Belfast 400

People, Place and History

Edited by S. J. Connolly

£14.95
- +

ISBN: 9781846316357

Publication: November 9, 2012

In the USA? Buy the Paperback US edition
Published to mark the four hundredth anniversary of the town’s foundation, Belfast 400 draws on a wide range of recent research to present a new history of one of the world’s most fascinating and most misunderstood cities. The misunderstanding, and the fascination, arise from the same contradictions. Belfast was a significant part of the story of Great Britain’s rise to industrial greatness. But it was a city located, not in Great Britain, but in Ireland. It was one of the main theatres in which the conflicts of identity that have created modern Ireland were fought out. Yet both its politics and its industrial character set it wholly apart from other Irish towns. A central part of the history of both societies, it has never fitted neatly into the accepted narrative of either. Against this background Belfast 400 seeks to recapture the true history of Ireland’s second city in all its complexity. In doing so it asks many questions. Why did such an apparently unfavourable spot, a waterlogged river mouth, persist for centuries – long before the appearance of the first town – as a site of human settlement. Why did what was intended to be a minor outpost of British settlement in the province of Ulster become its most important urban centre? How did the medium-sized commercial centre that thus emerged expand to become, by the beginning of the twentieth century, one of the world’s great centres of shipbuilding and linen manufacture? Finally, and most of all, what did the development of this great industrial centre mean for those who lived there? How did its inhabitants experience the birth pangs of an industrial society, the late nineteenth and early twentieth-century heyday of manufacturing, and the long decline that followed? How far, equally, can the city of Belfast now redefine its identity, and the still often fraught relationships that exist between different sections of its population, to face the challenges of the twenty-first century?

S. J. Connolly is Professor of Irish History and Director of Research, Queens University Belfast.

Preface Acknowledgements Abbreviations List of Tables Selected Maps 1. Imagining Belfast S.J. Connolly and Gillian McIntosh 2. Beneath Our Feet: The Archaeological Record Ruairi O Baoill 3. The Medieval Settlement Philip Macdonald 4. Making Belfast, 1600-1750 Raymond Gillespie 5. Improving Town, 1750-1820 S.J. Connolly 6. Workshop of the Empire, 1820-1914 Stephen A. Royle 7. Whose City? Belonging and Exclusion in the Nineteenth-Century Urban World S.J. Connolly and Gillian McIntosh 8. An Age of Conservative Modernity, 1914-1968 Sean O’Connell 9. Titanic Town: Living in a Landscape of Conflict Dominic Bryan Notes Timeline Further Reading Notes on Contributors Index Subscribers to the Limited Edition

In a book celebrating both the anniversary of Belfast’s first charter in 1613 and the end of its more recent Troubles, a chequered history emerges: a small, inauspiciously located private town becomes one of the great boom cities of the British Empire. Buildings including the magnificent City Hall of 1906 and the Titanic museum of 2012 flag high points in an epic story.
  Times Higher Education 'What are you reading?'

… this is an excellent, readable and informative work of sustained scholarship. With lavish illustrations, carefully written prose, and with the depth of research worn lightly in each chapter, Belfast 400 is a fitting marker of the city’s anniversary, as well as a clear reminder that humanity lived there before the plantation. It is, moreover, a wholly suitable product, rendered at a very reasonable price, for both public and academic consumption. This editor and his contributors, as well as those who subsidised it, deserve our appreciation.
  Irish Historical Studies

There have been many books written about our city’s rich history, but this is undoubtedly the most ambitious, and also the most timely, coinciding as it does with the 400th anniversary of the granting of the original charter. It will be a worthy addition to the canon of literature on our city, and no doubt will be essential reading for everyone with an interest in the story of what has made the Belfast we know today.
Gavin Robinson   Belfast Telegraph

The book will make good a good present for anyone interested in the socio-politico-economic history of Belfast and wanting to get ahead of next year’s commemorations.
Alan in Belfast   Northern Irish Bloggers

... this book is designed to mark this year’s 400th anniversary of Belfast’s charter. In format and content it is high-brow-meets-coffee-table and the illustrations and maps are quite stunning.
  Irish Times

For my money it would make a perfect Christmas present for the history buff in your life.
Brian O'Neill   www.belfasthistory.org

Format: Paperback

Size: 246 x 189 mm

395 Pages

ISBN: 9781846316357

Publication: November 9, 2012

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