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Read a piece on Carla King's new Davitt biography in Irish Literary Supplement, Fall 2017 Read a piece on Carla King's new Davitt biography in the Mayo News, 20 December 2016Read a blog post by Carla King on the Michael Davitt papers, the Library of Trinity College Dublin, 16 December 2016 Listen to Carla King discuss her new Davitt biography on Midwest Radio, 12 December 2016Listen to Carla King discuss Michael Davitt on Moncrieff, Newstalk 12 December 2016 (start of Part 2) Read a piece by Carla King on Davitt's views on sectarianism and religion in The Irish News, 8 December 2016Read an article by Carla King on Davitt exposing Russian pogroms in the Sunday Independent, 4 December 2016Read a piece by Carla King on Davitt and Britain's Dreyfus affair in the Irish Times, 23 November 2016Read a piece on Carla King's new Davitt biography in the Western People, 19 December 2016

Michael Davitt After the Land League, 1882-1906

Carla King (author)
Publication date:
15th November 2016

Author Biography

Carla King was for many years a Lecturer in Modern History at St Patrick's College, Drumcondra (now Dublin City University). She has published various works relating to Davitt, including Michael Davitt: Collected Writings, 1868-1906 [2001); Michael Davitt, jottings in Solitary (2003); Lives of Victorian Political Figures, Part ll, Vol. 4: Michael Davitt (2007]; and co-edited with W. I. Mc Cormack, John Devoy's Michael Davitt: From the Gaelic American [2008). She has also contributed articles on Davitt to scholarly and popular journals.


Michael Davitt is known as the 'Father of the Land League'. His story of suffering and self-sacrifice, childhood eviction and exile, youthful radicalism, harsh imprisonment and eventual triumph over adversity ensures his memory in the pages of history. His early life and role in the Land League have been well-served by historians; however, his mature years remain largely in the shade. This book uncovers Davitt above and beyond the Land League. Michael Davitt after the Land League brings Davitt's later story back into the light by exploring his career in the 24 years between his leadership of the Land League and his death in 1906. Davitt expert Dr Carla King unveils the leading themes in Davitt's life post Land League: education, nationalism and democracy, prison reform, imperialism, international affairs, the women's question and the labour movement. His continued dedication to the land question and Irish affairs are demonstrated through his focus on Home Rule, the Plan of Campaign and the United Irish League. His extensive travels abroad from Western Europe to the United States, the Middle East, Russia, Australia, and beyond reveal an awakening internationalist outlook.His passion for international affairs from Anglo-American relations, British imperialism to the Boer War and Russia's treatment of its Jewish population are all here, rich in the telling.King thoroughly delves into the role of Davitt as a public intellectual: assessing how his books, journalistic writing and participation in many of the leading debates of his time gave voice to a strand of radical, Secular, anti-imperialist nationalism-that put him in many respects ahead of his time. Without considered attention to his later years, King asserts, we fail to grasp the extensive scale of Davitt's deep imprint on the evolution of modern Ireland. With extensive archival research including Davitt's own papers, Michael Davitt after the Land League demonstrates that while the formation and leadership of the Land League was a vital contribution to Ireland, it was far from being Davitt's only legacy.