Author(s): R. F. Foster
In this provocative and extremely funny book Roy Foster demolishes the cliches that surround Ireland's past, examining how key moments from its history have been turned into myths - and, more recently, airbrushed and repackaged for Hollywood and popular culture. Whether discussing the 'misery tourism' of Famine theme parks, ideas of mystical Celticism, the contested 'Irishness' of Yeats or the sentimentalized childhoods of Angel's Ashesand Gerry Adams memoir, The Irish Storybrilliantly separates the tall tales from the truth.
Shortlisted for Orwell Prize 2001.
R.F. Foster is Carroll Professor of Irish History at Oxford University. His books include MODERN IRELAND 1600-1972 and the first volume of W.B. YEATS: A LIFE. In 2000 he was a Booker Prize judge. THE IRISH STORY was shortlisted for the 2001 Orwell Prize.
The story of Ireland; theme-parks and histories; "colliding cultures" - Leland Lyons and the reinterpretation of Irish history; years at war - poetic strategies and political reconstruction; "when the newspapers have forgotten me" - Yeats, obituarists and Irishness; the normal and the national - Yeats and the boundaries of Irish writing; square-built power and fiery shorthand - Yeats, Carleton and the Irish nineteenth century; stopping the hunt - Trollope and the memory of Ireland; prints on the scene - Elizabeth Bowen and the landscape of childhood; selling Irish childhoods - Frank McCourt and Gerry Adams; the salamander and the slap - Hubert Butler and his century; remembering 1798.