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Space to Think, a new book celebrating ten years of the Dublin Review of Books More Information 

    Part of What They Are

    Maurice Earls
    Driven by its history, Britain is hurtling towards a hard Brexit, which is likely to be a quite unpleasant experience for our neighbours, and perhaps to some degree also for us. Unless, that is, a coalition of pragmatists emerges in Westminster. In that eventuality perhaps Ireland should offer a helping hand.
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    Lost Connections

    Maurice Earls
    Lost Connections
    Most groups wrongfooted by the advent of Irish independence in the 1920s have since made their peace with it: the state’s Protestant minority, Trinity College, even diehard republicans. But the Jesuit order, it seems, is still dragging its feet and hankering after what has been lost.
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    The Coast of Bohemia

    Maurice Earls
    One result of living behind the wall of large states that stands between us and central Europe is the tendency to see our history as somewhat unusual. Irish history is certainly very different from British, Dutch, French and Spanish imperial history but much less so if one looks a little beyond.
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    One Onion, Many Layers

    Maurice Earls
    Irish Catholic social elites, emerging confidently after the ebb of British anti-Catholicism in the nineteenth century, increasingly sent their children to schools, both in England and in Ireland, created on the public school model. There some of them learned that the highest duty of a gentleman was to play the game.
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    History is to Blame

    Maurice Earls
    Samuel Pepys, an insider whom the Glorious Revolution made an outsider, was a brilliant administrator, a great observer and a fine writer, a humane and tolerant man and a great lover of women.
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    Strong Hand, Beloved Leader

    Maurice Earls

    A hoard of letters written by Germans to Hitler show a people keen to abdicate their responsibility and infantilise themselves, but they do not indicate any great enthusiasm for either Nazi ideology or territorial aggression.

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    INSURRECTIONISTS AND SKIRMISHERS

    Maurice Earls

    When you lose in politics there is a tendency for others ‑ particularly the young ‑ to question, if not denounce, your tactics. Notwithstanding the impressive list of achievements and concessions won by O’Connell over thirty-odd years, his ending was an example of the dictum that all political careers end in failure.
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    The Kids Are Alright

    Maurice Earls
    The story of Minnie with her heart “as big as a whale” is the old story of the beautiful and somewhat innocent young woman who falls for a useless cad, one who gives her things that she ain’t needin’ and by whom she is thereby destroyed, or, as in the popular Betty Boop animated version, severely chastened. The Betty Boop version dealt metaphorically and indirectly with the issues the song disguised behind hepster slang. As a result both were huge successes and the gifted Calloway was the first artist to break the colour bar of the major broadcasters.
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    This is my Letter to the World

    Maurice Earls
    Emily’s self-seclusion was in the family tradition, as was her feeling of superiority, which she expressed in her inimitable manner. At a dinner during her visit to Boston, when presented with a flambé dessert she enquired from the judge sitting beside her, with characteristic poise, whether it was permissible in the capital of Unitarianism to eat hell fire. First published Spring 2011
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    A Moocow Coming Down Along the Road

    Maurice Earls
    John Stanislaus Joyce started out with around £1,000 in capital and numerous family connections but fell through the net of middle class privilege, bringing his family with him. Joyce senior must in many ways have been a representative figure. As the population declined and society was hollowed out, it was inevitable that the resources available to the middle classes would contract. The competition for available space must have been fierce. Survivors, like the back-slapping Blazes Boylans and Buck Mulligans of the time, took no prisoners.
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    Light Thickens...

    Maurice Earls
    It seems, to the mild irritation of both Prussian sages, that the women in the Marx and Engels households went into collective mourning following the hangings. In a letter to Engels, Marx described his daughter’s response: “Jenny goes in black since the Manchester execution, and wears her Polish cross on a green ribbon.” “I need hardly tell you that black and green are the prevailing colours in my house too,” Engels replied, perhaps feeling he had had enough of Irish woes for the time being.
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    Fallen Skies

    Maurice Earls
    Social partnership has been the only real government achievement of recent times and even this can be read – particularly under Ahern – as an expression of the pervasive electorally-oriented politics of emollience. In general, Irish politicians have declined the exercise of power in order to concentrate on re-election. If it were not for a skilled and professional public service willing to catch the ball Ireland Inc would have ended in tears earlier.
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    History Is To Blame

    Maurice Earls
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    Bridges From The Past

    Maurice Earls
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