Dreams of the Future in Nineteenth-Century Ireland

BookDreams of the Future in Nineteenth-Century Ireland

Dreams of the Future in Nineteenth-Century Ireland

Society for the Study of Nineteenth Century Ireland, 8


September 1st, 2021



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This interdisciplinary collection focuses on the history of the future and in particular how Irish people in the nineteenth century thought about their future, in many different ways and contexts. It spans the long nineteenth century from c. 1800 to c. 1914 and includes both people living on the island of Ireland and the Irish abroad, women and men, the religious and the secular, the governing and the governed. It explores – both individually and collectively – the various hopes, dreams, fears and visions of the future that permeated through nineteenth-century Ireland and Irish life. The collection also analyses how the Irish future was conceptualized and understood in different cultural contexts, how visions of the future shifted in relation to the present and the past, and how the future was instrumentalized for political, religious or other social agendas. It attempts to go beyond the usual political or religious discourses on what the future might hold for Irish people and consider a broader spectrum of witnesses from a mixture of historical and literary sources.

CONTRIBUTORS: Patrick Bethel, Richard J. Butler, Pauline Collombier-Lakeman, Sophie Cooper, Catherine Healy, Peter Hession, Raphaël Ingelbien, Jim Kelly, Fiona Lyons, Aoife O'Leary McNeice, Patrick Maume, Christopher P. Morash, Loughlin J. Sweeney.


Author Information

Richard J. Butler is Director of Research at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
List of Figures 7
List of Abbreviations9
List of Contributors 10
Introduction: Dreams of the Future in Nineteenth-Century Ireland13
I. The Future and The Past31
1. Dreaming the Future while Arguing the Past33
2. ‘Shrovetide will be a Merry Time in Ireland Yet’49
3. Imagining Alternative Political Futures for Ireland in the 1880s67
II. Dreams and Diasporas87
4. Visions of Respectability: Charlotte Grace O’Brien and the Politics of Emigrant Philanthropy89
5. Visions for Ireland and for her Language as Depicted in Nineteenth-Century Irish American Print Media 111
6. ‘The Future Destiny of these Countries’: The Young Ireland Generation and Nationalist Futures in Australia and Canada, 1848–71125
7. Melbourne Visions of an Irish Future in the 1880s145
8. Imagining Irish Futures in East Asia: Narratives of Encounter and Return among Professional Diasporas in China, c.1860–1900165
III. Religious Futures185
9. Visions of the Future in Humanitarian Responses to the Great Irish Famine187
10. After Lammenais and L’Avenir: The Liberal Catholicism of Walter Sweetman and the Catholic Modernism of William Gibson, 2nd Baron Ashbourne205
IV. From Here to Modernity225
11. Transatlantic Exchange, Urban Development, and Heterogeneous Engineering in the West of Ireland227
12. Imagining the Railway Revolution in Pre-Famine Ireland257
13. P.J. Smyth’s Nationalist Dreams of a Free-Trading Ireland and Direct Sea Links with the European Continent283