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

Sparks from the Comet

Dubliners on Culture Night this year heard a talk about one of the most eminent Dublin newspapers of the early nineteenth century, delivered in the very heart of what was then the city's newspaper and publishing district.
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In and Out of Fashion

James Clarence Mangan’s reputation saw a significant revival in the early twentieth century, and another around the bicentenary of his birth in 2003. Today he is seen as prefiguring some of the great poets of the later nineteenth century and is frequently read as something of a proto-modernist voice.
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A Personal Vendetta

Thomas Dickson, one of three men murdered in 1916 by the possibly deranged Captain John Bowen-Colthurst, has been accused of editing an anti-Semitic Irish newspaper. The paper, ‘The Eye-Opener’, may have been scurrilous, but it is doubtful if it was anti-Semitic.
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Ring-a-ring-a-wrangle

Many of the prescriptions and proscriptions of the Catholic church - in the days when it was able to lay down the law - appeared to make some kind of sense, while others were more mysterious. None more so than the disapproval of long engagements.
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I do I do I do

A number of cases of bigamy which came before the courts in Edwardian Dublin demonstrate that the crime could be entered upon for a variety of motives, not all ignoble.
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I’ll Mind Your Money

The wives of many of the Dublin poor received an unexpected bonus during the First World War while their husbands were away at the front in the form of 'separation money'. For many this was the first regular payment they'd ever had. Unfortunately not all of them spent it wisely.
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Women Won't Wait

Not everyone in Irish political life supported women's suffrage. In fact the idea was strongly opposed by many in the Irish Parliamentary Party and by the Ancient Order of Hibernians. Nevertheless, the independent state managed to get in well before the United Kingdom.
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Suffragette Unionists

It is quite well known that the supposed solidarity felt between the working classes of different nations melted away fairly quickly on the declaration of the First World War. So too, apparently, did English suffragettes' sympathy for the aspiration to Irish independence.
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Swings and Roundabouts

A squabble between servants in a Dublin house, which led to one of them being 'let go', ended up in court when the parlourmaid Rosa McCabe alleged that she had been fired after being wrongly accused of voicing pro-German sentiments.
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Death of a Volunteer

Volunteer Gerald Keogh was shot dead outside Trinity College on Easter Tuesday 1916. He was one of three brothers involved in the Rising. Another brother, Augustus, was a noted theatre manager, who promoted the works of Shaw in Dublin.
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Pass The Palaver

James Joyce, whose birthday we celebrate today, may not have been familiar with the term 'sexual harassment' but he knew the phenomenon. The most common victims in Edwardian Dublin were young women in service, preyed on my middle class men.
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Love in the Afternoon

A painful case of 1926, which came to the attention of the Dublin courts, seemed to illustrate the wide gap between Irish middle class morality and the easier and more indulgent ways of the French bourgeoisie.
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More About Mary

Mary Pendarves was a well-connected socialite who was flattered to win the friendship of Dean Swift. Many years after her release from an unhappy marriage she married again, this time happily, to Dr Patrick Delany and the two set up home in a beautiful house on the banks of the Tolka.
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The Politics of Love

Mary Granville, later Mary Pendarves and Mary Delany, was bullied into marriage with an older man aged seventeen for financial reasons: 'I was married with great pomp. Never was woe drest out in gayer colours ...
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The Bell Rings, Over A Black Pool

A poem from Moya Cannon's latest collection makes connections between medieval Dublin, a querulous student and south Dublin's most pleasant amenity.
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Hallelujah for the Bums

George Frederick Handel's sublime `Messiah', first performed in Dublin in 1742, was not entirely about giving the bourgeoise a nice outing. Its purpose was to raise funds to relieve distress, which then, even more than now, was prevalent in Dublin.
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Wider Please

In 1757, the Wide Streets Commission was set up to lay down wide modern streets which leading citizens felt were essential to a modern and prestigious city. Unfortunately Dublin was not to remain such a city for very long.
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Kissing Cousins

James Cousins, an early literary revival figure, fell for Gretta Gillespie. Gretta overcame an early antipathy and they married, embracing vegetarianism and theosophy, which provided a focus for enthusiasm in the absence of “some more artistic way of continuance of the race”.
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A city frozen in time

The prevailing culture in Dublin is one of conservation: we don't like the new or the modern, preferring the old and crumbling. So why then has there been such sentiment about the Poolbeg chimneys, symbols of an industrial era we seem to be happy to turn our backs on?
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If the Brits had won ...

If Tom Barry and Winston Churchill had succeeded in reigniting the Anglo-Irish War, who would have emerged victorious? And would Ireland now enjoy a system of universal health care?
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