Irish nationalist leader John Redmond left no diaries or memoirs, but was a prolific letter-writer. In John Redmond: Selected Letters and Memoranda, 1880–1918, Dermot Meleady skilfully edits Redmond’s correspondence to offer new and first-hand perspectives on key moments in Ireland’s history via the many-faceted postbag of one of its most able political figures.
Spanning four decades, these letters to and from key figures such as John Dillon, William O’Brien, David Lloyd George and Herbert Asquith trace Parnell’s downfall, the reunification of the Irish Parliamentary Party, Irish participation in the First World War and the destruction of Redmond’s lifelong dream of Home Rule in the aftermath of the Easter 1916 rebellion.
Redmond’s untimely death in 1918, after a wave of shocks and disappointments, marked a sadly premature end to an immense personality as well as the end of an era, but this book brings to life many of the episodes of the vibrant politics of his period. Above all, it gives Redmond back his own voice, allowing him to speak directly to us from a century ago and to correct some of the caricature to which he has sometimes been reduced in the popular memory and academic discourse.
Table of Contents
- The Young Wexford MP, 1880–1890
- Defending Parnell, 1890–1891
- Leading the Parnellites: The Split and Electoral Politics
- Leading the Parnellites: The Second Home Rule Bill
- Reunification and Leadership, 1900–1902
- The Land Act and Conciliation, 1902–1907
- The Fight for Legislative Reform, 1906–1909
- The Lords, the Budget and the Veto, 1909–1911
- The Third Home Rule Bill and Unionist Resistance, 1912–1913
- The Volunteer Movement and Partition, 1914
- The War and Irish Recruiting, 1914–1916
- The Party and the Newspapers
- Rebellion and its Aftermath, 1916
- The American Organisation
- The Party in Crisis, 1916–1917
- Last Chance for Constitutionalism, 1917–1918
- Private and Family Life
About the Author
Dermot Meleady is the author of John Redmond: The National Leader (Merrion Press; 2013, 2018) and Redmond: The Parnellite (2007). He was born in Dublin in 1949; he studied Science at University College Dublin and History at University of London. He lives in Co. Wicklow.