entitled to disagree; however, he should not
was banishedby the Jesuits from Crescent Col-
Ar dheis De raibh a n-anam.
in doing so, that he speaks for all of go
lege, Limerick, to Dublinwhere he spent his re-
O’Connor’s friends or for all objective readers. VICTOR POWER
maining years working out of a cluttered room
Cochise College, Arizona

4 ILS, Spring 1984

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ILS, Spring 1984,5

How narrow is the gate, and strait the that leadeth unto

life, and few are

they that find it.

Matthew 7:14

Francis stewart leland lyons died

1983, in

Dublin after a brief illness on September 21,

his fifty-ninth He was the most eminent Irish historian

of his generation, and his career as a teacher, administrator,

and scholar was as distinguished at it was productive and

fruitful. Indeed, his achievement was extraordinary. His

teaching and academic which spanned more than


thirty-five impressive in terms of the honors

years, was very

and distinctions he earned. He began his career as a lec-

turer in history at the University of Hull in 1947. In 1951

he returned to his alma mater, Trinity College, Dublin, as a

Fellow, where he continued to teach history until 1964, when

he was appointed the first professor of history at the

recently-founded University of Kent at Canterbury. He was

elected master of Eliot College in that University in 1969,

and served in the post until 1972, when he retired and resum-

ed his professorship. Finally, in 1974, he accepted the

appointment of
returned again

to Ireland.
of Trinity College,

He resigned as
Dublin, and

Provost in 1981,
and accepted an appointment as professor of history in the

College in order to resume that scholarly work which had

raised him to such pre-eminance in the field of Irish history.

In the course of his scholarly Professor Lyons


published seven major books, numerous articles, and a

countless numberof reviews. The that

quality distinguished
all his published work, and which indeed became his

hallmark, scrupulous scholarship informed by lucid

was a a
and balanced thoughtfulness. His first book, published in

1951, The Irish Parliamentary Party, 1890-1910, was a EMMET LARKIN

detailed monograph in which he traced the course of politics

after the fall and death of Parnell. It was a difficult task

because the period was both anti-climactic and rife with

faction, but the young scholar responded to the challenge by

choosing a time-frame that allowed him to maximizethe up-

ward sweep of his narrative line, and produced what has

remained to this day a fundamental contribution to Irish

political history. This interest in post-Pamellite politics led to

his enduring interest in the great man himself, and in 1960 he

published The Fall of Parnell, 1890-1891.The result was an

elegant and intense study of the period between the

celebrated revelations in the London divorce court in

November, 1890, and the death of Parnell eleven months

later in October, 1891.

Whilethis volume was certainly the most beautifully writ- Still—and it Northern Ireland had dark shadow
was a real measure of his continuing growth cast a over Lyons’s
ten of all of Lyons’s work, and will remain, therefore, a
did find the whole fault earlier optimism about Ireland’s future, and it is significant
as an historian—Lyons not to be
perennial classic in the literature of the Pamellite period, with those who would that though the second edition would im-
not listen to these prophets of anew go through eight
there was a further significance to it far the develop-
as as order. He was careful to point out that these political pressions to 1982, he did not chose to revise it again. There
ment of its author historian was concerned. It was evi-
as an idealists also failed because they were also other why he unable to undertake
were a small, tightly-knit reasons was any

dent from his first book on the Parliamentary Party that the further revisions.
elite, who “lived by the light of reason and they fell into the From 1973, he was hard pressed by a

political personality which had the greatest attraction for mistake of that they number of scholarly commitments and heavy ad-
supposing were living in a rational a

him was that of William O’Brien. O’Brien was a rare

world.” “This, ministrative load. For
we may concede,” he added most
over a quarter of a century, he had
political idealist whose career might be summed up in that been fascinated by the of Parnell, and he
tively, “argues a wonderful and touching faith in human personality finally
sublime epithet—a romantic. Lyons’s appreciation of the decided that he would bring that interest
nature, but it also reveals a remoteness from reality, which is to fruition in a full-

romantic quality in O’Brien undoubtedly led him to his in-

also inexplicable in view of what know have been the length and definitive biography. While engaged on Parnell,
we to

terest in Parnell, but in the end the experience was a sobering of Europe at that time.” In the last analysis, however, however, he was invited by Oxford University Press in late

rather than an exhilerating one. He came to appreciate that, 1973 undertake the official biography of William Butler
Lyons would not give their ghost, for, although they had to

though Parnellwas truly a great man, fromthe point of view failed, they had left us their legacy, and if the had in- Yeats. He accepted the commission with enthusiasm, for he
of political idealist, he not necessarily an attractive
a was deed gone out in Europe in August, 1914, they had not all hoped that the biographyof the great Irish poet would prove
one, and might even be a dangerous one. Indeed, the out—“and
to be the culmination of work in Irish history.
gone not forever.” The mood was quietly Shortly
Realpolitik of Parnell, as revealed in his final struggle for after his agreeing write the life of Yeats, Lyons
reminiscent of Thomas Hardy, and Lyons was now ready to to was asked

power, made a profound impression on Lyons, and was

begin his mature work as an historian. if he would accept the office of Provost of Trinity College.

crucial in his development as an historian. He agreed to be a candidate, but only with the understanding

that if appointed he would be allowed to continue his

scholarly work. He was appointed Provost with a fixed term

John Dillon. In this volume, published finally in


appraisal of the Parnell of the romantic myth caus-

1968, Lyons at last found a subject perfectly congenial to his
of ten years in 1974.

basic and deepest needs. No Irish of his

concerns politician
ed Lyons to draw back from Irish history for a time, we

generation better represented than did John Dillon how
perhaps never know, but his next book, Internationalism in
strait and narrow was the way that lay between a naive
duties, he pressed on with his biography of Parnell,
three later in 1963,
Europe, 1815-1914, published years cer-
political idealism and an unscrupulous Realpolitik, and no
allowing that of Yeats wait in the wings. His Charles
tainly appeared to be anew departure. The volume was
Irish politician, therefore, was more aware of the meticulous Stewart Parnell, which was published in 1977, technical-
among those commissioned by the recently-formed Council
need to weigh the means against the ends in politics. Dillon curious
ly a very accomplished piece of work, but there was a
of Europe in a series entitled “European Aspects.” As its ti-
was, moreover, a real Europeanin his cosmopolitanism, and ambivalence in it. The that
problem was obviously one
tle suggests the volumewas designedto provide the historical
in the larger concerns of British politics he was a true Liberal,
Lyons had been wrestling with for more than thirty years.
perspective for what had emerged as an embryonic United
while remaining at the same time intensely and passionately The great difficulty be that Lyons
appeared to not only
States of Europe in the 19505. The volume was in a sense the
Irish. It is little wonder that Lyons rose superbly to the occa-
thought that Parnell was responsible for his own downfall,
other side of the coin of the story of that divisive nationalism
sion and produced what may yet prove to be his masterpiece. and for that creditable the great
reasons were not very to
in Europe had helped to bring on the first and second world
His biography of Dillon, in fact, had finally allowed him to
man, but that Lyons was also basically unable to empathize
wars. At the same timethat an emergent, aggressive, and ex-
bring his great gifts as an historian into harmony with his with Parnell because he really did like him. In John
pansionist nationalism was making its in nineteenth-
temperament, and in a very real sense, the result was that the
Dillon, Lyons had found a compassionate and cultivated
century Europe, there was also a developing world
historian was made whole. who
man, was scrupulous in his conduct, and who was ever-
economy, a labor internationalism, and an intellectual and
It accident, then, that he decided translate conscious of the
was no next to great public responsibility that had been
religious ecumenism, which were all given a moral dimen-
that wholeness into producing a synthesis of modem Irish committed to his charge in Irish politics. In Parnell, Lyons
sion by the movement. It was a book, then, about
history. IrelandSince theFamine, which was first published found none of these qualities, and while he could appreciate
those political idealists who prophesied catastrophe if the
in 1971, was a splendid survey, exhibiting all of Lyons’s best Parnell’s significance and greatness as a politician, and even
world did not begin to build those ecumenical bridges so
qualities as an historian—learned, comprehensive, lucid, perhaps as a statesman, he could not respect the whole man
necessary to international cooperation. In the end, they fail-
balanced, and thoughtful. It was also, in spite of the cloud as he came to understand him, and he could not, therefore,
ed, and Lyons was as sad aboutthe tragic end of it as he was
that had recently appeared in Northern Ireland, a calm, enter into that temperamentaltreaty which was so necessary
respectful abouttheir sincere and noble effort to prevent that
and book. In 1973 for him to come to complete with his subject. Still, the
serene, cautiously optimistic a terms

second edition, however, the continuing crisis in biography will stand as a monument to Irish historical
6 ILS, Spring 1984
Irishmen. At the same time, and over the whole course of his

life, Lyons, unlike so many Irishmen, felt at home in

England and at ease in English culture. In the twenty-seven

after his graduation from Trinity in 1947 and before his


final return to that College as Provost in 1974, he had spent

more than half of his time living and teaching in England. A

measure of the ease in which he moved in English culture was

certainly demonstratedby the graciousness with which that

culture was prepared to adopt and to honor him. He was not

only elected master of EliotCollege at Canterbury, but three

Oxford Colleges successfully offered him their headship

while he was Provost of Trinity College; and the crowning

compliment of that culture was undoubtedly paid him when

Oxford University invited him to deliver the Ford Lectures.

As Richard Pares, one of the most eminent English

historians of his generation, observed on delivering those

Lectures in 1951-52, the invitation was “the highest

honour . . .
which an English historian can receive.”

Lyons, however, was not only acutely aware of the great

honor being paid to him, but even more significantly, he

chose to accept it as an Irishman. “For any historian,” he

explained in his preface to Culture and Anarchy, “to be in-

vited to deliver the Ford Lectures before the University of

Oxford is a climactic moment in his career, but for an Irish

historian the honour is quite unique.”

Although ED the values



achievements of


culture, and was greatly attracted by them, the culture

that he felt most at home and at ease with was the Anglo-

Irish. His deep commitment to the two most enduring in-

stitutions of that culture, the Church of Ireland and

his witness that allegiance. He was

Trinity College, was to

an active and practical member of his church, and Trinity

College remained for him always his morning and evening

star. His resignation as Provost in 1981 was a very painful

decision, but it is significant that it did not involve his

leaving the College, and he took up the post of professor

relieved of all teaching and administrative duties. The oc-

casion for his decision to resign was his determination to

complete his long-deferred biography of Yeats. The

much deeper, for
reason for that decision, however, ran

he had finally and irrevocably come to realize what he un-

doubtedly felt all along; that his true vocation was to be

found in creative scholarship. Indeed, it was

his creative

scholarship that had allowed him to find his way into that

Irish-Catholic culture that had become dominant in

the exception of Ulster, in his lifetime. He

Ireland, with
found his way into that culture through his biography of

John Dillon, for that study allowed Lyons to empathize

with all that was best in the culture and to appreciate the

fact that no man, whole or not, could call himself

Irishman who was not prepared to come to terms with it,

a signal experience for an Irish Protestant. By extension,

however, —and this was the lesson to be learned from

Culture and Anarchy —no Irish-Catholic could truly call

himself Irishman who did not come to terms with all that
F.S.L. Lyons. Courtesy of the Irish Press
was best in those other cultures which had helped to

‘ create the historical reality that was Ireland.

‘He was the most eminentIrish historian of his generation, andhis career as a teacher,
The tradition, of course, was that of Thomas Davis,

administrator, and scholar was as distinguished as it was productive and fruitful.

welcomed all,
the apostle of a cultural nationalism, who

irrespective of race, creed, or class, who were prepared to

do worthy work in the interests of the nation. Like Davis,

Lyons aspired to a liberal, pluralistic, inclusive, and com-

had come to terms with that same problem in regard to
scholarship, and no future consideration of Parnell or his
himself personally. had succeeded in his in har-
passionate Ireland, and like Davis also, because this ideal
He person
context will ever escape the enormous debt imposed by
four and he
was not merely received but acquired in terms of his own
monizing the cultures, had become an Irishman
Lyons’s basic research and great learning. life and work, Lyons’s deepening Ireland
concern to see
in the way a man who falls in love realizes in the crystalliza-
Before he could turn his attention to his proposed made whole was not just a pious but a living need. For
tion of that love that indeed he had always been in love. He
biography of Yeats, Lyons was invited to deliver the Lyons, this noble reconciling ideal, as espoused by
had been born in Derry, the focus of the quintessential
celebrated Ford Lectures at Oxford University during the Davis, “a nationality of the spirit as well as of the letter,”
Presbyterian ethos; sent to Dover College in England for his
had been frustrated by the diversity of the of life, or
Hilary term in 1978. He agreed, and his lectures, published in ways
secondary education; attended Trinity College, the “chief
1979 as Culture and Anarchy in Ireland, 1890-1939, were to cultures in Ireland, and this was the cause of “the true

bastion” of the culture of the Anglo-Irish; and in his first

be his last major statement about the history of his anarchy that beset the country.” “During the period
prove to
historical monograph studied the Irish Parliamentary Party,
to from the fall of Parnell to the death of Yeats,” Lyons
country. It is fitting, therefore, that they also proved be a
the greatest single achievement of Irish-Catholics in modem
personal statement, which greatly increased both their finally and sadly explained in the concluding words to
politics. Indeed, the rest of Lyons’s career was essentially a
Culture and Anarchy, “it not primarily anarchy
poignancy and their value. The theme of the four was an
series of variations on this grand theme of unity in diversity.
cultures —English, Irish-Catholic, Anglo-Irish, and of violence in the streets, of contempt for law and order

historically the of the Irish such as to make the island, or part of it, permanently
at root any
problem, and especially the current murderous divisions ungovernable. It was rather an anarchy in the mind and in
for example, for his friend and mentor at Trinity
the heart, anarchy which forbade not just unity of ter-
in Northern Ireland, has now become so well known as to an

College, T.W. Moody, who for Lyons always remained “at

have become a commonplace in discussion of Irish ritories, but also ‘unity of being’, an anarchy that sprang
heart an Ulsterman,” and who not only taught him Irish
from the collision within small and intimate island of
history. In order, however, to appreciate more fully how in the transmit the
history and, process, attempted to

Lyons arrived at this synthesis in intellectual history to ex- seemingly irreconcilable cultures, unable to live together,
qualities of “accuracy, clarity, absolute fairness, and objec-
live apart, caught inextricably in the web of their
plain the present conditionof his country, it is necessary not
or to
tivity of interpretation” but also tried to imbue in him those
to understandthe historian in terms of the work which tragic history.” It was in this effort, therefore, to make a
only qualities that were harder to reproduce and which “derive
he formed, and which in turn formed him; it is also necessary fundamental contribution to the “unity of being” of his
from a view of history at once moral, rational and, in a deep
to appreciate the man and the Irishman, who was always country, and because he had in the example his own
non-technical sense, religious,” was much more than a

striving to become whole. person successfully harmonized those “seemingly ir-

tribute to the man who had taught him his craft and his art.
reconcilable cultures,” that the real meaning of the life
In Culture and Anarchy, the fundamental problem was To Lyons, Moody represented essentially everything that

“essential unity” and work of Leland Lyons will be found.

how Ireland was to achieve that was right and good in the Presbyterian ethos and culture,

(wholeness) in the face of that real “diversity” exemplified and their life-long association was simply another affirma-
EMMETLARKIN isprofessor of history at the Universi-
by the four cultures that had made up its long and tangled tion that, although they both had been bred to what they

history. Although he did not know exactly what the solution were born, they both had also, in a very similar har- ty of Chicago.

to the problem was, Lyons had faith in a solution because he monized the problem of cultural diversity in becoming

ILS, Spring 1984, 7

The Irish World of Richard Boyle
NICHOLAS CANNY schoolmaster at Barnet” before his elevation to

