Cultural Exchange and Identity in Late Medieval Ireland
The English and Irish of the Four Obedient Shires
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- Author: Sparky Booker, Queen's University Belfast
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Irish inhabitants of the 'four obedient shires' - a term commonly used to describe the region at the heart of the English colony in the later Middle Ages - were significantly anglicised, taking on English names, dress, and even legal status. However, the processes of cultural exchange went both ways. This study examines the nature of interactions between English and Irish neighbours in the four shires, taking into account the complex tensions between assimilation and the preservation of distinct ethnic identities and exploring how the common colonial rhetoric of the Irish as an 'enemy' coexisted with the daily reality of alliance, intermarriage, and accommodation. Placing Ireland in a broad context, Sparky Booker addresses the strategies the colonial community used to deal with the difficulties posed by extensive assimilation, and the lasting changes this made to understandings of what it meant to be 'English' or 'Irish' in the face of such challenges.Read more
- Places Ireland in a broad context and avoids the specialist language that separates Irish historiography from the historiography of the medieval world more generally
- Integrates the experiences of non-elite groups into its analysis to help readers get a more accurate understanding of colonial society, at all levels, in Ireland
- Incorporates both ecclesiastical and secular developments and institutions to reveal the close and complex relationships between the secular and religious in medieval society
- Winner, 2019 James S. Donnelly, Sr, Prize for Books on History and Social Sciences, American Conference for Irish Studies
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- Date Published: February 2018
- format: Adobe eBook Reader
- isbn: 9781108635417
- contains: 2 maps
- availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
Table of Contents
Introduction: cultural exchange and identity in late medieval Ireland
1. Defining the region: the four obedient shires
2. Migration, assimilation, and status: the Irish of the four shires
3. Mediation and cooperation: the 'two nations' in the church
4. Interethnic family ties: intermarriage and fosterage
5. Irish customs in the four shires
6. The Irish language and the English community
Conclusions: identity and the limits of assimilation.
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