Diaries of Ireland: An Anthology 1590-1987

October 30, 2020
Diaries of Ireland: An Anthology 1590-1987

Here is Ireland's past distilled - poignant personal narrativesand privileged moments, human behaviour recorded in its infinitevariety, voices overheard: chamber music. In these pagesElizabethan adventurers, fops, soldiers, widows, landlords,republicans, poets, hedge-school masters and literary lesbians seemto dance through 400 years of Irish history. National events - thesiege of Limerick, the battle of the Boyne, Wexford in 1798, theFamine, literary revival, 1916 Rising and Civil War - comminglewith details of individual lives - procreation and recreation,courtship, food, clothing, religion, privation, death. Diaries ofIreland is an intimate history of everyday life on this island, afeast for mind and imagination. 'It is altogether an enterprisetruly unique; we have not one guinea, we have not a tent; we havenot a horse to draw our four pieces of artillery; theGeneral-in-Chief marches on foot, we leave all our baggage behindus; we have nothing but the arms in our hands, the clothes on ourbacks, and a good courage, but that is sufficient - we are all gayas larks.' - Theobald Wolfe Tone, 24 December 1796 'A Levée at theCastle, attended as usual by pimps, parasites, hangers-on,aidecamps, state officers, expectant clergymen, hungry lawyers,spies, informers, and the various descriptions of characters thatconstitute the herd of which the motley petty degraded andpretended Court of this poor fallen country is made up. Alas, poorIreland.' - Sir Vere Hunt, 4 June 1813 'Well, [Patrick] Kavanaghhas come and gone: like the monsoon, the mistral, Hurricane Annie:things will never be quite the same again, even if it only meantthat somebody told Lady Bellew to shut up, and went on to declarelater that he hates Prods.' - Frank McEvoy, 4 March 1958 'This isthe stuff of history, direct, real, stimulating and amusing S anexcellent anthology.' - Bruce Arnold, Irish Independent 'There is agreat deal to interest in this well-produced volume, it whets theappetite for more.' - Catriona Crowe, Sunday Tribune