The Consolidation of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, 1860-1870

The Consolidation of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, 1860-1870

The Consolidation of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, 1860-1870

The Consolidation of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, 1860-1870

Excerpt

In the first published volume of this work I explained how and why I embarked on writing a history of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland in the nineteenth century; I will not, therefore, burden the reader again on that score. I have once again adopted techniques of style and scholarly apparatus that are not quite orthodox, and I think it would be helpful to repeat to some extent what I said in my earlier volumes about technique. The richness in the quality and quantity of both the general archival materials and the personal papers of the principal characters in this study is still very impressive. In presenting the evidence, therefore, I have again used a technique that I call "mosaic." The many varied and colored bits and pieces of evidence have been selected and arranged to create a portrait of the Church between I860 and 1870. There are, I believe, a number of advantages in using the mosaic technique when the materials are appropriate. Because the writing of history can never result in more than a representation of what was "true," a historical portrait in mosaic is perhaps more "realistic" than might at first be supposed. The technique of mosaic allows for the inclusion of a great deal more of the evidence in its original form and contributes, therefore, not only to the immediacy of the actual experience but to the authority of the representation, thereby . . .

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