The Fenian Ideal and Irish Nationalism, 1882-1916
Demonstrates that separatist thinking in Ireland was crucial even when the political focus was on home rule.
This book analyses Fenian influences on Irish nationalism between the Phoenix Park murders of 1882 and the Easter Rising of 1916. It challenges the convention that Irish separatist politics before the First World War were marginaland irrelevant, showing instead that clear boundaries between home rule and separatist nationalism did not exist. Kelly examines how leading home rule MPs argued that Parnellism was Fenianism by other means, and how Fenian politics were influenced by Irish cultural nationalism, which reinforced separatist orthodoxies, serving to clarify the ideological distance between Fenians and home rulers. It discusses how early Sinn Fein gave voice to these new orthodoxies, and concludes by examining the ideological complexities of the Irish Volunteers, and exploring Irish politics between 1914 and 1916.
"Kelly's book successfully relates his Irish separatists to other Irish histories and experiences; it is founded on diligent research in archive collections and newspaper libraries; and it makes a very significant contribution to our understanding of this vital period in Irish history and politics." ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW
"An assured and subtle study of Irish separatism at the turn of the century. ROY FOSTER, TLS Books of the Year 2006" .
"Kelly's elegantly written and carefully researched monograph... provides an empathetic, subtle, and balanced account of 'advanced' nationalism in Ireland during the critical (and under-researched) period between the end of the Land War (1879-1882) and the 1916 Rising. ... [An] excellent book." AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW