This week University College Dublin Press has released the ebook of Years of Turbulence: The Irish Revolution and its Aftermath. First published in hardback in 2015 and edited by historians Diarmaid Ferriter and Susannah Riordan, it contains a collection of essays written in honour of Professor Michael Laffan.
I am delighted to have a chapter in this publication. Based on part of my MA thesis which Professor Laffan supervised, it focuses on the popular and scholarly portrayal of Patrick Pearse from 1916 to 1927.
Years of Turbulence powerfully showcases many new perspectives on the Irish revolutionary period of 1912-23, through the vivid and provocative scholarship of leading and emerging historians. The contributors to this fascinating collection not only focus on new angles, they also revisit traditional assumptions, and elaborate on some of the central, current debates on the revolutionary period. Many muted voices of the revolution are given a platform for the first time in these pages. The collection demonstrates a determination to uncover personal experiences and protests that until now have remained relatively undocumented and ignored. Such themes as the experience of violence in its various forms, the specific circumstances of individual counties, tensions between constitutionalism and radicalism, between elites and the grassroots, the extent to which the IRA’s campaign was effectively co-ordinated and controlled, as well as the challenge of writing about women and what they experienced, are deeply considered.Historians in this collection also recognise the need to address, not just events of the revolutionary period, but its afterlife, assessing what the revolution and its leaders came to symbolise, the extent to which a hierarchy of benefit existed in its aftermath, and what the implications were for survivors.Making use of a variety of recently released archival material – including censuses of Ireland of 1901 and 1911, the Bureau of Military History collection, the Military Archives and Service Pensions Collection – Years of Turbulence reveals a fascinating web of different experiences during the revolutionary era and is a fitting contribution, not only to the pioneering scholarship of renowned historian Michael Laffan, who this collection honours, but also to the current decade of commemoration of the centenary of the revolution. The book is richly illustrated with rare images of the period from the Des FitzGerald collection.