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Look Inside The Politics and Culture of Honour in Britain and Ireland, 1541–1641

The Politics and Culture of Honour in Britain and Ireland, 1541–1641


Part of Cambridge Studies in Early Modern British History

  • Date Published: January 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107630536

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About the Authors
  • Through an exploration of overlapping concepts of noble honour amongst English and Irish elites, this book provides a cultural analysis of 'British' high politics in the early modern period. Analysing English- and Irish-language sources, Brendan Kane argues that between the establishment of the Irish kingdom under the English Crown in 1541 and the Irish rebellion of 1641, honour played a powerful role in determining the character of Anglo-Irish society, politics and cultural contact. In this age, before the rise of a more bureaucratic and participatory state, political power was intensely personal and largely the concern of elites. And those elites were preoccupied with honour. By exploring contemporary 'honour politics', this book brings a cultural perspective to our understanding of the character of English imperialism in Ireland and of the Irish responses to it. In so doing it highlights understudied aspects of the origins of the 'British' state.

    • A major contribution to 'new British history', linking together the social and political history of Tudor and Stuart Ireland and England
    • Uses Irish language sources and the material culture of the period to reconstruct Irish honour culture and the emergence of a 'British' aristocracy
    • Sheds new light on the relationship between monarchical authority and aristocratic privilege and Anglo-Irish relations
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… a rich and scholarly study of the role of honor in political and cultural contexts in Britain and Ireland … In this book, Brendan Kane has displayed sparkling enthusiasm for the subject at hand, making it entirely accessible to both a specialist and nonspecialist audience, through a skilfully written narrative. These factors, combined with its undoubted contribution to the historiography, make this book worthy of widespread attention.' Annaleigh Margey, Renaissance Quarterly

    'Kane's erudite book challenges those Irish historians who would reduce all political action to the pursuit of material self-interest … a valuable and rewarding study, good to think with, and, as such, will be vital reading for all students of early modern Ireland.' Ian Campbell, Irish Historical Studies

    'In a densely detailed, thorough examination … Kane skilfully guides the reader through the myriad personalities, policies, and perceptions of not simply theoretical ideas of honor, but also how ever-present honor was and how it functioned in Gael-Gall relations … Kane has produced a text that will be richly mined by both students and scholars in the field for years to come.' Kelle Lynch-Baldwin, Sixteenth Century Journal

    'Kane makes perceptive and resourceful use of literary sources to illuminate his theme. He draws out the extraordinarily important role that honour politics played in shaping the values and identity of the British and Irish elites during this period, and by recovering their obsession with honour he is able to construct a sophisticated cultural history of high politics.' David Smith, Historical Journal

    '… this is a rich and suggestive book that correctly alerts historians of early modern Ireland to the need for greater awareness of cultural issues when they seek to explain the transformations wrought on that island during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.' James Kelly, American Historical Review

    '… an impressively detailed and well researched book with a persuasive and coherent central argument … excellent.' Andrew Hopper, Journal of Early Modern History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107630536
    • length: 320 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.43kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: honour in Britain and Ireland
    1. The honour revolution of 1541
    2. Gaelic honour in Tudor Ireland
    3. 'British' honour and the Nine Years' War
    4. Making the Irish European: Gaelic honour after the Nine Years' War
    5. Gaelic and Old English honour in early Stuart 'Britain'
    6. A hierarchy transformed? Precedence disputes, the defence of honour and 'British' high-politics, 1603–32
    7. Wentworth, the Irish Lord Deputyship and the Caroline politics of honour

  • Author

    Brendan Kane, University of Connecticut
    Brendan Kane is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Connecticut, Storrs.

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