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Blood Running Down

Helen Cooper: Iconoclasm and theatre in early modern England, 9 August 2001

The Idolatrous Eye: Iconoclasm and Theatre in Early Modern England 
by Michael O'Connell.
Oxford, 198 pp., £30, February 2000, 9780195132052
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... was no room for half measures. Compromise with an idol was a denial of God. In The Idolatrous Eye, Michael O’Connell tackles a more difficult question: why did the Puritans believe not just religious but all forms of theatre to be idolatrous? It’s not difficult to see why they disapproved of the great cycles of religious drama. Although the cycles ...

Criminal Justice

Ronan Bennett, 24 June 1993

... Richardson had insisted they were innocent and had been framed by the police. I recalled that Sir Michael Havers, who led for the Crown in the 1975 trial, had reasoned to the jury that if the Four were innocent, a huge conspiracy to pervert the course of justice must have taken place. Where did this leave Havers’s conspiracy? Had the Court of Appeal ...

Dev and Dan

Tom Dunne, 21 April 1988

The Hereditary Bondsman: Daniel O’Connell, 1775-1829 
by Oliver MacDonagh..
Weidenfeld, 328 pp., £16.95, January 1988, 0 297 79221 0
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Eamon de Valera 
by Owen Dudley Edwards.
University of Wales Press, 161 pp., £19.95, November 1987, 0 7083 0986 0
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Nationalism and Popular Protest in Ireland 
edited by C.H.E. Philpin.
Cambridge, 466 pp., £27.50, November 1987, 0 521 26816 8
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Northern Ireland: Soldiers talking, 1969 to Today 
by Max Arthur.
Sidgwick, 271 pp., £13.95, October 1987, 0 283 99375 8
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War as a Way of Life: A Belfast Diary 
by John Conroy.
Heinemann, 218 pp., £12.95, February 1988, 0 434 14217 4
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... offer new interpretations of two men, each of whom dominated the politics of his time, Daniel O’Connell and Eamon de Valera. Their relevance to the current crisis is most apparent in the way each had to come to terms with the problems which sectarian polarisation, on the one hand, and militant extremism, on the other, pose for Irish nationalist ...

People’s Friend

Michael Brock, 27 September 1990

Lord Grey: 1764-1845 
by E.A. Smith.
Oxford, 338 pp., £37.50, March 1990, 9780198201632
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... rely on the support of the people’. In September 1837 he wrote to his brother-in-law about O’Connell: ‘If I had thought that the result of the Reform Bill was to be the raising of a new Rienzi, and to make his dictatorship and the democracy of the towns paramount to all the other interests of the state, I would have died before I would have ...

More like a Cemetery

Michael Wood: The Part about Bolaño, 26 February 2009

Nazi Literature in the Americas 
by Roberto Bolaño, translated by Chris Andrews.
New Directions, 227 pp., £17.95, May 2008, 978 0 8112 1705 7
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2666 
by Roberto Bolaño, translated by Natasha Wimmer.
Picador, 898 pp., £20, January 2009, 978 0 330 44742 3
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... can make you laugh out loud. I was particularly drawn to one figure in Zach Sodenstern’s Gunther O’Connell saga, ‘a mutant, stray German Shepherd with telepathic powers and Nazi tendencies’. ‘He tried desperately to make friends,’ we hear of a literary editor, ‘but enemies were all he ever had.’ The Duchess of Bahamontes was ‘a fine gardener ...

Keith Middlemas on the history of Ireland

Keith Middlemas, 22 January 1981

Ireland: Land of Troubles 
by Paul Johnson.
Eyre Methuen, 224 pp., £6.95, October 1980, 0 413 47650 2
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Acts of Union 
by Anthony Bailey.
Faber, 221 pp., £4.95, September 1980, 0 571 11648 5
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Neighbours 
by Conor Cruise O’Brien.
Faber, 96 pp., £2.95, November 1980, 0 571 11645 0
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Ireland: A History 
by Robert Kee.
Weidenfeld, 256 pp., £9.95, December 1980, 0 297 77855 2
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... guys were duped and let down, while the last two died in their beds, full of Irish honours. Thus O’Connell and Parnell seem to react primarily to English stimuli, and the autonomous growth of Sinn Fein occurs in a chapter given over largely to the transactions of Asquith and Balfour with the Nationalists. The non-sectarian socialism preached by Larkin and ...

New Ways of Killing Your Father

Colm Tóibín, 18 November 1993

Paddy and Mr Punch: Connections in Irish and English History 
by R.F. Foster.
Allen Lane, 305 pp., £22.50, October 1993, 0 7139 9095 3
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... the Irish history we studied was parliamentary and constitutional. The 19th century was made up of O’Connell and Parnell, and there was much emphasis on their time at Westminster. Young Ireland, the Fenians, even the poor old Land League were presented as non-constitutional headaches for O’Connell and Parnell. ...

