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Inventing the Myth: Political Passions and the Ulster Protestant Imagination (Hardback)
  • Inventing the Myth: Political Passions and the Ulster Protestant Imagination (Hardback)
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Inventing the Myth: Political Passions and the Ulster Protestant Imagination (Hardback)

(author)
£55.00
Hardback 320 Pages / Published: 03/08/2017
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This book approaches Ulster Protestantism through its theatrical and cultural intersection with politics, re-establishing a forgotten history and engaging with contemporary debates. Anchored by the perspectives of ten writers - some of whom have been notably active in political life - it uniquely examines tensions going on within. Through its exploration of class division and drama from the early twentieth century to the present, the book restores the progressive and Labour credentials of the community's recent past along with its literary repercussions, both of which appear in recent decades to have diminished. Drawing on over sixty interviews, unpublished scripts, as well as rarely-consulted archival material, it shows - contrary to a good deal of cliched polemic and safe scholarly assessment - that Ulster Protestants have historically and continually demonstrated a vigorous creative pulse as well as a tendency towards Left wing and class politics. St. John Ervine, Thomas Carnduff, John Hewitt, Sam Thompson, Stewart Parker, Graham Reid, Ron Hutchinson, Marie Jones, Christina Reid, and Gary Mitchell profoundly challenge as well as reflect their communities. Illuminating a diverse and conflicted culture stretching beyond Orange Order parades, the weaving together of the lives and work of each of the writers highlights mutual themes and insights on their identity, as if part of some grander tapestry of alternative twentieth-century Protestant culture. Ulster Protestantism's consistent delivery of such dissenting voices counters its monolithic and reactionary reputation.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198791591
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 514 g
Dimensions: 223 x 146 x 23 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
An impressive intervention in cultural history, highlighting dramatic writing from Sam Thompson to Gary Mitchell and beyond. * Roy Foster, 'The best books of 2017', The Irish Times *
Its one of the most important books to have been written about unionist 'identity' in Northern Ireland. * Alex Kane, News Letter *
[An] important and ground-breaking book...For those who genuinely seek a nuanced and detailed understanding of [the Protestant working-class in Northern Ireland,] its political and cultural dynamics over the course of the last century, they could do no better than delve into this hugely rewarding book. * Stephen Hopkins, Irish Political Studies *
This is not only an excellent book to read but it is also very readable, being both well-written and informative ... This is a book that deserves to be well read by anyone with an interest in Ireland, also by those with an interest in literature and its role in conveying a message to the outside world whilst also reflecting back to ordinary people the realities of their own space. * James Dingley,National Identities *
It is rooted in a wide range of primary sources, a large number of interviews and a grounding in scholarly literature on the modern social, cultural and political history of Northern Ireland. It is a courageous book in many ways ... Parr has made a major contribution to a historically and culturally sensitive understanding of that community and in particular of its combative and progressive dimensions. * Henry Patterson,History Ireland *
comprehensive and meticulously - researched ... raises many important questions. Parr deftly utilizes the texts of these authors' writing, exploring how their work fit within and critiqued the political contexts of their time. Inventing the Myth is a scholarly book. But Parr's writing style is clear enough to be appreciated by a popular audience. * Gladys Ganiel, Slugger O'Toole *
unquestionably the product of many years of painstaking reading and reflection, a rarity amongst the vast splurge of books on Northern Ireland. Crammed full of original insight for scholars and students keen to rediscover the lost world of the Ulster Protestant imagination, Connal Parr has given us an indispensable addition to the very best scholarship on the intersection of culture and politics in this troubled part of the world. * Aaron Edwards, Irish Studies Review *
In exploring the social and political contexts of northern Irish Protestantism, its inheritance of dissent (what Dawn Purvis, former leader of the Progressive Unionist Party refers to as "independent thought") and linking this history to the "literary imagination" and its "connection to the theatre", Parr has opened the door on the history of creative self-questioning and critical debate that is all so often passed by. * Gerald Dawe, The Irish Times *

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