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Eric’s Hurt

David Craig, 7 March 1985

Eric Linklater: A Critical Biography 
by Michael Parnell.
Murray, 376 pp., £16, October 1984, 0 7195 4109 3
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... own and my country’s), and there it ended. Why should there not be books like that? Yet Mr Parnell, who has written one of the most uncritical biographies I have ever read, must sweat and puff to inflate his subject. Towards the end of his critique of Linklater’s fifth novel, Magnus Merriman, which was the best-selling novel of its year and Evening ...

Kipling and the Irish

Owen Dudley Edwards, 4 February 1988

Something of Myself 
by Rudyard Kipling, edited by Robert Hampson and Richard Holmes.
Penguin, 220 pp., £3.95, January 1987, 0 14 043308 2
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Stalky & Co 
by Rudyard Kipling, introduced by Isabel Quigley.
Oxford, 325 pp., £2.95, January 1987, 0 19 281660 8
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Kim 
by Rudyard Kipling, introduced by Alan Sandison.
Oxford, 306 pp., £2.95, January 1987, 0 19 281651 9
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... Commission on ‘Parnellism and Crime’ was about to report. That report, predictably, exonerated Parnell and his party, accused by the Times of having fomented the Phoenix Park murders of Chief Secretary Lord Frederick Cavendish and Under-Secretary Thomas Burke, who had in reality been killed (on 6 May 1882) by Parnell’s ...

The Mole on Joyce’s Breast

Sean O’Faolain, 20 November 1980

Joyce’s Politics 
by Dominic Manganiello.
Routledge, 260 pp., £12.50, October 1980, 0 7100 0537 7
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... to have appealed to the most heroic figure in Irish life and literature since Charles Stewart Parnell: politics, that is, proposing a parade of rascality, hilarity, treachery, hypocrisy, audacity, idealism, always shot through by moments of splendid courage and always ending in bitter tears? If Dear Reader will allow me to vanish for three minutes during ...

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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... 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. ...

German Jew

Michael Irwin, 17 April 1980

The Missing Years 
by Walter Laqueur.
Weidenfeld, 281 pp., £5.95, March 1980, 0 297 77707 6
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Jack be nimble 
by Nigel Williams.
Secker, 213 pp., £5.50, March 1980, 0 436 57155 2
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Identity Papers 
by Anthony Cronin.
Co-op Books, 194 pp., £4.50, February 1980, 0 905441 23 0
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Narrow Rooms 
by James Purdy.
Black Sheep Books, 185 pp., £5.95, March 1980, 0 906538 60 2
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Six Moral Tales 
by Eric Rohmer, translated by Sabine d’Estrée.
Lorrimer, 252 pp., £4.95, February 1980, 0 85647 075 9
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... pornography. Among the contents were letters from various notabilities, including James Joyce and Parnell. Thirty years later, long after disowning his foster-parents and losing track of the box, he speaks of the letters to the librarian of the Celtic Library and is offered a substantial sum for them. Desperate for money he forges them, from memory. The fraud ...

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 ...
... in the United States who were seeking to make an alliance, known as the New Departure, with Parnell and the Irish Parliamentary Party in Ireland. Threatening to dynamite Britain would not be helpful in the effort to create a united movement within Irish nationalism.Increasingly determined, bombastic and indiscreet, O’Donovan Rossa matched his ...

Show People

Hugh Barnes, 21 February 1985

So Much Love 
by Beryl Reid.
Hutchinson, 195 pp., £8.95, October 1984, 0 09 155730 5
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Knock wood 
by Candice Bergen.
Hamish Hamilton, 223 pp., £9.95, October 1984, 9780241113585
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... Much Love is most successful when it is describing these years. The list of names here, from Val Parnell to Peter Brough, from Alan Melville to Jimmy Edwards, reads like a history of British Variety. Even then, unconsciously a student of Method, she would dress up in gymslip and boater, catapult in hand, to do Monica for the wireless. She went to Hollywood ...

Sacrifice

Frank Kermode, 14 May 1992

The Gonne-Yeats Letters, 1893-1938 
edited by Anna MacBride White and A. Norman Jeffares.
Hutchinson, 544 pp., £25, April 1992, 0 09 174000 2
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... Mother is called Mary or Dana or Bridget or the Captain of the Armies of Heaven is called Lug or Michael? Why, Willy, it was you yourself who taught me these things.’ In this respect, Maud Gonne belonged to a period in which a good many emancipated women, or women desiring emancipation, combined a passion for social or national justice with an interest in ...

What he did

Frank Kermode, 20 March 1997

W.B. Yeats: A Life. Vol. I: The Apprentice Mage 
by R.F. Foster.
Oxford, 640 pp., £25, March 1997, 0 19 211735 1
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... the great affairs of the day. Both writers had their potent fallible heroes, such as Cromwell and Parnell; each flaunted heretical opinions (for example, both publicised unpopular convictions about divorce law). Yeats’s A Vision, a private theology, is in a way comparable to Milton’s De Doctrina Christiana. And in the course of their lives both men ...

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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... 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 – in the National Museum ...

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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... 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 Connolly is ...

A Row of Shaws

Terry Eagleton: That Bastard Shaw, 21 June 2018

Judging Shaw 
by Fintan O’Toole.
Royal Irish Academy, 381 pp., £28, October 2017, 978 1 908997 15 9
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... oratory which passes from Burke and Sheridan to Henry Grattan. Like his compatriot Charles Stewart Parnell, he took this reformist rhetoric into the highways and byways, as a street-corner speaker. There was nothing of the armchair socialist about him: he spent six years as a district councillor, serving on a number of committees from electricity and public ...

Moral Lepers

John Banville: Easter 1916, 16 July 2015

Vivid Faces: The Revolutionary Generation in Ireland, 1890-1923 
by R.F. Foster.
Allen Lane, 433 pp., £10.99, May 2015, 978 0 241 95424 9
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... no reference to Republicanism’. Similarly, and just as surprisingly, Townshend quotes Michael Collins, who had fought in 1916 and three years later became president of the IRB Supreme Council, insisting that ‘the cause was not the Irish Republic’ but ‘liberation from English occupation’.* Certainly it ‘did not change the relationship ...

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