Many eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Irish people believed Ireland’s relationship to the classical world was distinctive, sympathetic, and ongoing. The complex, intimate, and contentious relationship between Irish and English fostered linguistic self-consciousness that permeated many sectors of society. Irish poetry embodied and animated this self-consciousness, and told of Ireland’s cultural and historical connections with the biblical and classical world. The classical tradition also modeled the triumph of ordered memory over time, and inspired hope in those who had experienced, and who continued to remember, violent cultural disruption. Amid and often alongside steep social divides, sectarian hostilities, and distrust, people also sustained a sense of responsibility to, and ownership of, rich, multilingual learning as birthright and heritage. Where many other European societies maintained classical learning as an exclusive emblem of gentlemanly status, in Ireland it was seen as part of a broader cultural mission which reached into the lower ranks of society.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.