Alan O'Day was a Fellow, Greyfriars Hall, University of Oxford. He continues to live quietly in the city of dreaming spires. His 35 books include The English Face of Irish Nationalism (Dublin, 1977), Parnell and the First Home Rule Episode (Dublin, 1986) and Irish Home Rule, 1867-1921 (Manchester, 1998). With N. C. Fleming he edited Charles Stewart Parnell and His Times: A Bibliography (Santa Barbara, CA, 2011), The Longman Handbook of Modern Irish History Since 1800 (London, 2005) and Ireland and Anglo-Irish Relations since 1800: Critical Essays (3 vols, Aldershot, 2008). He and John Stevenson edited Irish Historical Documents since 1800 (Dublin, 1992) and six volumes of original essays with D. George Boyce.
Charles Stewart Parnell has proved a compelling figure in his own time and to ours. A Protestant landlord who possessed few of the gifts that inspire mass adoration, he was the unlikely object of popular veneration. His long liaison with a married woman, Katharine O'Shea, exposed him to the fury of the Catholic Church. Other Protestants secured niches in the pantheon of national heroes but nearly all earned their places as victims of British rule; Parnell's destruction came at Irish hands. Since initial publication in 1998, new evidence and fresh interpretations allow for a fuller and yet more complex portrait for this revised account of Parnell's life. This revision considers Parnell's career within the context of his times, Anglo-Irish affairs, and theoretical perspectives. It makes extensive use of Parnell's public and parliamentary speeches, arguing that he was an exemplar of new forms of political communication and expressed a coherent ideology rooted in the liberal radicalism of the age. In the end he was a victim of his own successes and of a virulent nationalism that squeezed out the immediate possibility of an inclusive nation. Parnell's vision, though, was never wholly submerged and would reappear in the more cosmopolitan atmosphere of contemporary Ireland.
Chronology of Parnell's Life and Times
The Makings of a Nationalist
Political Apprentice, 1874-6
Activism and the Dawn of the Land Question, 13 January 1878-7 June 1879
The Land War, 8 June 1879-2 May 1882
Parliamentary Politics, 2 May 1882-22 October 1884
Home Rule, 23 October 1884-8 June 1886
The Plan of Campaign and the Conservatives, 9 June 1886-17 November 1890
The Split, November 1890-October 1891Notes
‘Bookworm [History Ireland] is always on the lookout for publications that appeal to a particular type of reader: Leaving Cert and A-level student, languid undergrad, or general readers whose enthusiasm for history is not matched by the necessary leisure time to plough through academic monographs … A case in point was the ‘Life and Times’ series published by the Historical Association of Ireland in the 1990s, which aimed ‘to place the lives of leading figures in Irish history against the background of new research’. The good news is that the series is back, with the same mission statement, this time published by UCD Press.’
‘Also welcome is the new series of the Historical Association of Ireland’s Life and Times concise biographies, which started out some years ago under the Dundalgan Press imprint. It has now been taken over by the excellent UCD Press and given a makeover and smart new livery, keeping the bright blue colour scheme of the originals. The aim of the series is to provide scholarly and accessibly brief biographies of major figures in Irish history by experts in the field, suitable for Leaving Certificate, A level and undergraduate students but also for the general reader.’