The Earl the bishopric of Cork. He thus acquired a clan

of sorts, but as Canny admits it was “a rather
A Study of the Social and Mental

shabby kinship group.” But havingestablished

World of Richard Boyle,
the economic basis of in Ireland, it was
First Earl of Cork, 1566-1643
in England that he sought the social recogni-
Cambridge Univ. Press, 1982, £18.50
tion accompanying such power. The author
0 521 24416 1 details a telling account of this hard-headed

businessman pursuing uneconomic marriages

Reviewed by Marianne Elliott for his children to secure alliances at Court (in-

cluding the rather comic pursuit of one of the

maids-in-waiting), his concern to keep with


fashions in dress, and his resort even to gamb-

THE earl

of Cork, has always been considered

ling, hitherto shunned as uneconomic because

it was expected of the “real” aristocrat. Total

by historians—English and Irish alike—as one
social acceptance eluded him in his own

of the most remarkable and least admirableof

lifetime, but a thorough English education was
figures in Anglo-Irish history. Remarkable
designed to ensure it to his children, whom he
because of the nature of his achievements: He
quickly had removed from the “leaven of
was a penniless, younger son of Kentish

stock, attracted at the of 22 by the

yeoman age

risk and opportunity of the neighboring island,
then undergoing the Elizabethan conquest.
to be condoning Cork’s
Within seven years he had become Ireland’s
methods. This is no apologia, he tells us.

most prominent landowner, and by the 1630s

Rather he tries to explain his rise, his actions lived in Sir Richard
Sir Walter Raleigh’s bouse in Yougbal which was by Boyle.
he had an income in Irish rents far exceeding
and attitudes against the “mental world” of
that of other man in Ireland or England.
the day, and depicts him as typical of the
loyalty and commanded the respect of his disputations the chief merit of the book, they
For four years he had co-ruled Ireland as Lord
Elizabethan adventurer, justifying the means
the children—even those who rebelled against his might have been integrated rather better into
Justice, succeeded in being elevated to
by the end —the service of God and the
English Privy Council, and through a wishes —a man who even showed a certain the text, and the conclusion seems a strange
Crown —reading God’s will into his own suc-
‘ ‘ ”

as remarkable in talents as they were in sense

of pride in his Irishness (!), are un- place to launch an entirely new discussion of
cesses, or “theologising Machiavelli,” as Can-
numbers, had built a network of marriage doubtedly a recommendation for a re-think. Cork’s son and the Hartlibb circle in an effort
puts it, and adopting as his motto, “God’s
alliances with the foremost families in both to make the point—even if it true —that
is mineinheritance.” The downfall
providence □
countries—“a super-human feat of social leap- Ireland is too often neglected in British history.
and subsequent execution of his main critic,
frogging,” in Prof. Canny’s words. Earl of There is, then, a certain self-consciousness
Thomas Wentworth, Strafford, on

But despite a grudging admiration for such whose account much of the historical condem- This is no biography,

insists, and its occasional appearance as

on the part of Canny about the unconventional

achievements and for the undeniable im- nature of his book. It is unconventional! But
nation of Cork is based, was a further sign of
such—indeed the fact that it is such a good and
provements introduced by Cork into his Divine support. Yet anyone viewing the despite the occasional imbalance between
few indeed few at times a very amusing read—is a token of the historical research and historical polemics, it
estates, historians, contem-
monstrous pretentiousness of the Boyle monu-

be found who condone author’s eloquent style and clever incorpora- does succeed. With enviable conciseness
poraries, can the
ment in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin—the
methods used in such —themisuse of tion of contemporary quotations; Cork’s research material
an ascent cause celebre in the dispute between the two Canny has blended new on

words in particular reveal sensible and quick

office to transfer flawed land titles to himself, men—must find it difficult to dispute the
an important, and possibly misunderstood,
mind. Indeed, it is difficult to place this book in with provocative historical
the abuse of the (Catholic) Old English and the
justice of Wentworth’s biting criticism on
historical figure,

impropration of church property. The author made any particular category. Theauthor describes it debate, and has produced one of a diminishing
issues. Nor, despite the good case
describes the unusual legal contortions which as a collection of studies “intended as a con-
class of “academic” books which are also im-
by the author that Cork’s self-justification in
tribution to a series of debates of general im- readable. Further, he has
even the Stuart Court resorted to in order to his “True Remembrances” should be viewed mensely
that currently engaging the atten-
avoid bestowing the usual British porance are demonstrated by his own detailedresearch that
peerage on against religious fatalism of the early modern
tion of historians,” and each chapter does
such an “upstart” on his admission to the period, is it swallow the assertion that historical orthodoxies on purely printed
easy to
stand on its giving them a sense of ■
Privy Council. Cork himself was genuinely convinced of this
own, sources deserve debunking.
wholeness and sharpness of tone and structure.
No one was more aware of his dubious Divine explanation for his success presented in
Older debates on “upward mobility” and the
his pious, and frequent, self-exculpation. MARIANNE ELLIOTT is authoro/Partners
lineage than Cork himself, and he set about
“decline of the aristocracy” in 17th-century in Revolution: The United Irishmen and
acquiring all the trappings of conventional However, even if Cork emerges unshriven ‘ ’
Britain and newer ones on the ‘new science’ in
with will: scouring the islands for France (Yale, 1982) and a numberofrelated ar-
nobility a from Canny’s account, his painstaking
17th-century thinking and most of all on the
ticles. She teachesfor the Open University and
relatives, and elevating them, in an extraor- research has unearthed another side to this
nature of the family, are discussed with Cork as the
dinary feat of nepotism, to various church liv-
New besides that of the effi-
was recently visiting associate professor at
English planter the model, and knocked in the
many are pro- Univ.
ings and offices. One “unthankful” kinsman, and often ruthless, the intimate
of South Carolina.
cient, parvenu-,
cess. But while some readers will find in these
Cork complained, had been but “a poor family details, revealing a man who valued

A Short History of Ireland

Roman Christianity came to
Ireland in the
KARL BOTTIGHEIMER stay and carved the country for themselves.
up Catholics were defeated and subjugated to the
that the
sth century. Bottigheimer argues
Ireland and the Unlike their predecessors the Normans
Irish, were humiliation of Penal Laws that denied them
pastoral tendencies and tribal values of the assimilators. Instead, they established
A Short History
never dignity, property and civil liberties. Although
Irish made them unsuited to this episcopal and
cultural barriers against the natives. In
seemingly triumphant by the 18th century, the
Columbia Univ. Press, 1982, $19.95 parochial church system, which require an ur-
desperate attempts to maintain authority and
0 231 04610 3
Anglo-Irish Protestant nation rested
ban setting and a bureaucratic structure. The
control, the Tudors in the 16th century fur-
precariously on a subject native population.
Irish seized Christianity, but molded it into an
thered division by confiscating land and giving
In the 19th Daniel O’Connell
Reviewed by Eileen McMahon individualist style. Monasticism their century
it to adventurers as payment for military ser-
created modern Irish nationalism that encom-
predominant and nearly exclusive expression and the first James
vice; Stuart, I, planted
passed the Irish Catholic demand for religious
of this religion. For three centuries monasteries


were the center of Irish culture, creating the
Irish soil.
particularly Scots-Presbyterians, on
equality, land, and national independence.

Bottigheimer relates the history of Ireland ‘

brilliantand successful of the Middle Protestant fears of Catholic revolt seemed to
‘most art
from antiquity to the present with scholarly be realized. Although Bottigheimer continues
Ages.” In Ireland they generated literacy and
detachment and the and vividness his discussion of Irish nationalism from
ease, grace,
learning, and, later, when Roman civilization
of a storyteller. He succeeds in his aim to O’Connell and the Catholic Association to the
faded on the Continent, Irish monks re-

“make comprehensiblethe basic contours of a contemporary Irish state, his account of Irish
educated Churchmen there. “Ireland and the Irish is an
rich and complex past” and “to provide in history after 1800 lacks the richness of detail,
brief and summary form an account of the
exceptional short history” clarity and originality of the earlier portion.
of Irish history that renders less to
sweep One example is his failure address the im-
mysterious and arcane the enduring problems plication which emigration had on the develop-
land seemed to invite invasions. About the Ist
associated with Ireland in my time.” ment of Irish nationalism.
century 8.C., the Celts came to Ireland and
Bottigheimer believes that Ireland’s environ-

established their predominance the While post-1800 Ireland does not receive the
over the tudor reign, Eng-
ment had an influence on its political develop- careful analysis of earlier
natives. In the Bth century the Vikings arrived, years, making it
land became a Protestant nation,
ment. Since Ireland lacked a large inhabitable
monasteries, the repositories of Irish fragmented and sketchy, Irelandand the Irish
sacking and those who came from England and
area, such as a
main river basin, the people
wealth and culture, and terrorizing the is an exceptional short history. Readers will
coun- Scotland Ireland brought with them
to a
were scattered. The tribal organization of the find it illuminating
tryside. they the country. for the understanding of
But never conquered virulent, uncompromisingNo-Popery. At first
nomadic Celts harmonized with the geography
the current situation in Ireland. ■
Their lasting contributions were the develop-
of the country. Neither the land nor the people
Catholics responded apathetically to Pro-
ment of cities and the hastening of “seculariza-
testantism, but they became angry and resent-
possessed the qualities that couldspur the Irish EILEEN McMAHON teaches at the history
tion” of the Church. ful when Protestants established themselves as
toward a unifiedbody-politic and nation-state.
department of Loyola Univ. of Chicago.
Norman intervention in the 12th century the Ascendancy. Land confiscations continued
Thus, they were vulnerable to interlopers,
marked a watershed in Irish history. Invited in in the 17th century along with bloody clashes
plunderers and conquerors.
to settle an intra-clan squabble, they decided to between Catholics and Protestants. Irish
8 ILS, Spring 1984
England’s First Colonial Apologists
What makes Elizabethan Ireland such a

significant work is that it embodies in a single

source a modernized selection of these

parochial works. Each excerpt is followed by

JAMES P. editor
an enlightening annotated glossary that I
Elizabethan Ireland:
would have preferred to see at the bottom of
A Selection of Writings by Elizabethan the This preference aside, who
page. anyone

Writers on Ireland has worked in this epoch is indebted to Myers

Archon Books, 1983, $22.50 for making these hard-to-come-by texts ac-

0 208 02034 9 cessible. This anthology also frees the student

from incomplete texts, such as Edward Hin-

ton’s thesis, “Ireland Through Tudor Eyes,”

Reviewed by Jenrold Casway
and C.L. Falkiner’s Illustrations of Irish

History and Topography, which Myers relied

Elizabethan Ireland is a re-

vealing anthology of polemical


Among the
for Fynes

Moryson and Luke Gerson,

important works edited by

works the subjugation of Ireland. Myers in the book is Sir John Davies’ A
These collected writings disclose the role Discovery of the True Causes Why Irelandwas

played by Elizabethan writers who doubled as Never Entirely Subdued. This long-neglected
adventurers and propagandists—men such as tract set forth the rationale and principles of

Sir Philip Sidney, Edmund Campion, Edmund James I’s policies that culminated in the plan-

Spencer and Sir John Davies who promoted tation of Ulster. It is a highly relevant work that
the “brutish side” of Irish life as a way of should be closely read by contemporary

soliciting and justifying the Elizabethan con- readers.

These reveal the

quest. tracts, Myers asserts,

roots of Northern Ireland’s problems.

Professor Myers reminds the reader in the

MYERS’ out

flaws. His historical bibliography


introduction how the views popularized by is particularly in the omission of


these Elizabethan polemicists were sowed by modern studies on Elizabethan cultural

the 12th-century Anglo-Norman propagan- ethnocentrism and its colonial manifestations.

dist, Giraldus Cambrensis. Self-served by this Other concerns involve summaries and inter-

medieval model of derision, England justified pretations in the introduction which sometimes

her contrived sense of liberating native Ireland suffer from their brevity. For example, the so-

from its archaic traditions. Cambrensis believ- called medieval Gaelic revival is more of an

ed that only English institutions and laws could outcome of Anglo-Norman decline than a nat-

overcome the centrifugal barbarism of Ireland. tive resurgence. One also cannot overlook that

The works chosen by Myers are ones that the Statutes of Kilkenny were enacted in 1366,

perpetuated the role of the Elizabethan writer not 1306, and that Turlough Luineach O’Neill

who the
as a
government collaborator: poets was second cousin, not the uncle, of Hugh

found employment and opportunity in the O’Neill, the earl of Tyrone. The most distrac-

military and political enterprise in Ireland. ting aspect of the Myers’ text is its typed for-

Their writings “contributed to the extensive mat. There seems to be a recurring double-

propaganda war being waged by the Crown, spaced gap after

every other word, which

advocating far more severe disturbs natural eye tracking.

many programs

than the government was willing to adopt, at

These criticisms should not dissuade the

least openly.” Asa result, these tracts never en- reader from Myers’ book. Elizabethan Ireland

joyed wide circulation. Often they were

is an important book that fills a void for
published years after they were written. Never-
readers who want to understand the

theless, these works served their function: They psychology and chauvinism that created a

discredited native society, encouraged English dilemma that is yet to be reconciled. ■

intervention with recommendations for

pacification, and promoted the advancement

JERROLD CASWAY is associate professor
of their authors. As Myers indicates, these
of history at Howard Community College,
poets served neither as dissidents nor critics but
Columbia, Maryland, and author of Owen
as advocates of the state —“England’s first col-
Roe O’Neill and the Struggle for Catholic
Ireland (Univ. of Penn. Press).

Pirates and Princes Among the Merchant Class


Princes & Pirates

early councils of the Chamber. Rank-and-file

members, however, were mostly Anglicans

The Dublin Chamber of Commerce,
who were more divided in their political
allegiance; and these divisions became more

Dublin Chamber of Comm., 1983, £l5

acute as questions of parliamentary reform
0 900 346 49 3
The Chamber of Commerce represented a and Catholic Emancipation emerged as issues

in the aftermath of the French Revolution. The

initiative the Dublin
Reviewed by Jacqueline R. Hill spontaneous on
part of experience of the Chamber of Commerce thus
merchants to establish a body which would foster reflected in microcosm the divisions in the Irish

political establishment in general, and led

This book was commissioned

their interests.
ultimately to the rebellion of 1798 and the Act

by the Dublin Chamberof Commerce to

of Union. This section of the book is of great
mark its bicentenary. In approaching a scholar
interest to concerned with the genesis
of Louis Cullen’s standing, the Chamber en-
of modern Irish politics and sectarianism.
sured that the outcome was to be no mere

The strength of the book is mainly in the

coffee-table book, despite the popular-
periods of the author’s chief interest, the 18th
sounding title and fairly lavish illustrations. It

is century. Throughout, it is based predominant-

a study of the fortunes and activities of the
ly on the minutes and reports of the Chamber,
Chamber of Commerce from its inception in

1783 the present, with additional chapters

although the reader would have occasionally
benefited from a fuller political and economic
on the nature of Dublin’s merchant communi-
In have significance for Irish trade and industry context in which to set the Chamber’s ac-
ty, its place in Irish and international commer-
terests. theory this should presented were

tivities. The absence of biliography is lamen-

cial life, and mercantile attempts at self-help
few difficulties. Dublin’s merchant communi- taking place, notably the Act of Union of 1800. a

the author weaker than its table; only the surviving records of the
from the late 17th century. ty, argues, was

in Chamber are listed and there are no footnotes.
counterpart London, measured by landed
To those for whom business history has little
interests, and stood in potentially greater need CULLEN ARGUES PERSUASIVELY that Nevertheless, the book, which is well-produced
appeal, it must be said that the interests of the
of organization to that its voice the reasons for the difficulties in maintaining and remarkably free of printing errors, helps
ensure was
Chamber of Commerce, as presented by
fill in our understanding of Irish
heard by the legislature and executive. Yet in cooperation among Dublin merchants in this a gap com-
Cullen, extends well beyond that sphere. This
less than decade after its period lay less in economic than in religious mercial and political history, and it is sure to
a foundation, the
is because of the nature of the institution.
and political considerations. Dublin’s encourage further research. ■
Chamber had collapsed. No meetings were mer-
Unlike Dublin Corporation or the Ballast Of-
chant community contained of
held between 1791 and 1805 or between 18.12 a minority
fice, the Chamber was not established by
and Dissenters
1820, even though these were years in and Catholics whose sympathies
of Parliament. represented a spontaneous JACQUELINE R. HILL lectures in history at
which changes of enormous potential were towards the radical side in politics, and
initiative on the part of Dublin merchants to St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth.
who were
disproportionately numerous on the
establish a body which would foster their in-
ILS, Spring 1984, 9
Cardinals Newman and Cullen

Paul Cardinal Cullen and the Shaping

A Packet of Letters
of Modern Irish Catholicism
Edited by Joyce Suggs
Oxford Univ. Press, Gill and Macmillan, 1983, £20.00
1983, $19.95
0 7171 0889 9
0 198 264 429

Reviewed Patrick J. Corish

Reviewed Aaron Godfrey by



Paul Cardinal Cullen should have had


PORTANT culture hero for

wait a hundred years for his first biography,

beleaguered Catholics'in the English-speaking
for his stature in 19th-century Irish history was
world prior to World War 11. Newman clubs,
Catholic of secular universities in
certainly such as to deserve earlier biographical

America, are evidence of his continuing in- study. However, it is more regrettable that this

pioneering attempt should be so radically un-

fluence. His conversion to Roman Catholicism

in which rocked the

1845 was a major event

Church of England to its foundationand caus- A number of perceptive and substantial

ed English Catholics. reviews of Bowen’s earlier book, The Protes-

great rejoicing among

During most of his life (1801-1890), which tant Crusade in Ireland, 1800-1870 (1978),

nearly spanned the 19th century, he was a

while praising his initiative in opening up the

public figure, and his reflections on contem- too-long-neglected topic of religious history in

porary life, politics and theology are important Ireland and welcoming his industry in research,

indicators of the changing times. did point out certain shortcomings in his work.

