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Having extensively written on radical republicanism in 20th-century Ireland, Richard English approaches the subject of Irish nationalism with expertise.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you are shallow enough to buy this book because of its cover you will be heartily disappointed. The image of Arthur Griffith brandishing a Union Jack, with destruction in his wake and the bodies of women and children trampled under his feet, is possibly the most inappropriate that the author or his publisher could have chosen.
As the volume of books and articles on eighteenth-century Ireland continues to expand, so Irish Jacobitism increasingly stands out as a glaring omission.