In 1613, the small settlement of Belfast, with a population of about 1000, was granted its Royal Charter as a borough. Three hundred years later, Belfast had emerged as a city of international importance. With one of the world’s largest ports, it enjoyed a brief spell as Ireland’s largest urban centre and was a major player in the British industrial scene.
Unique in being an Irish city with a self-consciously British identity, the city revelled in, and in many ways depended upon, its central role within the British Empire. This attractive book celebrates and explores an exciting period in the city’s history – 1850-1914 was Belfast’s own Belle Époque. By focusing on the people of the city – those who built it, lived in it, visited it, worked in it and governed it – the book presents a kaleidoscope of snapshots which combine to reveal the rich and varied experiences of life, both temporal and spiritual, in the emerging city.
Table of Contents
List of Contributors
List of Figures and Tables
List of Plates
Chapter 1: Markets and Messages: Linenopolis Meets the World by Edwin James Aiken and Stephen A. Royle
Chapter 2: Belfast: The Rise and Fall of Civic Culture? by Sean Connolly
Chapter 3: ‘Big Vision City’: The Physical Transformation of Belfast by Provincial Architects, 1870–1910 by Paul Harron
Chapter 4: Reading Shakespeare at 22 University Square by Pamela Emerson
Chapter 5: The Belfast Natural History Society in the Nineteenth Century: A Communication Hub by Ruth Bowman Bayles
Chapter 6: ‘A Country for Young Men (Or Two Quacks and a Son of Dust)’ by Glenn Patterson
Chapter 7: A City ‘on the rise’: Travel and Tourism in Nineteenth-Century Belfast by Éadaoin Agnew
Chapter 8: ‘a noble church in the most Catholic quarter of a bitterly Protestant and Presbyterian city’: The Church of the Most Holy Redeemer, Clonard, West Belfast by Caroline M. McGee
Chapter 9: Edwardian Belfast: Marriage, Fertility and Religion in 1911 by Liam Kennedy, Lucia Pozzi and Matteo Manfredini
Chapter 10: ‘The family wage’: a factor in migration? by Lesley E. E. Donaldson
Chapter 11: Migration in Belfast: trajectories, letters, voices by Patrick Fitzgerald, Brian Lambkin and Johanna Devlin Trew
About the Author
Dr Olwen Purdue is visiting research fellow at the School of History, Queen’s University Belfast. She is the author of The Big House in the North of Ireland: Land, Power and Social Elites (2009).