In this well-edited work, Ms. has Essentially, the reviewers agreed, his concep-
made wise selection of 155 of Newman’s tual base was too narrow. He was rushing his

going into print without having

letters from 1811 to 1890 which give a

balanced and objective picture of the man

thought things through. To
put it bluntly, he

without the rhetoric and controversy that just does not know enough about Irish history

or about the general history of the Catholic

followed his conversion to the Roman Church.

is clear that his conversion and subsequent church in the 19th century, and, consequent-

ordination brought him no immediatebenefit, ly, he imposes his own pattern on great com-

but hard work the of plexities.

among poor Birmingham
and the loss of his closest friends from the Ox- These dangers bcome disaster in his

ford Movement. biography of Paul Cullen. Bowen is deeply

concerned with the tragedy of what presents

Newman’s own view of biography was that
itself as interconfessional strife in modern
“a man’s life lies in his letters. . . Biographers
Ireland, strife to the point of murder. So are all
varnish, they assign motives; they conjecture
of us. But Bowen, in the name of history, sets
feelings; they interpret.” Letters, therefore,
of out to pin the blame forall this on one man. He
are an important measure a person’s
character at the point in time they are writ- obviously has an immense personal distaste for
Cullen. No biographer is required to like or
ten. It is partly for this reason that Newman

mire his subject, of course. Indeed, fall

was for his letters to be preserved for many
into the trap of being at least a little overly-
sympathetic. But all history should at least be
A Packet of Letters is a delightful cor-
striving for objectivity. The attempt to present
nucopia of a famous man’s thoughts. These
Cullen as the root cause of our present
from mundane concerns to his frank and
discontents is not a historical approach.
incisive assessment of important contempo-

rary events, written to close friends and family. □

The letters reveal a complex, shy, brilliant per-

unsure of himself, who nonetheless
book from beginning to end. The Irish
possessed unshakable integrity and faith,
Catholics before Cullen are represented as go-
which was firmly established by the timehe was
ing their own Irish way with a large measure of
independence from the Roman see, irenic and
After his conversion, the letters reflect his
“ecumenical” towards their Protestant fellow-
changing circle of friends especially those who
citizens. As we are told over and over again, be that the Irish priests
Page 24 as a fairly straightforward untramon- were always agitating
had been drawn to the Roman Church and
though, Cullen changed all this. Monolithic and Cullen always disapproving. Facts do
tane —he had been “trained in the ‘Eternal Ci- not
religious life. They also show his kindness in
and unchanging, he imposed a Catholicismthat
On he Irish matter,
ty’.” pages 65-8, appears as an not even simple chronological facts.
offering spiritual counsel to those who wrote
in Roman terms was
“Gallican,” that is, a Catholic who was Irish as Cullen arrived in leland early in May, 1850. It is
him for help. In these, he is more suggestive (something apparently unknown in Ireland well as Roman. Higgins was in fact a highly in- true that in October, 1849, two curates at
and gentle than dogmatic. Occasionally his
beforehis time), and in Irish terms involved the and His ecclesiastical Callan had formed a Tenant Protection Socie-
telligent complex person.
letters complain or “growl” about people,
imposition of a
Catholic religous and cultural
roots were not in Rome but in Paris, where he ty and that the example was spreading, but the
situations and his frustration at past slights,
“ascendancy” and “imperialism.” had been seminarian from 1812 to 1817, Tenant League emerged only at the
a beginning
but these are usually accompanied by
This is to stand Irish history on its head. It graduating from the Sorbonne. Even before of August, 1850. The events leading to the Ec-
disclaimers that friends should not be concern-
implies no moral judgment to say that in his ordination, he had played an important role clesiastical Titles bill were sparked off by
ed or that they should hold these mild out-
Ireland the facts of history have made “ascen- in re-establishing the Irish College in Paris Wiseman’s pastoral dated 7 October 1850. The
bursts in strict confidence.
dancy” and “imperialism” Protestant things. where he taught briefly. He subsequently bill was introduced on 7
February 1851 and
Newman’s relationship with the official
The use of these words in a Catholic context is studied in Vienna and in Rome where he took become law on 1 August. Cullen himself was
Church was always a trifle uneasy, especially
all the more regrettable in that a perfectly good his doctorate. He was appointed to “Gallican” the prime mover in the protest organization,
during the long and troubled reign of Pius IX. word was available to Bowen had he wanted to Maynooth in 1826. What may have been even the Catholic Defence Association, founded on
His relationship with Cardinal Manning, his it. The word is “establishment.” It is
use an in- deeper in him than all this weight of ec-
19 August. Finally, the Stockport riots took
great English contemporary, was also uneasy,
controvertible fact that during Cullen’s clesiastical learning was his pride as a descen- place at the end of June, 1852. How much of
and in one of the letters, he wrote, “I cannot
lifetime the Protestant church had become dant from the bardic family of O this is carelessness and how much is
hUiginn. He pure caus-
trust the Archbishop I cannot act as if I
much less of an establishment and the Catholic indeed a complex to ed by the rigidity of

was man, but Bowen he is the conceptual framework

trust him.” Within the Church, vindicationdid
church was taking on the characteristics of useful only as a “Gallican” or an “ultramon- might be an interesting problem in critical
not come until he was made a Cardinal at the ’ ’
one. Without doubt, Cullen was an important tane, and apparently either will serve if only it analysis, but it is not worth it.
rather advanced age of 78. Many letters in this
figure in this transition, but equally without serves the page he happens to be writing at the One can only regret that this book now
collection are a defence of his orthodoxy,
doubt he was only part of a complex and in moment.
stands as the first biography of Paul Cullen. It
although he disclaims any competence as a
inevitable process. Exploring the
some respects is mischievous and indeed positively
□ damaging
theologian. There is a fascinating confidential
implications of such complexities is history.
on several levels. Professor Bowen would be
letter expressing his reservations about Papal Bowen’s simplifications are not. ON PAGE 245 WE ARE BLANDLY IN-
well-advised to leave Irish Catholic topics alone
Infallibility prior to the First Vatican Council,
FORMED that, “By the time Cullenarrived in for quite time. ■
After the Council, however, he accepted the

Ireland he found the priests in many parts of
book is full of slipshod
promulgation of that doctrine.
the country busy over matters like the
writing, and, it seems very clear to
PA TRICK J. CORISH is professor
Ecclesiastical Titles Bill, the Stockport riots
of history
evidence of insufficient research and especially
at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth.
against Catholics in England, and the newly-
of insufficient analysis. I will take just a few ex-


readers of this publication are the few

amples. Bishop Higgins of Ardagh appears on
founded Tenant League.” The pattern has to

letters which were written during his residency fluence favorably and he returned to work in life and the rationale for the selection of the let-
that are extant and reflect a magnetic and
in Ireland establish a Catholic
(1854-58) to
England. His work may have been hindered ters. The collection will provide the general
magnanimous personality of extraordinary in-
university. It is from this experience that one of
because he was an Englishman and reacted to reader with a good understanding of this com-
telligence. The literary style, even of those let-
his most brilliant works, The Idea of a Univer- the Irish in an English manner. In one of the plex and controversialman. ■
ters that are hastily written, is superb, and gives
sity, emerged. During his stay in Ireland it letters he refers to “the conceit of the
evidence of Newman’s acclaim as one of the
became clear that he was not a competent drove him the
Paddy who to Kilkenny AARON GODFREY is lecturer in classics
he in-
master stylists of the 19th century.
organizer; although was enormously station,” and comparative literature at SUNY Stony
fluential, the Irish bishops did not view his in- A Packet of Letters is well edited and has a
The letters selected here are a very small Brook, and director of their Upward Bound
good introduction which outlines Newman’s
percentage of the more than twenty thousand program.
10 ILS, Spring 1984
The Economics of Why Ireland Starved
These data problems are compounded by
questions of theoreticalorientation. Beyond all

Why Ireland Starved: of the mathematical sophistication stand

A Quantitative and Analytical History several unstated assumptions about the fun-

damental nature of conomic and historical

of the Irish Economy, 1800-1850

Allen & change which are no more “impartial” or

Unwin, 1983, $29.95
“scientific” than those of George O’Brien.
0 04 941010 5
One of these assumptions becomes visible in

his discussion of the long-term effect of

Reviewed by Kevin O’Neill
emigration upon the Irish economy.
In his

calculationof the “Life-Cycle” cost of emigra-

The dust

jacket of joel tion, Mokyr
Ireland would have been
assumes that those

fully employed had

who left

Mokyr’s suggests that because the

author is not Irish and has a “wide” research they stayed. Such a novel idea may be true, but

to assume it as “given” is reckless. He extends

experience, he avoids the “often heavily col-
oured”nature of Irish historiography and in- this argument by claiming that if they had

stayed, “the factories and overhead projects in

stead brings “impartiality and scientific objec-

his pursuit of Irish realities. Of which they would have been employed would
tivity” to course

have ultimately benefited the as a

Mokyr is not responsible for the ignorance of economy

whole.” Why such factories and jobs should

contemporary Irish economic historiography

which this spring to life for these people and not for those
statement betrays. Unfortunately,
he is responsible for failing to deliver the “im- un- and underemployed who did inhabit the

slums of Dublin and other Irish towns is not

partiality and scientific objectivity” promised
disclosed, but the deterministic nature of the
and expected of who seeks to
one operate

under the of a MathematicalMuse. assumption is open

to question.
At several critical points his assumptions either

are not

fully explained, or they

disturbing, he fre-
applied in-
Having criticisms
raised all

of these

more to Mokyr

of Labor Income gives national household CALCULATIONS SUF-

quently uses the most easily available rather a
attempts in his work, it be unfair to point
FER from similar deficiencies. For
income of £13.33, but this is for households
than the most informative data (he may be cor- to what he does not attempt; but we must note

in claiming that historians “absurd” in headed by working males; he does not state example, his estimate of the economic loss
rect are that heavoids several of the critical variables of
how he deals with female-headed households caused by emigration assumes that per capita
their preference for unpulibhsed sources; agricultural development. The overall rate of

the households of the aged. One might consumption equals per capita income, a risky
however, this does not make an a priori or
economic growth in a traditional economy is
dismiss all of these objections too deman- assumption in any society, but especially so in
preference for published sources any less ab- as «determined by the size of the marketed

ding if Mokyr only trying to arrive at a pre-famine Ireland where income inequality
surd). were
agricultural surplus, the terms of exchange for

“wage” estimate, but he uses his estimate to was so vast. Using his consumption figures, we
this surplus, and the efficient utilization of the
A close examination of one of his key quan-
national and income arrive at an average annual consumption
project per capita figures. capital obtained through this process. Mokyr
titative estimates, Income per Capita, reveals
requirement of £45 for a family of six (p. 243).
His argument that non-agricultural income deals almost exclusively with the last of these
the danger inherent in combining a weak data
His income figures give an annual income for
in Ireland 200 percent He
base with sophisticated economic theory. He was greater than factors. does not discuss market develop-
the same family of £13.33 (p. 26). Simple
derives his income figures through the Poor agricultural income relies on Kuznets’ study of ment; he does not approach the questionof ac-
historians will have to be forgiven if they find
20th-century economies. Such heroic and tual agricultural productivity; and the only
Law Commission responses
to a question con- a
this difficultto understand; or though unnoted
income of dubious assumption might conceivably be cor- consideration of prices uses British, not Irish
cerning the average agricultural
by the author, is this the reason that Ireland
laborers. Although the rect, but there is no argument (or evidence) put data (although it is available).
answers represent gross
inflates them forward in this work to
suggest that this is so.
income, Mokyr by adding the This is a bold book; therefore, it has many
Numerous other problems arise. Moykr’s
“income” from a pig (he does not inform us
Indeed, it ignores Kuznets’ own warning that flaws, some of heroic stature. Its importance
his reliance upon only 117 farms as a test for the
how he derives this figure). He then applies figures contain discrepancies reflecting will rest in the debatewhich it is sure to arouse,
“rent maximization” question is to
“change over time in the pattern of relations open
“the basic assumption . . . that those and perhaps it is best to conclude with one of
criticism. His claim that there is “no
between capita income and shares of sec- strong
who were fully self-employed had an per the rare cautious comments from the book
reason” to believe that his sample of the
which could be tors —an inference that is suggested by the con- itself: “Economic reasoning, while
implicit wage approximated by it cannot
O’Brien rentals “were systematically
the wages paid to hired labor in the parish” to tinuously changing technological and institu- fully explain why countries failed to undergo
tional framework within which modern different” from all Irish estates ignores the fact
arrive at a total income figure for each county. industrialization, can assist us by indicating
that they averaged 107 acres holding vs.
economic growth takes place” (Kuznets, per
It is likely that this assumption works for those p. where we should search.”
about 19 acres nationwide. His use of Coale’s
198). Mokyr ignores the effects of these has
“who were fully self-employed”; but it is Joel Mokyr opened up large areas to
fertility estimates, which assume a stable
be for those who changes at his own peril. Unfortunately, much such inquisition. □
equally unlikely to true were
population, is risky in a society with such a
of his subsequent analysis rests this
less than fully employed or who, for reasons of upon
chaotic population history Ireland’s in the KEVIN is
national income estimate. as
O’NEILL professor of history at
age, infirmity or gender, had little or no

period 1750-1850.
Boston College.
employment opportunity. His optimistic table

In the end, however, Bell’s account raises

many unanswered questions. Why have
Troublesome Business: Labour leaders, from MacDonald to Foot and

The Labour Party Kinnock and for 78 failed to identify or


and the Irish adopt Bell’s socialist policy for Ireland?

