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

    An Unsinkable Woman

    Robert O’Byrne
    An Unsinkable Woman
    In 1922, the 50-year-old Katherine Everett was despatched to see if anything could be saved from her godmother, Lady Ardilaun’s, property Macroom House. The story of her journey, the last 70 miles of it by bicycle, serves as a counterpoint to the blustery narratives of Ernie O’Malley and Tom Barry.
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    The Quest for the Celt

    Michael Gibbons
    A major archaeological study in 1930s Ireland carried out detailed measurement of a wide range of features from a representative sample of the population, with a particular focus on the shape and size of the Irish skull and its relationship to prevailing theories of racial descent and intellectual ability.
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    Crushing Democracy

    Philip O’Connor
    Probably no independence movement in history, anywhere, enjoyed the overwhelming democratic mandate of the First Dáil, which was suppressed by Britain. Yet curiously the meaning of that election and of its consequences continues to be raked over and disputed.
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    Care and Control

    Joseph Harbison
    A comprehensive new history of Ireland’s largest hospital gives an account of its medieval beginnings and development through a period when the sick, who were also very often the poor, represented a category who should be cared for, but who were also often perceived as a threat.
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    Dublin in the Wars

    Padraig Yeates
    Dublin in the Wars
    Before 1914 recruitment to the British army from Belfast was often less than half that of Dublin, although the Northern city had a larger population. But Belfast was an industrial powerhouse, not a sleepy provincial backwater dependent on the production of beer and biscuits.
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    Man of Marble

    Maurice Earls
    Man of Marble
    From 1820 to 1850, the sculptor John Hogan’s most productive period, he was largely based in Rome. Yet despite living abroad he was without question, and especially in terms of his subject matter and patrons – chiefly the Irish bourgeoisie and Catholic church – an Irish artist.
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    Endgame

    John Swift
    Endgame
    In the long Home Rule crisis of the second decade of the twentieth century, John Redmond, the leader of constitutional nationalism, counted too much on unreliable British allies. His rival, Edward Carson, was a more able tactician, more daring and decisive, and perhaps less unlucky.
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    Not So Very Different

    Kevin Hjortshøj O’Rourke
    There can at times be an attention-seeking particularism about Irish writing – look at us, we like to say, look how unique, and how very interesting, we are. When I was a boy, we were taught that post-independence Ireland was poor but uniquely virtuous. Today we are taught that it was poor and uniquely wicked. Both positions are misguided: we were never as different as people have made out. 
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    Talking Heads

    Deirdre Serjeantson.
    As recently as 1996, an English editor of an edition of a seventeenth century play wrote in a footnote to explain to students a puzzling reference that “the Irish were notoriously cruel and bloodthirsty”. This of course is very much a matter of perspective. Both sides in the sixteenth and seventeenth century conflict in Ireland used extreme violence. The Elizabethan English tended to see Irish beheadings as savagery; their own decapitations were simply an expression of due process.
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    Humanism Comes to Town

    Toby Barnard
    Many of the features of other European Renaissance cities were missing from Dublin: no vibrant centre of learning, only an attenuated court, little local printing. Yet traders, administrators, soldiers and clerics arrived from overseas, as did manuscripts and books.
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