Easter, 1916. Published in ‘Michael Robartes and the Dancer’ (1921). Background: AO4. At Easter 1916 1,000 Volunteers and 200 Citizen Army seize the GPO and other sites in Dublin, proclaiming an independent Republic with a provisional government led by Padraic Pearse .
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Published in ‘Michael Robartes and the Dancer’ (1921)
Oscar Wilde: “The Saxon took our lands from us and made us destitute . . . but we took their language and added new beauties to it.”
“That a country with the population of Alabama or Kentucky, a place occupied for over 800 years with its indigenous language, history, and culture almost eradicated should produce writers who have dominated English and world literature is nothing short of miraculous. It is Ireland’s ultimate revenge on the British: co-opting their language and affixing and Irish accent on English literary culture.” (from Litchfield talks)
Timeline of Irish History
1167 Arrival of the Norman Warlords at the invitation of King of Leinster, Dermot McMurrogh who had petitioned King Henry II for assistance.
1690 Defeat of Catholic forces of James II by William of Orange at the Battle of the Boyne.
1695 First of the Penal Laws instituted against Catholics in Ireland that banned Catholic worship and restricted education and property.
1782 Grattan Parliament establishes legislative independence.
1798 United Irish Rebellion
1800 The Act of Union – dissolves Irish parliament in Dublin and transfers legislative control to Westminster, effectively ending self-rule.
1829 Catholic Emancipation gained largely from the efforts of Daniel O’Connell.
1845 - 1848 Great Famine
1847Fenian Rebellion suppressed.
1875 - 1889 Home Rule effort led by Charles Stewart Parnell.
1916 - Easter Rising
1919 - 1921 War of Independence
1922 Treaty creating the Irish Free State and partitioning Ireland.
1922- 1923 Irish Civil War
1949 Irish Republic established
‘I am trying to write a poem on the men executed – ‘a terrible beauty has been born again’.. I had no idea that any public event could so deeply move me- and I am very despondent about the future. At the moment I feel that all the work of years has been overturned, all the bringing together of classes, all the freeing of Irish literature and criticism from politics.’
(in a letter to Maud Gonne)