Question And

Pluto Press, what is a socialist policy for Ireland anyway? It

1982, $8.95 (pb)
is not self-evident. Why has the Labour
Distributed Flatiron Press Party
0 86104 373 1 The British Labour never

seen Ireland as it

problem? Why has Labour, since

saw India, as an im-

1939, supported anti-terrorist legislation

Reviewed by Alan Ward
directed against the IRA, which Bell finds

Party and Ireland reprehensible? Why have British trades unions

Geoffrey bell,

Protestants of Ulster, has

author of the




to create a
And why did Labour

working class unity in Nor-


thern Ireland which would transcend working

the first book on the Irish policies of the British
class sectarianism?
Labour Party. The book is really a long ques-

tion: Why has a socialist party, the Labour These are important questions and Bell does

Party, failed to what it should in Ireland? As suggest some but they really deserve
because of British Labour’s neglect. Major
framed, of course,
the question is an indict- much more research and a longer book.
conference debates or decisions on Ireland
ment, and it is unfortunate that Bell does not
have been extremely —1913, 1920,
Perhaps they also require more understanding.
rare 1918,
attempt a reply in this
very short work. He calls
1969, 1974, 1979—and whenever support has
Bell clearly writes with great sympathy for the
his book “a record rather than an interpreta- Irish Catholic nationalist perspective, and he
been shown from the conference floor for Irish

tion,” but this record is so critical that Bell has appears suprised that so many of his colleagues
republicanism, whether in 1920 or the 1980s,
some obligation to explain why the leaders of in the Labour Party disagree with him. He
the party leaders have stepped in to block a
the Labour Party, almost with
certainly the quotes from Harold Wilson, for example, that
decision. Labour welcomed the Irish settle-
support of the British working class, have of 1921, although this the
Northern Ireland problem is the result of
ment meant ignoring
never endorsed, as he believes they should, un- fifty years of inertia and neglect in the face of
only clear position the party had adopted, sup-
conditional self-determination for a united the “unchallenged—and because of Ulster’s
port for a united Ireland. Thereafter, Labour
Ireland. history, unchallengable—Ulster Unionist
quickly adopted the convention that Ireland,

Bell presents tale of Labour’s indif- with self-government of kind in both north
government.” Bell’s book concentrates on the
a sorry a
word “unchallenged,” and he
ference to Ireland. Like the Liberals before, the and south, accuses Labour
was no longerof legitimate concern
of “capitulation to the Unionists,” but he real-
Labour Party sees Ireland as a distant issue to the Westminister Parliament, a convention

which distracts Parliament from social reforms it admitted ly has to do more to try to understand why
respected until 1968 when it finally
closer to home. Opposition to coercion the existence of Unionist malpractices.
Wilson, and almost every other Labour leader,
in It was a

Ireland has perceived the Unionists, and the majority

was the catalyst for the formation of Labour government which virtually
Democratic they represent in Northern Ireland, as “un-
Labour’s ancestor, the Federation guaranteed the continuation of partition in the

of foundation in Act of 1949 and sent in

challengeable.” ■
1881, but since its 1906, the Ireland which British

Labour Party has never regarded Ireland, and troops in 1969 without deposing the Unionist
A LAN J. WA RD is professor
Northern of its of history at the
now Ireland, as one central government. LABOUa’S AVAY DAY

As 1912, the Irish

o(oic«Ttp to THt workers ■of th« \voim.i> College of William and Mary.
concerns. early as TUC

decided to endorse an Irish Labour Party

ILS, Spring 1984 11
Erin’s Daughters in America
ment advantages, increasing familiarity with social environment de-emphasizing marriage
American society, and longevity assured and sexuality and depending heavily on gender
Erin’s Daughters in America: “Irish women women influence in the emerging Irish- segregation, could not help but exacerbate ten-

Irish Immigrant Women American communities; sions already present between the who
simultaneously, sexes,
outlived men
in the Nineteenth Century many male Irish immigrants lost traditional were united by only a few shared activities.

status and in the departure from Irish men’s reactions to Irish female
Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1983, $9.95 to a
startling esteem

home and in the struggle in America to get dominance in economic and family affairs in
0 8018 2872 4 (pb) ”

extent .
and keep employment of the lowest the early in America be in the
even years can seen

sort. These facts produced another old ferocity of their attacks on women’s suffrage
Reviewed by Joyce Flynn
country/new country contrast: Although in and in statistics demonstrating that of all the

19th-century Ireland more boys attended 19th-century marriages in the United States,
schools than girls and the boys who attended those in the Irish community were most


Christmas story by Finley Peter


in school

girl students
more years,

outnumbered their
in Irish- vulnerable

But Molly
to desertion and domestic violence.

Donahue to the
contrary, Irish-

male in both public and parochial American did not become “new
records the semi-surly gratitude of Dooley’s peers women

schools, that widened in the ad- women” in factors of ethnicity,

associate Hennessy for his wife’s refined holi- a gap more response;

thoughtful iv vanced grades. Diner cites striking school religion and class kept most Irish-American
day gift: “How ye Mary Ann, to

of Emmerson. I statistics from envirnoments diverse from aligning themselves with the suf-
give me th’
essays wuz sayin’ as as women

Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Wiscon- frage movement, despite their activism

on’y la’ week to a friend iv mine in th’ pork pit as

sin to this trend, an investment in union organizers and workers. Irish women in
that iv all th’ fellows that iver hurled the prove
female talent unique among American im- America had found increased freedom and
Emmerson f’r me money.” Another Dunne

migrant cultures. Because they economic opportunity, but the feminist vision
character, Molly Donahue, sought to install were willing
middle class culture in her husband Malachai
to postpone or forego marriage, Irish- of a world in which gender barriers were

American able in- was a world in

and to install him in a stiff, respectable collar, women were to put this obliterated or minimized which

until she became creased training to in professions such as much of the gender-segregated social order
at least a “new woman” use

determined to be “free from th’ opprision iv nursing and teaching that were open only to that the Irish brought with them would have

single women. (Diner here inadvertently had to be discarded in favor of the unknown.
man.” In literature as
in life (one has only to

think of Rose underestimates the extent of this achieve- By the middle of the 20th century, this
Fitzgerald Kennedy and the
ment on the part of Irish immigrant amivalence concerning feminism still marked
grace she conferred upon Joseph P. Kennedy, women

and their daughters since although she states the granddaughters and great-granddaughters
Sr.), Irish-American women have labored to

initiate their mates into gentility, with mixed early in the book that the “preponderantly of the immigrant women from Ireland and is

female emigration originated primarily from perhaps the striking division of loyality bet-
results. Who were these formidable heroines,
old and worlds contained in
and how did they come to wield the Emerson, Munster and Connaught, the most rural pro-
ween new an

By permission of Scblesinger Library otherwise creative adaptation blending the

the collar, and the last word? vinces,” she does not seem to be aware that

to some women from these English two. The history of Irish-American women in
in areas,
In Erin’s Daughters America, Hasia
other the job. was at best second language and perhaps the 20th century remains to be written, but
Diner, author of previous books on the group on A startling reversal a a

discovered by Diner is that, although 19th- ‘brave new world” of study to others before Hasia Diner’s study of the last century is
American immigrant experience, turns her
they could succeed at most American jobs.) valuable for both its revelation of the past and
attention to Irish Catholic immigrant century Irish husbands generally outlived

their wives, wives its implications for the present. ■

woman in 19th-century America. Diner’s past generally survived their

research on other ethnic furnishes her husbands in America, even in the first
with a useful context against which to highlight generation, and Irish women as a group 70 YCE FL YNN is an instructor in English at
position of Irish women and Irish men in
the unique aspects of the Irish immigration, the outlived men to a startling extent. Employ- Harvard University.
American, combined with the post-Famine
most important of which seems to have been

that it was the major immigration in which

women were most heavily represented.

Although the flight from Ireland during the

years immediately after the Famine was a fami-

(The fears of even those bishops who sup-

ly affair, the influx of Irish into

Staters from 1860 on was an

importation chief-

Peel, Priests and Politics ported the

bishop of Killala, who

Act were demonstrated by the

was appointed a com-

ly of single adults, of which young, single missioner for charitable bequests but was forc-

women were an ever increasing stream. Irish

James Graham —but there are memorable por- ed to resign by popular clamor, “wishing with
women eventually counted for 52.9% of the traits of less well known Edmund all heart I had accepted it.”)
figures: my never

19th-century arrivals from their country; Peel, Priests and Politics

French, the bishop of Kilmacduagh and
children made up approximately 5% of the re- Sir Robert Peel’s Administration and
Kilfenora, who was old, ill and “afflicted with
mainder, and the rest of the arrivals

were Irish the Roman Catholic Church in

Ireland, scruples concerning his baptism”; and An-
The book
shortcomings of the

thony Blake, the backstairs viceroy who was to are simple enough: Kerr is so good
that wishes for and that he had
Oxford, The Clarendon Press Irish Catholicism what Disraeli’s Sidonia was one more

the most followed some of his leads. How did

1982, £22.50 to Jewry, and “one of plausible in- own


that stood in shoe leather.” British governments, for example, deal with
0 19 821891 5 triguers ever

country strong anti-Irish and anti-Catholic Catholic bishops in the colonies? Kerr touches

prejudice but a job market in which overt □

on this subject, and it influenced the Curia in
Reviewed by W. E. Vaughan
discriminationhad less practical effect on their its dealings with Peel’s
goverment, but the

prospects than on those of their male counter-

details are missing. Further, he might have
impressive. First, Kerr has a clear sense of what
parts. Because Irish women were willing to
T USTICE WAS NOT DONE THEN he is trying to do; second, he is able to control a
looked more closely at the means of com-

accept the domestic positions scorned by Peel’s munication between the main parties. How,
(nor has it been done since) to complicated narrative, as well as presenting, in
native born (and toward the end of the
century for example, did even an archbishop,
Irish reforms,” writes Prof. Kerr at the end of a comprehensible form, complicated matters anyone,
crossed the Atlantic with the expressed ambi- get from Rome?
his book, “which, considered in the context of such as the Charitable Bequests Act. Indeed, a straight answer Why was

tion of taking such posts), they achieved before

the time and of the prejudices of his own party, Chapters 3 and 4 on the Act are the best of the Archbishop Crolly impressed by Cullen’s wor-
long dominance in an area of employment dy subaltern and uncle, Fr. Maher, when he
were remarkable.” In a well written and en- book, showing Kerr’s skills to their best advan-
plagued by small applicant pools. As an adap- claimed that “all Rome”
joyable book, Kerr not only does justice to Peel tage. The Act was enormously important for was against the
tive strategy, employment in middle class and Charitable Bequests Act;
and his home secretary, Sir James Graham, the of the Catholic Church; its yet in the event the
well-to-do households in American cities had did condemn the Act and the Curia
of pope not
but also to the archbishop Dublin, Daniel provisions were technical, if not prosaic; it met

many advantages: a high level of disposable in- had been cautious in its discussions?
Murray, whose willingness to with Catholic needs well that it remained very
cooperate so un-
come (necessary for the support of families Moreover, Kerr should have made more of the
the government in spite of attacks from his changed in both parts of Ireland until the mid-
back home and/orthe passage money for sibl- contacts between the Irish government and the
episcopal colleagues was the main support of dle of the 20th century. Its framers might well
ings), nutritious food, lodging less crowded
hierarchy; at one point, for example, Lord
Peel’s policy. As befits an ecclesiastical have expected opposition from the bishops,
and less susceptible to contagion than that “was loss” how
historian, Kerr’s approach is consistently especially over provision for the regular clergy; Heytesbury at a to contact

available in tenements, and perhaps the oppor-

He examines the relationships be- but they might also have expected criticism that Murray. Does this mean that an A.D.C. could
tunity to acquire insight into the ways of be Eccles Street? Yet the lord lieu-
not sent to
tween groups—the Roman Curia, the British was as prosaic and technical as the bill itself.
Anglo-Saxon Protestant American and the
tenant was rescued from his predicament by
government, and the Irish bishops; he also ex-
The difficulties of governing Ireland,
“good life” of their new nation. The service
the timely and unexpected arrival of Murray at
amines the three parts of Peel’s policy that were demonstrated by MacHale’s
profession had one notable drawback, occa- however, were
the vice-regal lodge “in the same carriage” as
aimed at
separating the Irish priesthood from
sioned by its live-in requirement: It was usually reaction to this pedestrian proposal, which he
the Protestant archbishop of Dublin—-
the repeal movement: the Charitable Bequests
and retain one’s domestic described as “surpassing, in its odious provi-
not possible to marry
presumably Whately and Murray were not
Act, the trebling of the Maynooth grant, and sions, the worst enactments of penal times and
post, an obstacle that did not seem insur-
the establishment of the queen’s colleges. constrained by the same protocol as the lord
mountable to Irish within developing a maturity of wicked refinement in
many women a
work of has
of the Famine and its In a great distinction, Kerr legislation which the more clumsy artificers of
generation’s memory
of in- Peel, Priests and Politics is a notable and
transformation of Irish attitudes toward drawn on an impressive range souces, the anti-Catholic code would in vain attempt to

distinguished contribution to the history of

cluding Irish diocesan archives and the archives rival.” As the chapter progresses and the
of the Irish College in Rome, the Congregation ramifications increase, Kerr’s mastery
Anglo-Irish relations in the 1840s, basing itself

IRISH of Propaganda Fide and the Archivio Segreto becomes Sir James Graham
on a particular aspect of government policy.
more acute:
One hopes that Kerr will continue his work into
niche in the Vatican©. (One of the book’s minor triumphs threatens to embarass Murray by publishing
secure new country. Equally
is the discovery of remarkable body of police the 1850 sand 1860s, and that he will do for
a the facts of their negotiations. Sir James is
untrained and more affected by discrimina-
Lord John Russell,
reports on the repeal movement in 1843, “taken aback” when Murray publishes the Archbishop Cullen and
tion and stereotyping, the Irish men took
Pius IX what he has done well for Peel,
what could find, deposited in the Derby papers in the Bodleian.) government’s guarantees about the religous so
employment they usually
Murray and Gregory XVI. ■
the arduous physical Kerr also writes with skill and consideration. orders; Murray, at his most bitter moment,
most labor, the most

Not only do the protagonists emerge turns to the archbishop of Armagh for
and assignments sup-
dangerous factory work,
that months away from home. clearly—the mild and tenacious Murray, the port, but the primate, although supporting the W.E. VAUGHAN
meant Asa is a lecturer in history at

cantankerous MacHale, an increasingly active Act, warns him not to oppose “Mr O’Connell,
result, they died faster and younger than any Trinity College, Dublin, and the author ofSin,
Cullen, and the impulsive but determinedSir [and] a majority of the bishops and clergy.”
12 ILS, Spring 1984 Sheep and Scotsmen.
Political Violence and Nationalism
CHARLES TOWNSHEND fascinating analysis of the ceremonies which

Political Violence in Ireland

took place in Australia on St. Patrick’s Day,

1888, emphasizing the social function of Irish

Government Resistence since 1848 “An important part of the academic response to nationalism for immigrants and the manner in
Clarendon Press, 1983, 1r.£22.50
the present Ireland has been which the colonial underlinedthe
tragedy of Northern a context am-

0 198217 53 6
biguities of the constitutionalnationalist tradi-
new critical interest in the basis and development tion, Patrick O’Farrell has an interesting ac-

of the bizarre internment of a small IRB
of Irish nationalism,

W.F. PAURIC TRAVERS, in Australia in 1918. In two good con-

MANDLE, group

editors tributions on religion and nationalism, E.M.

Johnston opens new perspectives by treating
Irish Culture and Nationalism,
the common problems of Catholicand Protes-
tant churches in Ireland in the 18th
Macmillan Humanities Research Centre,
while in a well structured based on

1983, 1r.£20.00
substantial new research, Pauric Travers looks
Martin’s Press, U.S.)
(St. at the role of the clergy in the conscription
0 333 32858 2 crisis, and emphasizes their pragmatism during

a period of rapid change.

