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The Faith of a Felon and Other Writings

James Fintan Lalor (author)
Marta Ramon (author)
Paperback / softback,
Publication date:
13th July 2012

Author Biography

Marta Ramon is an assistant lecturer at the University of Oviedo, in Spain. From 2004 to 2009 she was attached to NUI Maynooth, first as an IRCHSS post-doctoral fellow, and afterwards as a part-time lecturer and tutor. Her publications include the monograph A Provisional Dictator: James Stephens and the Fenian Movement (UCD Press, 2007), and various academic articles on nineteenth-century Irish nationalism.


James Fintan Lalor (1807-1849) was one of the most original thinkers of the Young Ireland movement, and one of the most frequently appropriated by later Irish activists. From Michael Davitt to James Connolly, a host of self-proclaimed disciples celebrated Lalor in succession as a proto-Fenian rebel, the prophet of Irish land reform, the fourth evangelist of Irish nationalism, and the Irish apostle of revolutionary Socialism. Not all of these definitions fit the reality of Lalor's political thought, but they attest to the deep impression he made on several generations of Irish readers. This edition offers a fresh transcription of Lalor's articles in their original newspaper form, removing the small alterations handed down from Lilian Fogarty's canonical 1918 edition. The introduction provides an overview of Lalor's career and explains the circumstances surrounding each article. An appendix completes the selection with two important documents: Lalor's surprising 1843 letter to Sir Robert Peel, and an unpublished article intended as Lalor's second contribution to the Nation.This small corpus - a mere twelve articles written between 1847 and 1848 - nevertheless suffices to argue for Lalor's inclusion among the great Irish writers of the nineteenth century.