Anne Dolan and Patrick M. Geoghegan lecture in modern history at Trinity College Dublin Darryl Jones is Senior Lecturer in English at Trinity College Dublin.
Robert Emmet's life, death, and immediate elevation into the pantheon of Irish nationalist heroes are well known. These essays on Emmet's life and legacy, however, demonstrate a new interdisciplinary approach to studies of the Irish nationalist hero. "Reinventing Emmet" includes essays on commemoration, literature, legal history and aspects of the Emmet legacy not explored elsewhere, such as studies of his influence on American culture, and draws on research from young as well as established scholars. Robert Emmet is an Irish (and Irish-American) nationalist icon. Although Emmet's rebellion of 1803 was an embarrassing failure, his speech from the dock prior to his execution for high treason has captured national and international imagination. The trial, the speech, and the image of Emmet have in many ways superseded his actual achievements, and have been perpetually reproduced across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, culminating in the bicentenary of Emmet's rebellion in 2003. But what is Emmet's legacy? Is there more to this iconic figure than a failed rebellion and a memorable speech?
Section 1 Revisiting Emmet
- 'The cause of treason seems to have gone out of fashion in Ireland'
- Dublin Castle and Robert Emmet, Thomas Bartlett
Revelation and Romanticism
- The Revolutionary Ideology of Thomas Russell, James Quinn
'Permanent tranquility will not be established while the present system is continued'
- Charles James Fox and Ireland 1801-3, Patrick Walsh
'Unhappy is the man and nation whose destiny depends on the will of another!'
- Social and linguistic perspectives on Robert Emmet's mission to France, Sylvie Kleinman
'The reptile that had stung me'
- William Plunket and the Trial of Robert Emmet, Maeve Ryan
Section 2 Reinventing Emmet
- Missing Robert Emmet
- William Godwin's Irish Expedition, Timothy Webb
Robert Emmet and Nineteenth-Century Irish America, Charles Fanning
Prophecy and Posterity
- Robert Emmet in America, Patrick M. Geoghegan
Saying 'No' to Robert Emmet, Norman Vance
'It might be just as well, perhaps, to forget about poor Emmet', Anne Dolan
Section 3 Reflections on Emmet
- Pearse's Emmet, Seamas O Buachalla
Robert Emmet and Roger Casement, W. J. Mc Cormack
The Trial of Robert Emmet, Adrian Hardiman
"Robert Emmet has always been something of an enigma. He is one of the most romantic heroes in the popular canon but his early death and the manner of it have raised serious questions for historians and others. Was his rebellion wise or even well thought out? If he had lived what might he have achieved? ... These questions and more are addressed in this book by a range of historians who look at their subject from a historical perspective, setting him in context, a political one examining his legacy, and a cultural one considering how he has been represented and portrayed. In all an interesting study that makes one think again about Emmet and his legacy."
Books Ireland Dec 2007
"This interesting and engaging volume had its genesis in a symposium held in Trinity College in 2003, to mark the bicentenary of Emmet's death ... enjoyable, accessible, well written and engaging, and for any reader developing an interest in early nineteenth-century Ireland, an excellent introduction."
Irish Book Review Vol 3 No 1 2007/8