Reviewed by Tom Dunne


An important

academic response

to the
of the

of this collection deals with literature and

nationalism. A.M. Gibbs has a useful por-

tragedy of Northern Ireland has anew
trayal of George Bernard Shaw as a sym-
critical interest in the basis and development of
pathetic critic of the Irish while A.R.J.
nationalism. There have been two fine
Irish Griffiths examines the influence of Ibsen on

surveys: one, of its organizational structures by Irish writers, including Pearse, and ends with
Tom Garvin, and the other, of its ideological
the claim, “If Cuchulain stalked through the

dimensions by George Boyce. Earlier this

Post Office in 1916, so did Peer Gynt.” Patrick
Oliver MacDonagh’s new seminal work, States
Rafroidi pursues the Cuchulain myth with his
of Mind, brought the debate to anew level of
usual romanticenthusiasm and eclecticism. On

sophistication with its dissection of the

a more mundane level, there is an interesting
that has
elements of ambiguity and paradox
analysis of Australian writers who used Irish
marked all manifestations of Irish nationalism
themes by Gerard Windsor. There is an odd
since the 18th century. Now, Charles
outburst by Vincent Buckley against modern
Townshend’s eargerly awaited study of Ulster poets for avoiding political issues and in
political violence in Ireland makes a further
particular for not writing “heroic” poetry for
valuable and often brilliant contributionin this
“freedom fighters.’’ Buckley greatly
and indeed in several others.
area, the
underestimates the political nature of
stated aims and claims
Townshend’s are
he grossly oversimplifies the
poetry, just as

modest and specific—the provision of a

issues. Geoffry Bolton’s nicely irreverent con-
to Irish
historical framework for “the present crisis,” models) and its complex relationship Irish topics in Australia. “Culture” is inter-
tribution on “The Anglo-Irish and the
establish- nationalism; (b) the conceptional straight- preted in broad terms, and two fine
the dimensions of which “have been very ar-
Historians” concludes with high praise for
ed by the relationship of government
and jacket which constrained British government ticles —Elizabeth Malcolm, “Popular Recrea-
Culture and Anarchy in Ireland. For
(particulary its obsession with and in- Bill
resistence over the last century.” He “makes response tion in Nineteenth-Century Ireland” and readers the most interesting though poignant
“law and order”); and (c) the
no pretence of interpretative originality,” and terpretation of Mandle,“The G.A.A. and Popular
chapter will be “Yeats and the Anglo-Irish
is determinedto allow the evidence to speak for practical direction and operation of police Culture’’— echo themes developed by
Twilight” by the late and much-mourned
itself, rather than impose his own “ex- and military in Ireland, and the conflict and Townshend on the recreactional aspects of
Leland Lyons. This is a fine example of his
structures.” This distincition bet- confusion between them. The book is a skillful nationalism. The colonial dimension,
planatory mass
later style—elegant, sensitive, acerbic—using
evidence and interpretation is unreal, but patchwork of a critical synthesis of recent
avoided by Townshend, is an important one
ween Senate speeches with equal skill, and
poetry or
readers will regret that Townshend did research, with much original material. His here. J.C. Beckett makes a spirited if not whol-
many giving some idea of how he had intended to

not “indulge” in general comment and pressive analysis of Irish violence and its social ly convincing case that Edmund Burke should
treat the final part of Yeats’s life.
analysis because when he does he is function stresses its communal basis, its opera- be seen as imperialist and “English” in his at-
Overall, this book makes an important con-
remarkably good. tion as an alternative state system, its element titudes to Irish questions. A.V. Brasted has an
tribution to the debate on the nature of Irish
of carnival, its form of
A related and more serious problem is the importances as a
interesting analysis of Home Rule ideology in
rhetoric. He is particular-
nationalism. It has, however, been badly serv-
politics, and its use as the
determined neutrality of the
terms of attitudes to Empire as a whole,
language and of terms
ed by its publishers, Macmillan, in of
ly good on the processes by which violence
although his categories are overly simplistic,
the conceptual framework. The emphasis on
quality of production, a painful contrast to the
became politicized, and the survival into
the symbiotic relationship between violence
on particularly his view of Parnellism as tending
usual impeccable Oxford University Press
later forms of traditional patterns, so that, towards the Commonwealthidea. The colonial
and government is justified and handled well,
treatment given to the Townshend volume. ■
“Even if the intellectual trappings of na- dimension also figures prominently in a
but Townshend fails to confront one vital ele-
tionalism were uninteresting or incomprehen- number of on the Irish in Australia.
the papers
ment of the nature of government under
sible, and the Irish language itself almost J.E.
Act of Union—its clear, if idiosyncratic im-
even Parnaby puts Gavan Duffy’s colonial ex- TOM DUNNE lectures on Irish history at

universally rejected, the tradition of adhesion perience into the context of his nationalism, Cork, and is author
perial/colonial character. His evidence and University College, of
to communally based associations ‘agin the Oliver has a
while MacDonagh humorous and Theobold Wolfe Tone: Colonial Outsider.
argument constantly underline this reality. A

government’ sustained the sense of national

major theme of the book, for example, is the

identity prized by nationalist theoreticians.”

difficulty of imperial rule for a democratic

On the other side, there is an original and sym-
History in Brief
but he regularly treats the
pathetic analysis of the problems of policing in
Kingdom under the Union as a simple unitary
the Irish countryside; the reasons why the
state as in his surprise at the constitu-
different form
Royal Irish Constabulary never won popular
tional crisis of 1912 taking
Lord Shannon’s Letters
acceptance; and of unease with which
from those of 1832 or 1867.

military officers tackled the problems of com-

A further related problem lies in a certain

munity violence and crowd control.
confusion about the role of ideology in the
shannon’s letters to his
political process.
It is given major importance □ Lord
Son (Public Record Office of Northern
in the development of Irish nationalism,
THROUGHOUT THIS BOOK THERE IS Ireland, 1982), by the 2nd Earl of Shannon,
especially from the 1890s, while the ideological
separate treatment of Ulster, and Townshend’s Richard Boyle, to his son, Viscount Henry
basis of government policy is seen in narrow
for “the interested observer” is a Boyle, were written during the years
“law and order” terms and is sometimes ex-
bleak one, as indicated in the preface, that 1790-1802. The originals are in the National
cluded altogether, as in his uncritical accep-
Library of Ireland and the Public Record Of-
while history teaches no lessons, it “may sug-
tance of the Cooke and Vincent analysis of the
fice of Northern Ireland. The editor provides
gest that certain realities lieoutside the scope of
first Home Rule crisis. It is possible that an un-
introduction of 70
political manipulation.” Yet, by making a an some pages, helpful
willingness to acknowledge a colonial dimen-
notes to the correspondence, and 44
great deal of historical sense of seemingly illustra-
sion im-
to “the present crisis” underlies this tions of contemporary subjects. pretty clear to me that there will be listeners to
endless and endemic violence, this book makes For the
balance. On the other hand, it may be that this what is going on, and histories written to
a very positive contribution, and it should be general reader the volume offers occasional in- many

is a deliberate challenge to the normal over- female correspondents.” But, for the most
compulsory reading for all politicians on the sights into Irish life (from an Ascendancy point
facile characterization of the Anglo-Irish rela- of view), especially during the turmoilof 1798. part, the letters are extremely parochial and
two islands. It will certainly be read by
tionship, just as the understated narrative ap- will appeal students of Ascendancy
A letter of 30 May in that most to
historians and students with great enjoyment year describes how
proach (as in Michael Laffan’s recent study of politics and political culture.
as well as benefit, for not the least pleasure of “Spencer of Rathangan was murdered by his
partition), is highly effective. and his head nailed his The decision to calendarthe correspondence
this pioneering work is Townshend’s polished own yeomen, to own

and often witty Whatever its shortcom- door.” Another of the same date describes the rather than publish it verbatim in extracts or in

The arrangement

book is chronological, and it focuses

of the
ings, this is a remarkable and well sustained capture of an apothecary of Grafton Street, extenso makes its substance accessible

but it sacrifices the integri-

to a wide

analysis of a central and oddly neglected aspect Dublin, with 4000 poison capsules allegedly in- scholarly audience,
the period 1848-1922, with a brief but
of modern Irish history. tended “for distribution to servants to kill their ty, color and detailof the original prose. Still, it

fascinating concluding in light of the masters.” For fear of is clear that Lord Shannon’s letters
survey, poisoning, according to are not

author’s research, of the Northern Ireland pro- Lord Shannon, the Dublin Richesse literary masterpieces, so the sacrifice appears

blem since 1922. Several main themes CULTURE AND NATIONAL- to be ■
emerge eating soup for a time! At the other extreme, justified.
ism, 1750 to 1850, is a collection of
clearly, and their interaction is handled well. papers
Lord Shannon counselled his son on his —Karl S. Bottigheimer
These given at a conference in Canberra in 1980, and
are (a) a typology of Irish violence (part- tials: “Your first night will occasion much SUNY Stony Brook
it is largely the product of research done on
ly on judiciously used and adapted sociological gossip and what may be called fun, and it is
ILS, Spring 1984, 13
Irish Peasant Resistance
phecies,” as most scholars have done, is to

JAMES S. DONNELLY, JR. overlook the psychological boost they to


Irish Peasants: Violence and Catholic self-esteem and to ignore a major fac-
Political Unrest, 1780-1914 tor in explaining the
peasantry’s subsequent
zeal for O’Connell’s Catholic Emancipation
Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1983, $35.00
0 299 09370 0

Reviewed by Stanley H. Palmer The modernization of

Famine society and

protest is clearly


in the last third of the book. The Ireland of

IF the

important questions


long been
1880 bears

no resemblance

The landless laborer, John

to the Ireland

Boyle shows,

asked and, it sometimes seems, even mostly has become “a marginal figure” of decreasing
answered, it is an overdue and most exciting numerical and political significance. The Land

development that they are now being address- Question affected not him but the farmers,

ed in the rapidly changing field of modern Irish large and small; little was done to improve the

history. Anew generation of historians, of still impoverished laborers’ lot. The late

whom Sam Clark and Jim Donnelly are two of William Feingold, in his essay on the Tralee

the leading practitioners, continues to break (Kerry) Poor Law election of 1881, investigates
free from the old Irish straight]acket of na-
that new nonviolent protest weapon, the ballot

tionalism and politics. The present important box. While his statistical sample is very small

book, Irish Peasants , offers us a harvest of the and the results inconclusive, Feingold

latest findings in 19th-century social and demonstrates the importance of this poor-law

economic history. election as an early stage in the democratiza-

The book is structured around ten

tion of Irish local politics. More important are
essays As the
an immensely valuable book not only for the Ulster tenant-right asociations. in 17905,
from the of of the best of these the two excellent and complementary essays by
pens many
themselves but for the editors’ state-of- so in the 1880s, Catholic aggressiveness (Land
“new” Irish historians. Like most such edited Liam Kennedy and David S. Jones. Each
League, Home Rule) sank cross-sectarian land
the-art summaries of modern Irish social and
books, this one is unbalanced in its coverage. paints a picture of late 19th-century Ireland as
economic historiography. The book’s issues and polarized politics around political
The book is strongest on the late 19th century vigorously capitalist and dominated by large
should model for other books of and cultural values. After 1885, Protestant
ture serve as a
farmers, graziers, and traders. Kennedy
and on Ulster. Four of the seven pan-Ireland ex-
collected “labourers and artisans, officered by their
essentially cover the three decades plains that curious post-1922 phenomenon, the
essays landlords, . . . hold Ulster for the queen” (p.
the of farmers’ party in
before 1910; none are
offered for critical nonemergence a an over-
259). Walker’s essay helps to explain much
whelmingly agrarian country. He that

1825-1880. Even argues
pre- and post-Famine years,
interplay between reli- about modern Ulster politics.
the rich Ulster section (three essays) has a gap
given the rural class structure traders and
gion and economics was never more in-
But □ ' shopkeepers developed naturally into the pro-
for the first half of the 19th century. Clark
tense than in Ulster. As David Miller shows,
vincial power-brokers of modern Ireland.
and Donnelly have gone
to considerable trou-
the unique concentration of lower-class Pro- OUTSIDE AS A RESULT OF
ble to tie the together. The book is ar- Many traders were also graziers, nonresiden-
testants and the protoindustrialization in linens the demographic preponderance of Catholics,
tial, 11-month leaseholders of large dry-
ranged in three sections: “Land and Religion
produced in late 18th-century Armagh a brief the “religious” issue took a backseat to
cattle ranches. In his Jones shows how
in Ulster,” 1784-1795 and 1848-1886; and on essay
class conflict between Protestant gentry and economics and class conflict. David Dickson
Ireland overall, “The Tradition of Violence,” the trend away from labor-intensive tillage to
which was resolved only by the shows that in late 18th-century Ireland taxa-

1785-1824, and “Changing Lines of Cleavage acre-intensive pasturage hurt laborers and
gentry’s abandonment of their paternalistic tion, though not as inflammatory as tithe or
small farmers alike, and why it attracted in-
and Cohesion,” 1880-1910. Each section
protection of Catholics (newly aggressive rent, made a modest contribution to disaffec-
benefits from 10-to 15-page introduction vestors and landlords. Peasant resistance to
a of Protes-
Defenders) and the sealing a classless tion. In his path-breaking essay on East
this “monopoly” of land for cattle culminated
which places the in historical and
essays hegemony. In their collaborative Munster disturbances in
tant essay, 1802-1811, Paul
the in the “ranch war” of 1906-1909. Although
historiographical context. In addition, Paul and Frank show that in post-
Bew Wright Roberts demonstrates that “faction fighting”
grazing prevailed, it has to this day, the
long general introduc-
editors have written a Famine Ulster religion again triumphed over was in fact class conflict between laborers/
riche “bullockdom” of gentrified
tion which discusses the changing nature of noveaux
economics. In the face of legitimate small
cross- farmers (Caravats) and larger farmers/
and examines the graziers was never able to acquire social
violence and political unrest
sectarian agrarian grievances, the Ulster shopkeepers (Shanavests). His essay makes a

in light of social scientists’ findings legitimacy or local political power. The one ex-
Irish case of land
Liberal party formulated no program major contribution to our knowledge of pre-
ception the shopkeeper-graziers who,
about modernization and collective action in
was as
reform, and when sectarianism heated up Famine Whiteboyism. Donnelly argues per-
In concluding shopkeepers, extended their social and political
peasant societies.
other a sec-
again after 1880 the party foundered the
suasively that in the Rockite disorders of
Clark and control even as they bolstered their income. ■
tion, “The Unreaped Harvest,” defections of Protestants to the Tories and of 1821-1824 an intensely anti-Protestant
Donnelly point to areas for further research Catholics to the Home Rulers. In a related
millenarianism—targeting the state’s church,
and, informed by current knowledge, pose a
essay, Brian Walker lucidly traces the rise
Yeomanry, police and soldiers—served as solid STANLEY H. PALMER is chairperson ofthe
number of important questions that (1868-1881) and collapse (1881-1886) of “in-
spiritual underpinning for temporal Whiteboy history department at the Univ. of Texas at

scholars must address. In sum, Irish Peasants is terdenominational cooperation” among retributionism. To dismiss “Pastorini’s Pro- Arlington.

C.S. ANDREWS well-informed account of de Valera’s

American dimension. He makes the interesting

Man of No Property
point that, in American politics, de Valera

Republican Personalities
Mercier £l5
Press, 1982, spoke as a Wilsonian against the isolationists,
0 85342 680 5 and later, Taoiseach in Ireland, became
as an

implementer of Michael Collins’ “stepping-

MEDA RYAN stone to freedom” policy in the teeth of

of legal theory which has around Ultimately, especially after the Republic of opposition from Collins’ successors.
The Tom grown
Barry Story corpus
Ireland Act, he became reconciled to the ex-
the 1937 Constitution). Asa school of per-
Mercier Press, 1982, £4.20 □
isting state.
sonality training, it produced modem Ireland’s
O 85342 672 4
first indigenous secular elite. THE LEE AND O TUATHAIGH book is a

When Republican theorizing became THE REPUBLICAN QUALITIES

leadership get full scope in the life of Dr.

