This is an ambitious and original book that brings to light a good deal of new material on nationalist politics in the Irish midlands between 1910 and 1916.
Aidan Clarke is a formidable and influential scholar of early modern Ireland. His scholarship has always set a high standard: firmly grounded empirically, challenging of received 'truths' and, in its faithfulness to chronology, sensitive to how contemporaries may have perceived events.
Sir Henry Docwra, first baron Docwra of Culmore (in the Irish peerage), personified those who rose thanks to the opportunities offered by Ireland in the later sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Docwra shows how minor gentlemen of obscure but solid backgrounds prospered thanks particularly to soldiering.
This Fintan Lane and Donal Ó Drisceoil edited work is a welcome addition to the existing historiography. It concerns the Irish working class and politics over the course of a century. As the introduction points out, the attention of historians has not been directed towards Irish labour to the extent seen in other western European countries.
In a strange coincidence, two books have been published on 'Charlie', the 7th Marquess of Londonderry, in the last two years: Ian Kershaw's Making Friends with Hitler: Lord Londonderry and Britain's Road to War (2004) and Neil Fleming's, the subject of this review.
This is a splendid book, weighty, richly documented and densely argued. The title might suggest a book of focused, perhaps rather limited scope.
In his seminal Ford Lecture in 1953, K. B. McFarlane argued that the 'real politics' of the later medieval period were inherent in the 'daily personal relations' between king and magnates.
For the first fifteen years after the end of the Second World War, the Nazi persecution and mass murder of the Jews of Europe was rarely the subject of public debate or historical analysis. Only after the Eichmann trial did the term ‘Holocaust’ gain widespread acceptance.
The 1715 rebellion has never really sparkled in the heroic iconography of the Jacobite cause. Within the old received narrative of doomed chivalry and defeated virtue, it inhabits a melancholic role, untouched by the colour and charisma of Charles Edward Stuart and the ’45, or the epic afterglow of Viscount Dundee’s earlier stand at Killecrankie.
I have always enjoyed reading Andrew Hopper's work. It is an especial pleasure when compiling my reviews for the Annual Bulletin of Historical Literature as in most years it contains an article by Hopper (usually on the subject of the north during the civil wars).