The Partition: Ireland Divided, 1885-1925 (Hardback)Charles Townshend (author)
A NEW STATESMAN, TELEGRAPH AND FINANCIAL TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR 2021
'A model of research and analysis ... Townshend's concise and intelligent book tells a painful story that is probably not yet over' Simon Heffer, Daily Telegraph
A compelling history of the turbulent journey to Irish independence, published for the centenary of the Partition
In the aftermath of the horrors of the Irish Famine, the grim, distrustful relationship between Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom deteriorated into a generations-long argument about 'Home Rule'. The unprecedented nature of the Irish problem - with most Irish people wanting to break away from the world's largest Empire - made it extraordinarily difficult for either side to come up with a compromise. For many years actual independence seemed inconceivable. And then, as these bitter disputes continued, it became clear that under no circumstances would the Protestants be party to any of it.
The Partition is a remarkable, clear-sighted and thoughtful account of how two unthinkable events - full Irish independence and the creation of the state of Northern Ireland - came to pass. The Irish nationalist claim to leave ran into a loyalist demand to remain, increasingly centred on the north-eastern Protestant community, threatening large-scale violent resistance.
Here Charles Townshend lays out what is ultimately a tragic story, as partition became the only answer to an otherwise insoluble problem. The settlement of the Irish question drew in every major politician, conjured up heroes and villains, led to civil war and finally to Ulster's catastrophic Troubles. The hard border has always been seen as a failure of both British and Irish statecraft, but has endured now for a century. The Partition brilliantly brings to life the contingency and uncertainty that created it.
'A timely and important book ... so much of its content remains relevant to understanding contemporary preoccupations and controversies' Diarmaid Ferriter, Irish Times
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Number of pages: 368
Weight: 592 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 34 mm
A layered and mostly fair assessment of the dynamics, deal, prejudices and delusions that created the Border in Ireland ... This is a timely and important book, not just because of the centenary of the creation of Northern Ireland but because so much of its content remains relevant to understanding contemporary preoccupations and controversies. -- Diarmaid Ferriter * Irish Times *
The completion of the trilogy is delivered with Townshend's characteristic scholarly panache ... he brings into unforgiving focus the carelessness, double-dealing and myopia which has bedevilled Britain's government of Ireland ... laconic but conclusive. -- Roy Foster * The Spectator *
Townshend, a leading scholar of modern Irish history, has written an authoritative study of the origins of Ireland's partition. -- Tony Barber * Financial Times *
An important book that provides not only a background to events one hundred years ago but is highly relevant to events that are still unfolding today ... Well written, full of insights and impressively topical. -- Taylor Downing * Aspects of History *
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