OF revised and extended version of

wrote for television series on

a script they
de Valera. Its
divorced from reality after the defeat in the a

De Valera's Darkest Hour, 1919-32 C.S. (Tod) Andrews. Having been adjutant to theme is national sovereignty—de
Civil War, it ran to seed, as theory always does uniting
De Valera's Finest Hour, 1932-59 Liam Lynch in the Civil War, he followed Valera’s pursuit of it, the nationalist expecta-
in such circumstances. Lemass, de Valera, and
Mercier £4.50 each Fianna Fail in its abandonment of the tions from it, and the disappointment of these
Press, 1982, the other founders of Fianna Fail eventually
underground and, fromthe late 1920s onward, expectations. In the introduction, the producer
0 85342 676 7 rescued it and it real work to do in the
moved into succession of
a high posts in the of the series, Peter Feeney, expresses the hope
0 85342 675 9 state-building of the 19305. But before that,
semi-state sector. His greatest work was the that the text does not make excessive and
and while still in the desert, de Valera was as

creation of the turf industry, and Dr. Andrews unhistorical use of hindsight. This would mean

JOSEPH LEE and much a victim of the arid scholasticism as

tells that story in full in his book. He also gives “imposing present-day values and concerns on
or rather, its chief victim. T. Ryle
valuable accounts of the early Electricity Supp- past events.” But it is in fact as a reflection of
Dwyer quotes him as follows from 1924:
The Age of de Valera ly Board, and of CIE (the state transport such values and concerns that the book will
The material point is whether the second D&l should

Ward River Press in association with meet and hand over its and authorities system) and Radio Telefis fiireann during the principally interest the American reader. They
now powers
is extremely
Radio Telefis Eireann, 1982, £4.95 to the body that was subsequently elected, and
years he headed them. The book are abundantly in evidence, and Prof. Lee’s
whether they should meet afterwards and hand over well written and the author blends the personal contributions are, indeed, marred at times by
0 907085 33 4
elected the they subse- dimensions with and
to the body recently powers and the public grace an excess of heavy, contemporary irony.
quently had. panache. The only thing I found irritating was
Reviewed by Desmond Fennell □
Much the same can be said of the leadership an excessive and rather forced use of foreign
qualities generated by Republicanism words and erudite references. MISS RYAN’S OF Barry is

THESE common

Irish Republican personalities

HAVE IN they operated in the unreal world of the post-
Civil War IRA. Nothing reads so sad as Meda
In de Valera, the Republican gifts

theorizing and leadership achieved a happy

for based on

extensive research

with her subject. The story of the

and personal ac-

and Republicanism in the 1922-59, Ryan’s account of that great general of the guerilla days is well told, although sketch-maps
years marriage from the 1930s onward. Dr, Dwyer’s
of them extend beyond that War of Independence and Civil War, Tom of the engagements would have been help.
although two two books together form a political biography a

period. Irish Republicanism, besides being the Barry, galumphing from absurdity to grotes- of de Valera. The “darkest” and “finest” Subsequently, the book deteriorates. The

Republican underworld of the late

full-blooded form of Irish political na- quely in the hours of the titles refer to the struggling and writing seems rushed and the narrative

1920 sand ’3os. That is not to blame the man, meanders; and there are too printing
tionalism, has been an important intellectual triumphant periods, respectively, of the sub- many er-

and sociological phenomenon. Asa but merely to say that generals, like poets, can The author draws extensively rors. ■
ject’s career. on

become ridiculous in an enviroment that

metaphysics of politics, it was the first sizeable the de Valera literature as well as on many

of theory be frustrates them, Barry simultaneously liv- DESMOND FENNELL is Irish writer,
body to produced autonomously was
original documents, and provides a compact, an

in Ireland in modem times (the second is the ing another lifewhich suited his talents: He was readable narrative. His American critic and lecturer, and has most recently
with the Cork Harbour Board. full and authored The State of the Nation,
a manager enables Dwyer give a
background to
14 ILS, Spring 1984
MEANWHILE, disputed

dominance of Irish politics

was temporarily interrupted by the victory of

the first coalition of Fine Gael and Clan na

A New Look at the Long Fellow Poblachta in 1948. John A. Costello, the Fine

Gael leader, under considerable from


the extreme republicans in the Clan, declared

the republic and took the26 counties out of the

De Valera and the Ulster Question, Commonwealth, thus destroying the sole re-

1917-1973 maining bridge to the north that de Valera had

deliberately kept since the 1930s in hopes

Oxford Univ. Press, 1982 open

that the north and south could eventually be

0 19 82268 1
reconciled. Bowman argues that de Valera

would not have done as Costello did, knowing

Reviewed Catherine B. Shannon
that this would probably produce a stronger

British commitment to the northern Protestant

JOHN current
affairs analysis for Radio Telefis
AND majority than then obtained.

right, for the Ireland Act of 1949

De Valera

provided the

Eireann, has produced a most remarkable, and guarantee which enabledthe Unionist ma-

indeed, a timely book, as was recently jority in the north to retain until 1968 their

demonstrated when he received the Ewart “not an inch’’ policy, leaving northern

Biggs Memorial Prize for his De Valera and the Catholic grievances on jobs, housing, etc., to

build until they rise to the Civil Rights

Ulster Question, 1917-1973 in December 1983. up gave

This prize was established in of the Movement in 1968-9. The subsequent events,

British ambassador to Dublin, Christopher as has been so painfully apparent, provided the
IRA IRA with their first real opportunity in three
Ewart Briggs, who was assassinated by the

in Dublin in 1976. decades to re-introduce violence into Irish

political life, and the 1970s witnessed a

De Valera, the dominant figure in Irish

resurgence of the worst features of orthodox

political life for half a century and a founderof

the Fianna Fail Party, has been

republicanism within the Fianna Fail ranks.

regarded as the champion of orthodox Irish □

republicanism. This orthodox republican

tradition, represented most especially within
political life, de Valera apparently recognized
Fianna Fail, has as its central axiom that the

the folly of his earlier and facile dismissalof the

natural forces of geography and history dictate
Ulstermen as “a minority inside a tempermen-
the inevitability of a unitary, separatist and
tally different state,” and in 1957 he urged the
Gaelic republican state for the island of
party to resolve the partition question by hav-
Ireland. This tradition views the 1920 partition
the ing “as close relations as possible with the peo-
as solely product of British intrigue
ple of the six counties and get them to combine
employed to
preserve own strategic
with us on matters of common concern.” It
and imperial interests. It was a partition which
was advice that his successor Sean Lemass
is alleged to be in direct violation of an on-

eagerly and valiantly tried to implement when

going and healthy non-sectarian republicanism
he was Taoiseach from 1959-66, but it gained
stretching back to the era of Wolfe Tone and
little appreciation north of the border. In the
the United Irishmen. This tradition has had an
De Valera’s views
toleration for violence and the unconstitu-
on partition “were more
twilight of his life, de Valera admitted the
wisdom of Erskine Childers’ advice, rendered
tional as the history of the last 15
years so complex ,
more flexible, and indeed more
from his death cell in 1922, that the northern
tragically demonstrates, and the violent

moderate than is usually
methods employed by today’s IRA are rooted thought .
majority, who had a “different heritage”

could not be “coerced violently or otherwise

in the unwavering faith that its members have
into a United Ireland,” and that the vital need
in the truths of this orthodox republican tradi-

tion. On both sides of the the

was to “get to know, understand and tolerate
their point of view by coooperation in every
of Eamon de Valera has often been in-

voked in defense of this tradition, and with way possible.”

predate, the northern politician and jour-

some justification. However the crucial value study is especially
nalist Frank MacDermott, and Secretary of
of Bowman’s study is that it

usual generalizations about de Valera, parti-

goes beyond the valuable for its

Valera’s persistent efforts

detailed account

after coming
of de

Finance J.J. McElliott did, that the narrow ONE rary

Irish politicians

who look to
definition of Irishness established in the 1937
tion and republicanism, and examines in in 1932 Eamon de Valera the doyen of Irish
to use diplomacy to secure a as na-
constitution alongside the irredentist claims of
microscopic detail his attitudes and policies united Ireland. The old concepts of local tionalism will take their cue from his belated
Articles 2 and 3 egregiously offended northern
regarding the problem of Ulster over the whole
autonomy for Protestant Ulster (which had recognition of the damage to the prospects of
Unionists, and thus offered no basis for union,
of his career. What from Bowman’s
emerges secured approval from de Valera’s cabinet col- national reconciliation and unity that playing
and only served to prolong partition.
skillful pen is an analysis of de Valera that the Treaty of
leagues prior to 1921), and an the “green card” brings, and that they will res-
On the other hand, Bowman demonstrates
shows, that while the unificationof Irelandwas Irish-British relationship based external pond constructively and the
on humanely to

that de Valera’s willingness for the sake of uni-

the major preoccumpation of de Valera’s life, association floated Lon-
periodically were to challenges that are inherent in defining anew

his views on the north and the whole partition ty to trim his republican sails toward local
don. De Valerahoped that London and Belfast Irish identity and the shaping of a New Ireland
question flexible, autonomy and external association strained to
were more complex, more
would see them as major concessions on in the deliberations of the New Ireland Forum
and moderate than is the limits his relationships with the republican
indeed, more usually republicanism which would end their insistence and Dail Eireann.
hard This risk which, Mac-
thought. on the constitutional status in favor of, at
core. was a as
quo Equally, Dr. Bowman’s excellent book
Donald observed, certainly deserved a more
the very least, a federally united Ireland. These should stimulate a
□ more balanced appreciation
sympathetic reponse from Craigavon in
approaches made little impression on Belfast, of de Valera Irish statesman the
as an among
BOWMAN STRESSES THAT DESPITE Belfast, especially given the deteriorating
not surprisingly given Dublin’s simultaneous northern Unionists. It is important to stress,
European situation in 1937. In fact, the “Not
his stature as a veteran of Easter Week and as a assault on the Free State constitution which led
however, that while Bowman’s analysis
member of the de Valera an Inch” philosophy prevailed in Belfast, and
revoutionary Dail, to the abolition of the oath of allegiance, the
demonstrates that southern aspirations to a
consistently rejected force to abolish the 1920 Anglo-Irish relations in 1938 revolved around
governor general’s office, and the right of ap-
unitary, republican, separatist, confessional
border. Military demolish the de Valera’s attempts to make some progress on
attempts to peal to the Privy Council. The repudiation of
state were, and unrealistic, so too is the
border he viewed counter-productive British citizenship in
partition by exploiting Britain’s anxieties over
as ap- the 26 counties, and the Unionist insistence the of
on permanence parti-
defense. The end result of these negotiations
proaches which would only heighten the anx- abolition of the Free State Senate, ostensibly tion in the precise cultural forms and constitu-
ieties of Ulster Protestants, sacrifice British with MacDonald and Chamberlain was, of
designed to protect southern Protestant in- tional arrangements legislated by the 1920 and
the return of the treaty ports to the
goodwill to Dublin, and entrench partition. the northern
terests, were hardly reassuring to 1949 acts. Clearly the time has come for all
de Valera renounced violence Dublin government,thus makingpossible Irish
Publically, on Unionists. sides to give more than an inch on the Irish
neutrality in World War 11. For de Valera,
pragmatic grounds because, as a politician, he
□ Questions.
neutrality was the acid test of the south’s
was keenly conscious of his own vulnerability
sovereignty and the legitimacy of the 1937 con-
By any standard, John Bowman’s book is
to the extreme republican wing of his party, BOWMAN CAREFULLY DOCUMENTS A
stitution. While the author carefully explains
an historical tour de force to which a short
and felt he was the only leader who could con- thaw in Anglo-Irish relations in the late 19305,
the theoretical and considerations review cannot do justice. His analysis and con-
tain the hard-line republicans. Unfortunately, practical
during which time Malcolm MacDonald, the clusions
that underlay de Valera’s insistence on
are lucidly articulated, and are firmly
de Valera’s renunciations of force came in
secretary of state for the Dominions, and
based on an impressive amount of interviews,
speeches that were decorated with so many
neutrality, even when the dark days of 1940
Neville Chamberlain on the Irish Situations
research in public and private archives on both
rhetorical “green cards” that they little produced the strongest sign yet that London
gave Committee, recognized that de Valera, rather
sides of the Atlantic, as well as on a judicious
assurance of security to the northern might rethink partition in exchange for Irish
than being a wild revolutionary, was a
use of relevant historical, geographical and
Unionists. On the other hand, Bowman in- help in the war effort, Bowman stresses that
gradualist who probably could do more to

Irish neutrality thickened the partitionist wall sociological literature. De Valera and the
troduces some evidence that de Valera’s aver- stable Ireland than could
secure a permanently
between the Ulster Question, 1917-1973is required reading
sion to violence may have been partially rooted two states immeasurably, and
W.T. Cosgrave, the leader of Fine Gael.
sacrificed the gains in good will toward Dublin for everyone who is concerned that the future
in moral grounds, viz. as when he appealed to
, However, the thaw was short lived, for the ab-
of the Irish people, both Catholic and Protes-
Liam Lynch in 1923 to abandon military that had characterized the MacDonald-
dication crisis produced the External Relations
Chamberlain era. Bowman shows that the tant, both southerner and northerner, will be
resistance to the Irish Free State on the grounds Act which removed the British
one of peace, justice and reconciliation. ■
experience effectively condemned de Valera’s
that their generation must be conscious of their from the Irish constitution except
crown on

responsibilities to the living and future genera- post-war federalist kites as exercises in futility.
foreignaffairs. Bowman rightfully stresses that

tions, inferred that to succumb to governance The strategic value of the northern ports had CATHERINE SHANNON
de Valera’s insistence on economic protection, B. was the prin-

by the of the of 1916 “the been proved beyond measure, and Britain
memory men was and upon the Catholic and Gaelic ethos in the cipal organizer of the Symposium on Northern
most ridiculous and insolent of tyrannies.” rewarded the northern loyalists by extending Ireland at the John F. Kennedy Library
1937 constitution made a mockery, in the in 1982
the full benefits of her welfare state to the six
Would that today’s IRA come to share de of northern loyalists, of the conciliatory inten- and 1984, and she is director of the Irish

Valera’s views on the use of force to resolve the

tions of proposals for local Ulster autonomy
counties, thereby contributing further to the Studies Program at Westfield State College.
Ulster entrenchment of partition.
questions. and external association. De Valera did not
ILS, Spring 1984, 15
Understanding Terrorism: A Formula for Peace
terror, official or insurgent, really achieves its reform must be adopted, based on a thorough
declared objectives. His is largely of the “sociohistorical
understanding pro-
Terrorism in Northern Ireland
negative, which I from cesses” involved in the making of rebellion and
can support my

General Hall, Inc., 1983 knowledgeof terror in the Middle East. Acts of revolution; that reform must be aimed at effec-

o 930390 50 4 (pb) Lee terror drama soon become ends in ting basic socio-economic and political
“Alfred McClung
themselves—with official actors escaping from changes, must embody “preventive therapy”

Reviewed Afif I. Tannous

has done a great facing up to the causes that
rise to rather than “crisis therapy” as heretofore, and
violence; insurgent actors losing the capacity to must be a continuedprocess, always measuring
service to the cause
move to more effectively constructive up to the changing demands of a dynamic

The for a
author, as appropriate
veteran social science scholar ap-
of peace,

strategies; and vested interests, who thrive on situation.

the destructions of terror, wishing and suppor- the author strikes the following
plying himself to a very sensitive, complex and
ting it to continue.
hopeful notes for Northern Ireland: (1) That
long-tortured condition of Northern Irleand, the “fabric” of the
society under stress, at

begins his book by declaring his stand vis-a-vis

controversy as “both pro-English and pro-
Mercifully, does not leave us
the author

despairingunder the
brink of chaos and disintegration, manifests

redeeming resilience in the form of crucial


Irish; more broadly . pro-human.” He

is atmosphere of social organizations rising to the
. .

their combative activities. The result that oppressive Northern Irish groups or up
aims the book to be for the benefit of all parties
“both Irish ethnic groups
are developing ever gloom and doom; for, in the last two chapters, challenge. (The author names eight such pro-
involved. He is critical of the English establish-
more combative and brutalized fighters, both “Quests for Peace” and “Is There No End To mising entities.) (2) That the expansion of the
of the English people; of the
ment, but not
attention ranks of educated people on both sides will be
male and female.” It All?” he focuses our on some
ecclesiastical establishment, but not of
bright and promising features in the life pattern an increasingly positive factor. (3) That the end
In the next two chapters, the author analyses
religious beliefs; and of the elite on both sides
in the of that tortured country. He begins with the “is not likely to be a spectacular event . . The
terror strategies of middle and

for their failure to relate to the people. After
pertinent questions; Whose peace? On what outcome is much more likely to result from the
lower classes of the Northern Irish society. He
reading the book carefully twice, I was fully
the victims? Is it Protestant vs. growing social consciousness and ade-
establishes the fact of official terrorism, as
terms? Who are more
convinced that the author measured up to his
Catholic conflict, haves have-nots, of those dedicted to
employed by the establishment to suppress
or vs. or quate organization a
declared stand and as well as to his
between the both sides for the humane reorganization of society.”
have-nots on
popular terrorism, and shows how its various
scholarly reputation as a
benefit of the haves on both sides? With these
regressive and violent methods failed to resolve □
sociologist. The excellence of this study, with
the its guiding questions in mind, he describes and
its authentic presentation of facts, convincing
conflict, as they dealt with symptoms
and not its In fact official violence evaluates the
many efforts aimed at resolving McCLUNG HAS
arguments and conclusions, derives from
tended violence. Such the conflict by religious, social, political and great service to the cause of peace—dynamic
author’s meticulous research of all
to beget more popular
government organizations, parties or agencies. and continuing peace—in Northern Ireland,
official terrorizing is practiced at three class
of information (as shown by the
sources many
Next he considers eleven models that have been and his book is a must for all concerned with a
levels, whereas dissident terrorizing is practiced
lists of references and quotations), his personal
in subtle the offered to depict the Northern Irish condition permanentresolution of the chronic conflict in
interviews and his treatment of the Northern
myriad or overt forms, mainly at

and answer the question, “Why?” Among that tragic country. Beyond that, the author’s
middle and lower class levels. The author
Irish problem in terms of its wider global
vivid picture of the organizations, them are the “double-minority bind”, the findings, evaluations and conclusions apply
historical depth and societal presents a
in- “religiously-divided society,” the “majority potently to other arenas of violence and terror

realities various levels. patterns, methods and goals of terrorism

dictatorship,” and the “arena of class in the world. I was deeply struck by the
volved. He shows how terrorism has become
In the Introduction, the author summarizes Then he concludes similarities between the Northern Irish condi-
“a of life” for members of all these struggle.” convincingly
“Ways of Looking at Terrorism and Revolt,”
along the following lines: That the various ef- tion and that of Lebanon, with which 1 am in-
groups, with the children most tragically in-
including various theories of revolution, and forts aimed the resolution of the conflict timately familiar. Social scientists of various
volved, as participants and as victims. Then in
arrives at his main conclusion, which becomes have failed because not ad- persuasions should welcome the book, not on-
Chapter 8 the author takes us on an unusual largely they were

the central message of the book: that terrorism dressed to the underlying causes, and when so ly to learn in depth about the dynamics of
and very impressive approach to the conflict
is a manifestationof societal ills that have been
Theatre.” We addressed, they were not implemented effec- violence in the society of Northern Ireland, but
under the heading “Terror as
neglected by responsible establishments at the
tively; that vested interests on all also to appreciate how a veteran humanistic
see how acts of terror glow as acts of drama,
root level; that authorities tend to use force,
sides—centered on lust for sociologist applies effectively his discipline
aimed at target audiences, to convey a message power, religious or so

“political terrorism,” to suppress symptoms ethnic fanaticism, economic advantage, or

to one of the most tragic problems of modern
and stimulate action. Also, we see terror, as
rather than treat causes, and thus fail to attain ■
easier to execute
violence as a way of life—contribute to the evil society— terror.
“armed propaganda,” much
the desired goals; and that Northern Ireland is condition and constitute obstacles reform;
than non-violent scenarios. After describing in
likely to move from its chronic violent erup-
that the various modelsoffered do not answer
detail and vivid terms the heavy damages of a AFIFI. TANNOUS is a member ofthe board
tions into a long-range trend of non-violent the question adequately because they are in-
large number of major and minor events, the of directors of the International Center for
change. He lists ten reason for this optimistic
author raises the crucial question of whether herently static; that a dynamic approach to
Dynamics of Development.
outlook, which he discusses later in the text.



