Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

South Tipperary 1570-1841: Religion, Land and Rivalry

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

South Tipperary 1570-1841: Religion, Land and Rivalry

Article excerpt

South Tipperary 1570-1841: Religion, Land and Rivalry. By David J. Butler (Dublin: Four Courts Press. 2006. Pp. 336. $65.00.)

David J. Butler's book South Tipperary 1570-1841: Religion, Land and Rivalry explores and analyzes the relationship between Protestants and Catholics in South Tipperary from the time of the Reformation to the achievement of Catholic Emancipation. It is an excellently researched book. Butler covers an extensive period in the history of South Tipperary (1570-1841), during which period the themes of religion, land, and rivalry were real and emotive issues in the county and in the country in general. Butler writes in a style that is engaging and accessible. It is evident from the outset that Butler has an empathy with his subject area, and both the vastness of his knowledge regarding this period and his attention to detail are evident in every chapter.

The book is divided into three judiciously entitled parts. Part 1: "Carving out Spaces of Dominion: Reformation, Re-conquest and Rebellion, 1570-1649"; Part 2: "Consolidating Territorial Control: Power, Identity and Difference, 1650-1730"; and Part 3: "Contesting Hegemony: Confrontation and Resistance 1731-1841," which give a flavor of the topics covered in this volume. A fine conclusion forms the final chapter. The appendices, bibliography, and index are worthy of this publication.

At the beginning of the book, Butler includes the following quote from R. Miliband: "hegemony is actually a process of struggle, a permanent striving, a ceaseless endeavour to maintain control over 'hearts and minds' of subordinate classes.The work of hegemony, so to speak, is never over." In the last line of his concluding chapter Butler states: "It may be seen in this study that on the one hand, even to the end, the ruling Protestant minority establishment never ceased to struggle to retain the hegemony to which it had grown accustomed and without which it could see no purpose for itself: on the other hand, the Roman Catholic majority continually strived for the religious, social and economic ascendancy it saw as its God-given right" (p. …

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