Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

A New Anatomy of Ireland: The Irish Protestants, 1649-1770

Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

A New Anatomy of Ireland: The Irish Protestants, 1649-1770

Article excerpt

A New Anatomy of Ireland: The Irish Protestants, 1649-1770, by Toby Barnard. Yale, July 2003. $45

Although a great deal is known about how and why Protestant hegemony was established in Ireland during the late Stuart and Hanoverian periods, the lives of the inhabitants of Ireland during this era are only shadowy presences in our histories. We know of leaders and their roles in the politics and law, insurrections and repressions during this colonial era, but very little of the everyday lives of colonists and the colonized. We know scarcely anything about the manner in which the forces of colonization percolated through the ever-disturbed strata of Irish society. Barnard provides us with what he calls a "bumpy tour" of the lives and society of the half-million-odd people who constituted the Protestant colonists. He is concerned with their occupations, status, system of social and civic organization, style of living, and sense of identity. He attempts to tell us how the poor country ran itself-or in many instances failed to run. He has with remarkable diligence pieced together, from fragments of private letters and journals and various public records, a provisional image of a complicated and fascinating society. …

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