ED to the historical roots of the problem and

thus gain

insight into its

read about the inter-


Coming ofAge in Belfast

ethnic conflict in the British Isles and in the col-

eludes that the likes of these characters will

onies of the previous Empire, especially about
GERRY ADAMS been again, his accounts of contem-
from which Ireland never seen
the British-Irish conflict, “Adams* book is more a
before it eventually unknowns who enrich experience and
suffered most tragically Falls Memories porary

document of the times than a makes others laugh at life undermine his
gained its independence. The author digs deep 1982, £3.50
into that shows how the then- of doom.
history and **
0 86322 013 4 literary masterpiece,
prevailing English attitude of racial superiority □
and class structure, together with their ex-
Reviewed by Mary Bufwack
to residents and his own experiences while ADAMS’ BOOK IS MORE A DOCUMENT
ploitive economic enterprise, contributed
the creation of a tortured heritage that con- growing up. The community comes to life in of the times than a literary achievement.

tinues to

Northern Ireland.
feed the current conflagration in
Gerry has written
adams knows

a book unlike one

that he

we would
the stories

troubles of

those who lived

19205, the Outdoor Relief riots

through the Writing
teen years
on Northern Ireland over the last fif-

has produced an image of perpetual

of the 19305, and the Republican activity of the strife. Adams’ use of the past to describe an
In Chapter 3 we read about the British expect from an authorwho has spent 4Vi years
19405. The games, songs, rituals, and pasttimes outbreak of is an important intellectual,
government effort to rectify the situation by of his life imprisoned without trials and was
Adams describes from his post-war childhood personal and political development. He adds
setting up the Orange state in 1921, which, un- recently named president of the Provisional
are the cultural record of a vigorous social to our understanding of non-sectarianism in
fortunately, proved to be a failure. It began IRA’s political wing, Sinn Fein. Republican
world. The dialogue (often in dialect) contains Northern Ireland, a phenomena often
heavily loaded in favor of the Protestant sentiments supporting the unification of

Ireland scattered throughout the text, but

the regionalisms, local insults and proverbs denied in the wake of the current troubles.
ment and of the privileged classes. The princi- are
which the repositories of the wisdom and Adams
the ruling sentiments Adams’
are uses memories to
escape the “self-
ple of human rights was flagrantly neglected, are populist.
humor of Belfast’s ordinary people. inflicted inability to participate in simple
and various attempts at reform in subsequent primary purpose is to document life in the Falls

pleasures associated with childhood.”

years failed short of implementation. This led area of Belfast as it was before this

Memories become the vehicles to express cur-
renewal Catholic community of over 10,000 people,
to a of revolt, discussed in Chapter 4,
of THIS RETURN TO THE PAST IS NOT AS rent needs for community and joy. This sket-
first as an agitation for civil rights, and even- squeezed into one-quarter a square mile,
reduced to a rubble-filled wasteland. The random as Adams implies it will be. His sket- chy, often confused, and inconsistant book is
tually as a bloody conflagration, conveniently was

life Adams recalls is of ches are selective, emphasizing the waning part of the process of political transformation
polarized in ethnic and religious terms —Irish one poverty,
Memories significance of sectarianism that preceeded the in Ireland. Although Adams intended to
vs. English, Catholic vs. Protestant —in which discrimination, and injustice. Falls
current strife. Asa young boy Adams is stop- describe a vanishing world, he illustrates the
extremist leaders and vested interests played restores, rather than disturbs, as it recreates

the pleasures of everyday life in urban ped by a Catholic gang and forced to prove possibilities for a better future in Northern
leading roles for their own benefit. an

that he is not a “Prod.” His recitation of the Ireland. Adams’ assumption of the
working-class community. leadership
Hail Mary does not prevent them from taking of Sinn F6in indicates that his perspective and

Researching this heritage and


current state

The first half of Falls Memories is an anec-
what coins he has. Adams’ later experience as a search is shared by many who have previously

dotal history of the establishment of the bartender in a Catholic-owned bar patronized sought more nationalistic and terrorist means
violence, the author, with sensitive perception,
by Protestant workers provides him with to change. This turning toward the
Catholic community of the Fails. Belfast land- an
energy and
insight and compassion, reveals the tragic
marks associated with early invasions and occasion to question whether one can count on strength of the ordinary people of Northern
to Be Violent” in
realities of “Learning
native resistance, but the real history of the one’s own kind and to document cross- Ireland gives hope that there might yet be an
Chapter 5. He points out the underlying
Falls begins with the establishment of mills in religious conviviality. answer to the current crisis in Ireland that em-
psycho-social factors that compel adults on all
bodies similar ends and
the 1860 sand the influx of Catholic workers. In trying to preserve a heritage and what he means: a just and
sides of the violence complex to play their
Churches, institutions and schools vanishing culture, Adams singles peaceful world, ■
he political sees as a out
destructive roles; and more poignantly
followed. local characters for special commendation.His
shows how children emulate their elders and
heroes the street singers, hawkers, and
Moving from an institutional history, are MARY BUFWACK, associate professor of
play their own “hero” roles in the ongoing away

Adams devotes the second half of the book drop-outs of by-gone days who produce Anthropology at Colgate Univ., is author of
tragedy. Even teachers in sectarian schools on

pleasure and insight they resist social control Village Without Violence: An
in colorful narratives of
as Examinationof
both sides give tacit support to their pupils to personal ex-

and police domination.Although Adams

periences based on the interviews with older con- a Northern Irish Community.
16 ELS, Spring 1984
Two on the O’Casey Aisle

Sean O’Casey’s Autobiographies:

An Annotated Index

Greenwood Press, 1983, $55

0 313 23765 4

Reviewed by Bobby L. Smith


phies: An Annotated Index is an impor-

tant and a valuable guide for scholars and

other readers of O’Casey’s six-volume

autobiography. Following blessing (David
Krause’s “Foreword”), Robert Lowery’s “In-

troduction” states the problems, his

this volume.
methodology, and his hopes for

Designed as a tool and a handy companion, the

volume indexes “the American edition (all

U.S. editions have the same pagination) and

the PAN (United Kingdom) paperback edi-

tion.” The introduction notes some essential

differences between the various editions, and

mentions a few of the changes in the

autobiographies since they first appeared.

Lowery’s introduction is a “call for anew edi-

tion [international] which incorporates all of

O’Casey’s changes and corrects what are

clearly misprints, typographical errors, and


In his book, Lowery provides us

with defini-

tions, descriptions, and explanations of the


Sean O’Casey
“a completed Herculean labor.
Macmillan Modern Dramatists

Macmillan (UK), 1983, £ll.OO

0333 3089640

proper nouns most important in the

autobiographies. Succinctly and well-written,

Reviewed by John O’Riordan
the entries have been and will be consulted by

Yeatsians, Joyceans, and strangers as well as

by O’Casey scholars. When Lowery deems it

appropriate, he directs
entries or
to other sources
our attention

for further related

to other

enterprising series, dramaphiles

will be sadly disillusioned with the present

Following the index, six appendices give us work. It is a provocative reassessment through
valuable information and insights into the of a distorted interpreter, who never

O’Casey’s sources for and his uses of “Songs once comes to terms with a dramatic Orpheus;

and Tunes,” his “Use of Extracts from Other who slithers on the Olympian slopes where

Sources,” his “Use of Quotations from Other O’Casey permanently dwells, and who would
Sources,” a guide to
“Newspapers and Jour- be hard to put to it, I suspect, to explain away

nals” known by and cited by O’Casey, a “List the difference in stature between Congreve and

of Works by O’Casey” as cited in the Coward or Pirandello and Pinter.

autobiographies, and “Chapter-by-Chapter The chapters on Juno and the Paycock and

Data on O’Casey’s Life” as that data appears

The Plough and the Stars (the only two plays
in the autobiographies.
the author admires) are adequate without be-

ing distinguished. ( Juno “has its own rough

All in all, sean

Autobiographies: An Annotated Index

music” and ThePlough is

cessful “documentary collage.”)

no more than

a suc-


Tassie is considered “disastrous in its present

is a completed Herculean labor for which we

should give thanks. It form,” even though O’Casey was at pains to

provides information,
revise it for the canon of his collected plays.
access to specific in the
Within the Gates will not do because it “for-
autobiographies, a guide to the references, and
sakes realistic narrative altogether,” as if
comments on specific plays as they in
naturalism is the sole criterion of a good play.
O’Casey’s experience from germinal stage to
In Purple Dust “the romantic side lacks charm
production and review. We can also trace

or style and the satire is crude, almost incom-

beginnings, developments, and conclusions of

prehensible,” while in Red Roses for Me “the

significant personal friendships—notably with
excesses of bad poetry are unbearable to listen
Yeats, Joyce, Shaw, Lady Gregory and many
to.” The one-acts are condemned outright as
others—as recorded by O’Casey in the six-
“crude” and of no In theend the
the consequence.
volume record of growth of an artist’s
author’s condemnation goes overboard; “To
mind. Because the index does so much for us,
be kinder to these plays is to insult the public in-
we can more fully appreciate the richness and

the innovative accomplishment that the telligence.”

autobiography represents. □

An Annotated Index works for us in other

So why did he elect to undertake the writing
as well. Any reader will return to the
of such a monograph? He obviously loathes
autobiographies with fuller understanding and
the very marrow and sinews of the subject he is
fuller appreciation; the index is also a compen-

treating. Nowt so
queer as critics! (One a few
dium of dissertation topics—questions
years ago even attempted a biography of Joyce
problems ready for the qualified candidate to
and boasted in the preface that his subject had
deal with. As usual, Lowery’s work is suppor-
wasted 17 of his life
tive of and future research. It is an im- years on Finnegans Wake
which he regarded as a “monster.”) Such
mediately and measurably valuable tool pro-
iconoclastic studies must not only be taken
moting understanding and appreciation of
with a large measure of reserve but bracketed, I
Sean O’Casey the artist and the man. Sean
hasten to
add, with what Joyce himself refer-
O’Casey’s Autobiographies: An Annotated
red to in sardonic tones as the “cultic twalette”
Index is a basic requirement for research
school of criticism. Certainly, the judgments in
libraries and for the personal libraries of those
this present monograph are what Joyce would
who read or teach O’Casey’s works. ■
‘‘ ”
have called muddlecrass. ■
TOP LEFT: Nicholas Beaver (Benson in
O'Casey’s autobiographies) with daughter Susan, c.
1892. TOP RIGHT; Sean
O’Casey, aged approximately 12, with niece Susan, c. 1892. ABOVE:
is author of the
BOBBY L. SMITH is professor of English at for-
O’Casey’s close friend George Middleton with bis wife. Photos
courtesy of Martin Mareulies
Kent State University and author thcoming Guide to O’Casey’s Plays (Mac- William Middleton
of O’Casey’s and Susan Archer Elliott.

Satiric Vision. millan)

ILS, Spring 1984, 17
Unsatisfactory History of Irish Drama

The Irish Theatre

Thames and Hudson, 1983, $24.95

0 500 01300 4

Reviewed by James W. Flannery


satisfactory books have been written


on the history of a subject as compelling as the

theatre? Perhaps, like music, the sweeping

power and urgency of the greattheatrical occa-

sions cannot easily be reduced to words. Or is it

that, in an effort to assert the claims of theatre

to dramatic literature, theatre

as opposed
historians tend to dwell on ephemeral

trivia—backstage intrigues, the personalities of

the leading players, dreary lists of playbills and
arcane details of particular produc-
tions —ignoring in the process those larger

aesthetic, religious, social and political

movements of which theatre at its best has

always been a vital part. This history of the

Irish theatre by Christopher Fitz-Simon has

some of the faults typical of the genre,

although it also has a number of redeeming

qualities that set it apart from the general run.

The first of its virtues is that it is written from

the perspective of an experienced man of the

theatre who obviously understands and loves

his subject. Fitz-Simon has had a successful

career as a producer and director in Ireland and

currently is theatre of the Abbey


Theatre. In just a little over 200 pages he pro-

vides a succinct yet thorough encyclopedic

survey of Irish theatre ranging from 12th-

mummeries and
century miracle plays, masks,
tournaments to a conspectus covering

the major figures of the contemporary stage.

Each of the periods under discussion is il-

lustrated handsomely, and this alone is worth

price of admission.

the Irish Tourist Board.

