Wilfrid Ewart (1892-1923), from an English gentry background, took up journalism as a teenager and began writing sketches of military life while serving in the First World War. His war novel Way of Revelation (1921) was a contemporary bestseller and his other writings are still cited by students of the conflict. Paul Bew is Professor of Politics at Queen's University of Belfast. Patrick Maume is a researcher with the Dictionary of Irish Biography. He has edited several titles in the Classics of Irish History series.
In "A Journey in Ireland 1921", originally published in 1922, Ewart relates memories of his journey of April and May 1921. He interviews prominent figures ranging from the Dublin Castle spin-doctor Basil Clarke, Sinn Fein activists in Cork and Limerick to Southern Unionists, former Home Rule MPs and the writer and commentator AE (George Russell). His attempt at a walking tour between Cork and Belfast led to his being interrogated both by British forces and by the IRA; his account ends with a description of Ulster Unionist public meetings addressed by James Craig and Dawson Bates as the Northern Ireland parliament and government were about to come into existence.A meticulous and intelligent observer, Ewart finds himself caught between fellow feeling for embattled British forces and dismayed at the state to which Ireland had been reduced. His account provides a striking pen-portrait of Ireland in the last stages of the War of Independence.
Introduction by Paul Bew and Patrick Maume
A JOURNEY IN IRELAND 1921
Life in Dublin
Politics in Dublin
Life in Cork
Talks with Sinn Fein
Talks with Southern Unionists
Life in Mallow
Soldiers and the Black and Tans
Kilmallock to Limerick
Talks in Limerick
Glimpse into an Underworld
Talks in the Midlands
The Tullamore Road
The Road to Ulster
The Gates of Ulster
Editors' Appendices, I Chief Secretaries for Ireland, II Lords Lieutenant.
"University College Dublin Press has now published over thirty ‘Classics of Irish History’. These contemporary accounts by well known personalities of historical events and attitudes have an immediacy that conventional histories do not have. Introductions by modern historians provide additional historical background and, with hindsight, objectivity."
"Scholars of nineteenth-century Irish and Irish-American politics should reacquaint themselves with these classics, part of a long running and immensely useful series from University College Dublin Press.
Patrick Maume has edited and written the introductions for no less than nine of the books in this series, lending them his breadth of knowledge and keen analysis that have made him one of the most learned and intellectually generous young scholars in the field."
Irish Literary Supplement
"This is another in the Irish history ‘classics’ series. Like many works in this otherwise excellent range there is nothing essentially classic about this little book … it still is a genuinely valuable document … Ewart interviews Castle officials, old Irish Party nationalists, the poet AE, some southern unionists as well as Sir James Craig and the unlovely Dawson Bates in the North. He tramps from town to town and his descriptions of the countryside at a time of upheaval are revealing … This account is ably edited by Paul Bew and Patrick Maume."
"A journalist from an English gentry background, Ewart (1892–1923) toured Ireland just as his wartime novel ‘Way of Revelation’ was becoming a bestseller. He interviewed people about the volatile political conflict over Irish independence and life during the Civil War."
Book News Inc
‘With this little volume, the publishing arm of UCD continues its programme of rescuing almost forgotten classics of Irish history from oblivion. … Though the diary begins in Dublin and covers travels and encounters in the south west, the real grist of the book must be the description of the new state that had already come into existence in the North, which is vividly described. The book evokes an Ireland in ruins, one to be made even more ruinous by the fighting that followed after 1922. Lord Bew and Patrick Maume provide not only their accustomed insights in the introduction, but through the notes give additional detail.’
The Irish Catholic