Imagining Ireland's Pasts: Early Modern Ireland through the Centuries

ISBN : 9780198808961

Nicholas Canny
448 Pages
153 x 234 mm
Pub date
Jul 2021
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Imagining Ireland's Pasts describes how various authors addressed the history of early modern Ireland over four centuries and explains why they could not settle on an agreed narrative. It shows how conflicting interpretations broke frequently along denominational lines, but that authors were also influenced by ethnic, cultural, and political considerations, and by whether they were resident in Ireland or living in exile. Imagining Ireland's Past: Early Modern Ireland through the Centuries details how authors extolled the merits of their progenitors, offered hope and guidance to the particular audience they addressed, and disputed opposing narratives. The author shows how competing scholars, whether contributing to vernacular histories or empirical studies, became transfixed by the traumatic events of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries as they sought to explain either how stability had finally been achieved, or how the descendants of those who had been wronged might secure redress.


1 The Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Writing of Ireland's History in the Sixteenth Century
2 Composing counter-narratives in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries
3 New Histories for a New Ireland
4 The 1641 Rebellion and Ireland's Contested Pasts
5 Eighteenth-Century Aristocratic Histories of Ireland During the Sixteenth and Seventeeth Centuries
6 Enlightenment Historians of Ireland and Their Critics
7 The Vernacular Alternative: Catholic and Protestant Popular Reconsiderations of Ireland's Early Modern History During the Age of Revolutions
8 Re-imagining Ireland's Early Modern Past: The Young Ireland Agenda, Dissident Views, and the Catholic Alternative
9 Re-imagining Ireland's Early Modern Past During the Later Nineteenth Century
10 Fresh Unionist Reappraisals of Ireland's History During the Early Modern Centuries
11 The Birth and Early Demise of a Liberal View of Ireland's Early Modern Past
12 The Failure of the Imagination Concerning Ireland's Past

About the author: 

Now a Professor Emeritus, Nicholas Canny was Professor of History at the NUI Galway, Founding Director of the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities, and President of the Royal Irish Academy. He is the author of Making Ireland British, 1580-1650 (OUP, 2001), which won the Irish Historical Research Prize, 2001, co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of the Atlantic World (OUP, 2011), and The Origins of Empire (OUP, 1998) amongst other publications.

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