The Abbey Theatre Courtesy of


arises from the occasional critical insights of

have been born in Ireland, but their
may sion of the same myth, that myth emerging out neighbors, the Anglo-Irish dramatists were on-
Fitz-Simon the stage director. On the musical
dramatic work, without exception, was written of the same human spring, the same experience ly applying lessons learned at home and in the

structure of Sheridan’s brilliant comic dialogue and English audiences. It

for English actors of being in touch with two powerful cultures, process confirming a legitimate claim to being
he remarks:
follows that the subject of their plays
matter that informed the work of the modem Irish considered, simply and justly, Irish. ■
Sheridan arranges his sentences in very precise
was also English . Why then, other than for writers. In studying the Anglo-Irish tradition
towards smile at the
segments, building a com-
chauvinistic reasons, include them in a history we lay to rest the notion that the idea of
titter at the and resounding W. FLANNERY written
ma, a
semi-colon, a
JAMES has exten-
of the Irish theatre? Ireland as a distinctive cultural and political en-
laugh at the full A throw-away style of
stop. sively on Yeats and the modern Irish theatre.
Fitz-Simon sheds little this tity only came into being in the 20th century.
delivery is required: a striving for literalness can new light on
He is chairperson of the Theatre Studies Dept,
mar the whole rhythm; the most mocking question. Instead he is content to underscore Finally, we may discover that in satirizing the
at Emory University.
remarks achieve their effect
by the inconsequen- fairly obvious facts: that all of the these follies and pretensions of their English

tial way in which they are

spoken. that
writers were of Anglo-Irish background;
Fitz-Simon goes on to contrast Sheridan of them wrote comedies of manners; and
with Wilde, arguing that, although they both
that their work was distinguished for its
satirize the English upper-class, their verbal
remarkable deployment of imaginative, witty
techniques are totally different. “The wit in language. He further notes that the work of the
Wilde’s dialogue is based on paradox; the au-
great masters of the modern Irish stage, Yeats,
dience is required to make a mental adjust- and Beckett—also
Synge Anglo-
ment. Sheridan’s technique is descriptive: the Irishmen—was France
greatly influenced by
audience is asked to see something in an Euro-
and, therefore, belongs as much to the
unusual light.” Elsewhere he develops this to the native Irish tradition.
pean as

argumentin explaining some of the difficulties “The IRISH LITERARY

It is, no doubt,unfair to fault Fitz-Simon for
that American have in
actors interpreting
not pursuing this aspect of his study more fully. SUPPLEMENT gives a most
Yeats, in a famous Senate speech, invoked the
comprehensive of
Wilde invented his own form of dialogue; to this
heritage of Burke, Grattan, Emmet and coverage
the actor must add his own observation of upper-
Parnell— “one of the great stocks of books about Ireland, books
class English behavior. American interpretations
Europe”— the imposition of
to protest op-
are on weak grounds here, for they tend to
published in Ireland, and
prettify and sentimentalize where they
pressive laws by the Catholic majority on the

should be seeking crispness and lucidity, in an ef- Protestants of Ireland, yet to this day little has books that have a bearing on

fort to obtain what they call ‘period style.’ ben written on the remarkably coherent in-
the contemporary Irish
These forays into the realm of ideas tellectual tradition of the Anglo-Irish.
are un-

fortunately rare. For the most part Fitz-Simon

situation. It is an indispensible

confines his discussionof Irish playwriting to a
publication to be welcomed on
rehash of familiar biographical material and MY POINT IS THAT IRISH STUDIES AS

plot summaries. The rest of the book is a whole are marred by this deficency. Hugh both sides of the Atlantic.”
factual record of Kenner’s recent study, A Colder Eye: The Seamus Deane
primarily a virtually every

dramatist, playhouse and performer that, for Modern Irish Writers, has broken new ground Author and critic

one reason or another, can be considered part in showing how the imaginative qualities in the

of the Irish theatrical heritage. Asa com- writing of Yeats, Lady Gregory, Synge, Joyce,

O’Casey and Beckett can be traced to a mental

prehensive introduction to the subject, Fitz-

Simon has produced a valuable piece of work. outlook rooted in the “aspective” syntactical

structure of the Irish langauge. Kenner

But by treating theatre as an artifact distinct
demonstrates Please start my subscription to the Irish Literary
from the culture it purports to reflect, the book brilliantly how each of these
Supplementbeginning with the next issue. (Back
skirts a number of important issues. writers drew upon this tradition, which retain-
issues available for $3.00 + .50 mailing.)
ed its metaphysical potency even when

transliterated into English, and thereby made


the early Irish stage, William Clark points

an original contribution to modem literature.

What we await is an equally penetrating
out that from the 1670s until the founding of
study of the Anglo-Irish tradition as it relates to
the Irish Literary Theatre in 1898, theatre in
the life and work of the comedies of manners’
Make all checks payable to ‘‘lrish Studies” and
Ireland functionedas a nursery for theLondon
writers mentionedabove. My own view is that
mail to: 114 Paula Blvd., Selden N. Y. 11784.
stage. Playwrights such as Congreve, Far-
we will find, to a much greater degree than we

quhar, Goldsmith, Sheridan, Wilde and Shaw now realize, that they shared a composite ver-

18 ELS, Spring 1984

Synge as Triumvir
ANN editor
Theatre Business: The Correspondence
the First Abbey Theatre Directors:
William Butler Yeats, Lady Gregory
and J.M. Synge

Penn. State Univ. Press, 1982, $20.00

271 00309 X

Reviewed Ronald Schuchard


This long-awaited edition

theatre correspondence by the Abbey


triumvirate is a unique addition to the con-

tinuous and increasingly detailed documenta-

tion of the Irish dramatic movement. The pre-

sent volume includes and received its inspira-

tion from the 56 letters that comprise Prof.

Some Letters
Saddlemyer’s earlier edition of of
to Lady Gregory and W.B.
John M. Synge
Yeats (1971), and its focus was defined and

delimited then by the knowledge that scholarly

editions of the collected letters of Yeats

(volume one now in press) and Synge (volume

one recently published in England) were under-

thus “decided to make the letters
way. It was to

and from Synge the controlling pattern for this

edition.” Of the total of 202 letters, dated from

1897 to Synge’s death on 24 March 1909, Synge

is the author of 99 and the recipient of 95 letters

to and from Lady Gregory and Yeats. Included

as enclosures are several letters from Yeats to

R. Brimley Johnson, A.H. Bullen and Annie

Horniman, letters to Lady Gregory from Ar-

thur Symons and John Masefield, and from

her to Yeats and Padraic Colum. The selection

aims to reveal the development of the three

dramatist-directors as they participate in both

the wearying details and the dramatic

upheavals of what Yeats cursed in “The

Fascination of What’s Difficult” as “Theatre

business, managenmentof men.” But the let-

ters largely record the month-to-monthpreoc-

cupation with play selection, casting problems,

rehearsals, scenery, program notes, accounts,

proposals and agreements, arrangements

and related difficulties; seldom do they reveal

the full dramatic quality of upheavals such as

the Playboy riots, and thus one finds few letters

absorbing in themselves. Had the scope of

what constitutes theatrebusiness been expand-

ed to include letters to and from disgruntled ac-

tors and actresses, rejected playwrights,

Scene from the Playboy ofthe Western World with Sara Allgood and Arthur Shields. Courtesy of the Irish Tourist Board.
outraged theatregoers, and so forth, it would
have made for more lively reading. The patient

reader, however, discovers that the historical,

biographical and temperamental revelations traordinary talent had intersected with the ter-

come not from the individual letters but from None of the three escapes

the artistic and personal strain of being

rible arc of his illness. When he died Lady

the personal interactions and cumulative ef- Gregory wrote poignantly to Yeats that “it is

a director, and thoughLady Gregory seems to “. much digging

fects of the whole collection.
. .
such a break in our very very small group of
feel most painfully the awkwardness of profes- has into understandingfriends —which indeed has been

sional conflicts with friends and the growing little more than a triangle—One never had to

animosity toward their efforts, she is frequent- identifying those

one’s mind to talk to him.”

ly the most determined in her commitment to

fugitives who have
and Lady Gregory bringing Synge into their in- □
an Irish theatre at personal cost: “lam
any go-
tellectual partnership: inviting him to Coole, received
with it,” she “as long life and
escaped or
introducing him to literary friends, recommen-

ding him to publishers, getting him books to

strength are left to me.” Yeats uses his “artist’s only fleeting notice figure variously in the history of the theatre
arrogance” to insulate himself against un- surface in the of correspondence, and
review, and producing his first play. From the from previous course

popularity and to maintainmasterful political much digging has into identifying those
outset Synge refuses to be intimidated by the gone
editors and
control over externaland internal threats to the
strong Celtic mind of Yeats, who unsuccessful-
fugitives who have escaped or received only

directors’ power. Synge is more fair-minded, historians.
ly him to infuse “dreaminess” and fleeting notice from previous editors and
but Yeats is the guiding spirit. At first they are
“more fairy belief’ into the manuscript of his historians. Prof. Saddlemyer’s immersion in
united against external enemies—the Dublin
Aran book, “as an important section of your the myriad documents and resources of the
nationalist clubs and rival theatre
As press,
readers will be students of those things.” Irish theatre enables her to establish exact

groups—but as they gradually become dates, lost and leads for research.
the seemingly unflappable Synge becomes contexts new

troubled by internal rows, resignations, con-

more involved in daily theatre difficulties he There however, two curious lapses in the
the reveal are,
summer retreat to Code, but letters
fusion of principles and the whims of Annie
cautions Lady Gregory that “things look notes, where it is said that Playboy was “not
most vividly the sources and rhythms of
Homiman, their letters become testy. Synge’s
worse when they are written down than they
and the of his
produced until January 1906” (p. 66), and
Synge’s creativity necessity
excitabilty finally surfaces in May 1907 over the record the
really are.” He often finds Yeats’s views
while the letters fully departure of
regular return to peasant life. refuge from
production of “a bastard literary
mistaken and his actions “impetuous,” and the Fays in January, 1908, the editor describes
Paris, the Aran Islands had provided the
pantomime,” W.S. Blunt’sFand: “This is the the production of Fund in April,
even Lady Gregroy is forced to that she
material and inspiration for his first comedy
1907, as being
end of all the Samhain principles and this new
is “rather tired of acting as drag on his im- “after the Fays had left” (p. 118). One also
and his first tragedy. In the midst of theatre
[tradition that we were to lay down!! I felt in-
petuosity.” Occasionally Yeats is overly “ex- wonders why the detailed chronology of events
business in 1905 he becomes “wild with joy” at
clinedto walk out of the Abbeyand go back no
asperated” by actors or “dazzled” by new the prospect of visiting the Great Blasket stops in December, 1904, when the bulk of the
Imore.” Disturbed by deteriorating relations
letters proceed
ideas, but as Lady Gregory explains to Synge, to March, 1909. There are a few
Islands, and when Lady Gregory sends him a
[and the unannounced removal of Playboy
“he always rights himself in the end.” Synge’s word ommissions and typographical errors
play to read he apologetically returns it half-
'from the Birmingham bill, Synge proposed to
detachment and independence of mind (“Forence Farr”), but they detract minimally
heartedly read: “I feel strangely far away from
'resign. Yeats wrote to him from the trenches:
from the overall precision of editing. The Press
ultimately lead Yeats to observe, ironically, I
“While battles is hardly
stage-land, and don’t feel that my judgment
we are fighting your
that Synge is “so absorbed in his own vision of must be applauded for allowing ample room
is of In
any value.” August, 1906, he
now turn-
Ithe moment to talk of resignation.”
the world that he cares for nothing else.” for scholarship (the generosity here perhaps ex-
ed down an invitation to Coolefor a cottage in
Yeats had written to Synge that all three the skimpy section of illustrations) and
Yeats’s personal eccentricities, however, are
I want to
Kerry, “as be among peasants for
overridden by his unflinching promotion and directors had, in different ways, the “same for the
awhile,” and three months later the Playboy recognition that the notes, too, are

defense of great citability” and that “None of us are fit to crucial the history of the movement. ■
among provincial au-
finished.” In July, 1907, he
was “provisionally
diences. “How make them manage a theatre of this kind and do our own
can we
returned to Wicklow and soon found “plays at
work as well.” Indeed, the pervasive tension of
understand,” he writes to Synge of the man in
the back of mind.” Shortly
my thereafter he RONALD SCHUCHARD is associate pro-
the pit, “that the Playboy which they hate is these letters is between each author’s commit-

began work on Deirdre of the Sorrows, but, as fessor of English at Emory Univ.
fine art and that [George Fitzmaurice’s] The ment to a personal art and a people’s theatre.
the letters tragically trace, the arc of his ex-
Dressmaker which they like is nothing?” Lady Gregory and Yeats make their annual
ILS, Spring 1984, 19
Did in
Q. you expect the furor that The Dark evoked


A, No. I just wrote it as I saw or imagined it. I think that’s

the way
most writers work. They’re just interested in getting
with JOHN McGAHERN it right. Publishing is different. look it
I on as a lottery.

Everything or nothing can come of it. The Dark was

Q. & A. high schools for boys were the seminaries in the cathedral
genuinely disliked in Ireland, probably still is.
towns. In our that was Sligo, thirty miles Only
case, away.

the very well-offcould send their children there.

Q. Asa writer, did you feelyou were courageous writing The
I’m sure the Brothers were brought in to run Mrs. Lynch
ANY RANKING OF THE CONTEMPORARY Dark with those scenes of the boy’s masturbatory fantasies?
INnovelists, John McGahern would be either at the
out. Anyhow, they didn’t succeed. She must have been a
A. I certainly didn’t feel Asa writer deal
remarkable and Carrick must have been the only courageous. you
to woman,
or close it. Unlike Anthony Burgess, for example,
of its size in Ireland at that timewith with words, and, outside their constraint, there is an illusion
town two high schools.
uses Ireland for the setting of his novels, and
rather well together. of total freedom. I deliberately picked the masturbatory im-
the sense of
They even got on In Ireland, the per-
place lights up the somber circumstances and

sonal will mostly win ages from the then most staid newspaper in Ireland, The
grim lives of many of his protagonists. In his four out over any ideology, unless it hap-
be factional politics, Irish Independent. The boy in the book uses their black-and-
novels— The Barracks, The Dark, The Leavetaking, and pens to when, in a lovely phrase of
Seamus Heaney’s, “A hard line is generally pursued with en- white ads for women’s underwear for his poor excitement.
The Pornographer, as well as in his collection of short

thusiasm.” No convent was without the Independent. They even ran an

stories, Nightlines and Getting Through —the author is

unsparing but not embittered in his portrayal of Irish editorial duringthe furor, stating that they too were used in

life. His fiction Q. Did you ever think about becoming a priest? the book and in “no circumstances.”
lays bare the often painful emotional life savoury

of his characters, but at the same time it

suggests, A. Of course. It would have been impossible to the
through the Q. You published The Dark and then you had year’s sab-
prose rhythms, some
untapped energy, idea, unless either mature or thick-skinned. If a
you were you
resiliency of the human imagination. McGahern’s batical, and it was then, am I right, that marriedin the
were clever or middle-class, and preferably both, there were you

first novel, The both the AE Memorial

Barracks, won
registry office. And because of the book and your marriage
to enter religion. That the only secon-
Award and the Macauley Fellowship Award; his third. outside the Church, you lost your teaching position.
dary schools were the seminaries in the cathedral towns tells
The Leavetaking, received the Society of Authors
its own story. Religion was the dominantatmosphere of the
A. I had been awarded the Macauley Fellowship for The.
Award in 1975. Now nearing fifty, McGahern is a

schools, and from an early age these priests or brothers look- Barracks. One of the conditions of the award that I had
serious who listens was
intently and then smiles with
ing for vocations passed through like salesmen. “The to spend time abroad, and I was given a year’s leave of
warmth. My first meeting with him was in August, 1981,
Recruiting Officer” in Nightlines is a description of the
when I visited him at his farm absence. I was married whileabroad, but that had nothingto
overlooking Lough
presssures even in a national school. And their call was
Rowan in and it seemed very do with losing job. The priest who fired told me that
Leitrim; as though we were con- my me

earlier conversation when attractive to the emotions of adolescence: idealism, self- the order for dismissal nad come from the Archbishop,
tinuing our I interviewed him my

many months later in his sun-filled Colgate sacrifice, emotionaland intellectualsecurity, a sort of poetry John Charles McQuaid, who had a positive obsession with
apartment at

University September, 24, and truth. It was approved of as well. A priest in the family “impure” books and plays.
on 1983.


like having money in thebank of this world and the next. It was a
strange time. I dislike talking about it even now.

Kean CollegeofN.J. Questions were asked in the Dail. But what was interesting

Q. What did you do after high school. ? was that it came out clearly that the Catholic Church had

come to enjoy a special position in the Constitution, con-

Q. How long have you been living on your farm in Ireland? A. I trained as a teacher at St. Patrick’s, graduating in 1955,
trary to the Proclamation. This special position had to
And when did you start teaching at Colgate? and UCD [University College Dublin] in 1957.1 was one of
be hastily gotten rid of a coupleof years afterwards when the
those teachers that crop up in Flann O’Brien—going into
A. I’ve been living and off in Leitrim for almost
on ten years Northern Ireland situation blew up.
night school at UCD on bicycles.
now. I just like that part of the country, and I liked living in

parts of London very much, and Paris, I think of Leitrim as Q. Were there people who supported you in ydur
Q. When did you start “serious” writing?
home now. I’ve been at Colgate off and on since 1969.1 was position?
last here in 1980.1 have friends. It is a very
beautiful part of A. Eileen, it was always serious or it never was. For me, it
A. Yes. The Association of Civil Liberties offered me
the country. There is a great openness, a sense of freedom, was a way of seeing. You start by playing with words. To
to take the case to the courts. There were some eminent
an absence of that crippling caution I grew up with, and have some extent, it is always a form of play. Then you find you
writers who offered to I
start a protest petition, which declin-
never been quite able to discard. Of I come here as a can see with words.
ed, though I was most grateful. I was content to make clear
privileged visitor, which may not be the best way to view a
Isn’t reading much the same? First, you read for pleasure,
what had happened, to let people make up their own minds,
country. the excitement of the story, the mystery of strange people
and to bow out. I was amused to read years afterwards that I
and places. Then you discover after a time that you are
had exploited the situation.
Q. The West of Ireland has played a big part in your own reading about your own life and the lives of others. It is then

life. You lived with mother, a school teacher, in small that the style becomes more important than the material out
Q. What did you do after lost your teaching job?