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Remembering 1916
The Easter Rising, the Somme and the Politics of Memory in Ireland


Richard S. Grayson, Fearghal McGarry, Guy Beiner, Dominic Bryan, Roisín Higgins, David Fitzpatrick, David Brundage, Heather L. Roberts, Nicholas Allen, William Blair, Margaret O'Callaghan, Kevin Bean, Jonathan Evershed
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  • Date Published: March 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107145900

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About the Authors
  • The year 1916 witnessed two events that would profoundly shape both politics and commemoration in Ireland over the course of the following century. Although the Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme were important historical events in their own right, their significance also lay in how they came to be understood as iconic moments in the emergence of Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach drawing on history, politics, anthropology and cultural studies, this volume explores how the memory of these two foundational events has been constructed, mythologised and revised over the course of the past century. The aim is not merely to understand how the Rising and the Somme came to exert a central place in how the past is viewed in Ireland, but to explore wider questions about the relationship between history, commemoration and memory.

    • A unique comparative study of parallel remembrance of the Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme
    • Considers how the Rising and the Somme have functioned as foundational myths for Republicanism and Unionism, as well as how their legacy has evolved over time
    • Enables readers to approach the 2016 commemorations of both events in an informed manner
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'A timely contribution to the ongoing debate on memory and commemoration in Ireland; this authoritative collection of essays, which examines two of the most significant events in Ireland's 'decade of centenaries', is important both for scholars and for those who are currently involved in commemorative events.' Mary E. Daly, author of Sixties Ireland: Reshaping the Economy, State and Society, 1957–73

    'In Remembering 1916 Richard Grayson and Fearghal McGarry have assembled an impressive list of contributors, mainly from outside the Irish Republic, to explore several important but often neglected issues concerning the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland from a variety of perspectives. The range of topics and approaches significantly enriches potential understanding, through whatever blend of agreement and disagreement, of a truly remarkable event, making this one of the most significant studies to emerge from the explosion of recent research on this extraordinary episode in Irish and Irish diasporic history.' J. J. Lee, author of Ireland, 1912–1985: Politics and Society

    'This wide-ranging collection provides a wealth of unusual perspectives on the memorialization of the rebellion over the last century.' Charles Townshend, author of Easter 1916: The Irish Rebellion

    'Grayson and McGarry have provided a collection of work that is insightful and filled with new scholarship.' Kevin Braam, H-War

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2016
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107145900
    • length: 290 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.57kg
    • contains: 17 b/w illus. 6 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction Richard S. Grayson and Fearghal McGarry
    Part I. Memory and Commemoration:
    1. Making sense of memory: coming to terms with conceptualisations of historical remembrance Guy Beiner
    2. Ritual, identity and nation: when the historian becomes the high priest of commemoration Dominic Bryan
    3. 'The Irish Republic was proclaimed by poster': the politics of commemorating the Easter Rising Roisín Higgins
    Part II. Narratives:
    4. Instant history:
    1912, 1916, 1918 David Fitzpatrick
    5. Hard service: remembering the Abbey Theatre's rebels Fearghal McGarry
    6. Beyond the Ulster Division: West Belfast members of the Ulster Volunteer Force and service in the First World War Richard S. Grayson
    7. Remembering 1916 in America: the Easter Rising's many faces, 1919–63 David Brundage
    Part III. Literary and Material Cultures:
    8. The rising generation and the memory of 1798 Heather L. Roberts
    9. Cultural representations of 1916 Nicholas Allen
    10. Myth, memory and material culture: remembering 1916 at the Ulster Museum William Blair
    Part IV. Troubled Memories:
    11. Reframing 1916 after 1969: Irish governments, a national day of reconciliation, and the politics of commemoration in the 1970s Margaret O'Callaghan
    12. New roads to the Rising: the Irish politics of commemoration since 1994 Kevin Bean
    13. Ghosts of the Somme: the state of Ulster loyalism, memory work and the 'other' 1916 Jonathan Evershed

  • Editors

    Richard S. Grayson, Goldsmiths, University of London
    Richard Grayson is Professor of Twentieth-Century History at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of Belfast Boys: How Unionists and Nationalists Fought and Died Together in the First World War (2009) and edited At War with the 16th Irish Division: The Staniforth Letters, 1914–18 (2012). He has engaged widely with community groups on First World War remembrance especially the 6th Connaught Rangers Research Project. An associate member of the First World War Centenary Committee in Northern Ireland, he contributed to BBC NI's Ireland's Great War, co-edits and chairs the Academic Advisory Group for the Digital Projects run by the Imperial War Museums.

    Fearghal McGarry, Queen's University Belfast
    Fearghal McGarry is Reader in Irish History at Queen's University Belfast. His research focuses on modern Ireland. A new edition of his account of the rebellion, The Rising: Ireland, Easter 1916, has just been published. Rebels: Voices from the Easter Rising (2011), his edited collection of firsthand testimony by revolutionaries, has recently been adapted for the stage by Jimmy Murphy for the Abbey Theatre, and will tour the UK in 2016. His latest book is The Abbey Rebels: A Revolution, Lost (2015). He is working on a number of projects related to the 1916 centenary, including the development of a major interpretive centre at Dublin's General Post Office.


    Richard S. Grayson, Fearghal McGarry, Guy Beiner, Dominic Bryan, Roisín Higgins, David Fitzpatrick, David Brundage, Heather L. Roberts, Nicholas Allen, William Blair, Margaret O'Callaghan, Kevin Bean, Jonathan Evershed

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