A Very Bad Case

Michael Brock, 11 June 1992

Herbert Samuel: A Political Life 
by Bernard Wasserstein.
Oxford, 427 pp., £45, January 1992, 0 19 822648 9
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... honest manner which is never to be trusted’, as Melbourne advised the young Queen Victoria. O’Connell compared Peel’s smile to the silver plate on a coffin. Samuel’s ‘sense of humour’, Beatrice Webb noted, ‘takes the irritating form of tactless irony at the expense of the people he is talking to’. It is a feat to have dealt perceptively ...

Britishmen

Tom Paulin, 5 November 1981

Too Long a Sacrifice: Life and Death in Northern Ireland since 1969 
by Jack Holland.
Columbus, 217 pp., £7.95, July 1981, 0 396 07934 2
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A History of Northern Ireland 
by Patrick Buckland.
Gill and Macmillan, 195 pp., £3.95, April 1981, 0 7171 1069 9
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... internal politics of the IRA and describes the tensions between Dublin intellectuals like David O’Connell and the Belfast leaders. As in his account of Loyalist terrorism, he both analyses the movement’s theoretical ideas and describes some of their murderous acts. His work is not polemical and it is remarkable as much for its open-mindedness as for its ...

The Party and the Army

Ronan Bennett, 21 March 1996

... movement saw themselves as armed militants to the Officials’ political compromisers. For them, Michael Collins had said all there was to say about the value of words in the struggle against the Crown when he gave the oration at the funeral of Thomas Ashe, who died on hunger strike in 1917: ‘That volley which we have just heard is the only speech which it ...

Davitt’s Part

Charles Townshend, 3 June 1982

Davitt and Irish Revolution 1846-1882 
by T.W. Moody.
Oxford, 674 pp., £22.50, April 1982, 9780198223825
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... active and gentlemanly-looking; his age is about 30 years.’ Such was the picture of the young Michael Davitt, Fenian suspect, produced by the police detective who was watching him in 1869. (In fact, he was working-class, and 24 years old.) Somewhat later, after seven years’ penal servitude, he was seen by the Irish Parliamentarian F.H.O’Donnell as ...

On (Not) Saying What You Mean

Colm Tóibín, 30 November 1995

... there was no lecture about the Famine, the Fenians, Young Ireland, the 1916 Rising. Even poor Michael Davitt and his Land League only got a look in because they represented a headache for Charles Stewart Parnell. History was Daniel O’Connell, Parnell and John Redmond, who led the Irish Parliamentary Party in ...

Hillside Men

Roy Foster: Ernie O’Malley, 16 July 1998

Ernie O’Malley: IRA Intellectual 
by Richard English.
Oxford, 284 pp., £25, March 1998, 0 01 982059 3
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... him, however, and when the family moved to Dublin in 1905 he attended the Christian Brothers’ ‘O’Connell School’, the nursery of several other revolutionaries. His brothers joined the British Army, his parents remained opposed to Sinn Fein, and at the time of the Easter Rising O’Malley himself was enrolled (on a prestigious scholarship) as a medical ...

When Ireland Became Divided

Garret FitzGerald: The Free State’s Fight for Recognition, 21 January 1999

Documents on Irish Foreign Policy. Vol. I: 1919-22 
edited by Ronan Fanning.
Royal Irish Academy and Department of Foreign Affairs, 548 pp., £30, October 1998, 1 874045 63 1
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... Dáil Éireann was proscribed in September 1919. In the subsequent guerrilla warfare of 1919-21 Michael Collins, the Minister for Finance and Director of Intelligence of the Volunteers or Irish Republican Army, rose to prominence. In 1920 Britain established Home Rule states – one substantive, comprising the six Unionist-majority north-eastern ...

A Whale of a Time

Colm Tóibín, 2 October 1997

Roger Casement’s Diaries. 1910: The Black and the White 
edited by Roger Sawyer.
Pimlico, 288 pp., £10, October 1997, 9780712673754
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The Amazon Journal of Roger Casement 
edited by Angus Mitchell.
Anaconda, 534 pp., £40, October 1997, 9781901990010
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... in Glasnevin Cemetery beside others who had fought and suffered for the cause of Ireland: Daniel O’Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell, Paddy Dignam. Although there is a large collection of Casement documents in the National Library in Dublin (and other items which he brought back from Africa and South America – including costumes and a butterfly collection ...

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