This pioneering new book presents a history of death and dying in Ireland, Britain and Europe, from pre-history to the twentieth century, focusing on virtually every era and from a diverse and broad range of perspectives.
Martyrdom is examined through the phenomenon of the hunger strike and its impact on Irish life, and in particular the Cork and Brixton hunger strikes of 1920. The history of suicide is discussed through the self-inflicted death of Theobald Wolfe Tone, probably the most famous case of suicide in Irish history. Cormac Ó Grada presents new research into varieties of death during the famines of 1740-41 and 1845-49, while Eunan O’Halpin looks at the problematic nature of accounting death during the War of Independence.
Other topics covered range from obituary notices in provincial newspapers, burials in medieval Ireland, to the attitude to death of the French revolutionaries. Comprising fourteen essays by an outstanding list of expert historians, Death and Dying in Ireland, Britain, and Europe provides a unique new perspective on our history, and in a truly multi-disciplinary approach to an emerging style called the ‘new social history’.
Table of Contents
- ‘Charting the changing relationship of the living and the dead over the course of Irish pre-history’ ~ Gabriel Cooney (UCD)
- ‘Burial in early medieval Ireland: politics and religion’ ~ Edel Bhreathnach and Elizabeth O’Brien (UCD)
- ‘Two early modern heads called Oliver: the post-mortem fates of the heads of St Oliver Plunkett and of Oliver Cromwell’ ~ Sarah Tarlow (University of Leicester)
- ‘The last gasp: death and the family in early modern London’ ~ Vanessa Harding (Birkbeck College, University of London)
- ‘Suicide in eighteenth-century Ireland’ ~ James Kelly (St Patrick’s College, DCU)
- ‘Scuffles in the cemetery: death, de-Christianisation and discord in revolutionary France’ ~ Joe Clarke (TCD)
- ‘Skeletons in the closet: forgetting and remembering the dead of ’98 in Ulster’ ~ Guy Beiner (University of the Negev)
- ‘Sociology’s one law: modernity, Protestantism and suicide in nineteenth-century statistical thinking’ ~ David Lederer (NUI, Maynooth)
- ‘Varieties of Famine death’ ~ Cormac Ó Grada (UCD),
- ‘Obituaries in provincial Irish newspapers, 1860-1900’ ~ Ciara Bhreatnach and David Butler (University of Limerick)
- ‘Wandering graveyards, jumping churches and lone Protestants: devotion, sectarianism and problematic corpses in Irish folklore’ ~ Clodagh Tait (MIC, Limerick)
- ‘Dying, death and hunger strike: Cork and Brixton, 1920’ ~ William Murphy (Mater Dei Institute)
- ‘Problematic killing during the War of Independence’ ~ Eunan O’Halpin (TCD)
- ‘The mutations of martyrdom in Britain and Ireland c. 1850-2005 ~ John Wolffe (Open University)
About the Author(s):
James Kelly is Cregan Professor of History and Head of Department at St Patrick’s College, Dublin City University.
Mary Ann Lyons is Professor of History, at NUI Maynooth.