The lost Ireland of Stephen Gwynn: Irish consitutional nationalism and cultural politics, 1864-1950

Colin Reid

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


This book uses a hitherto neglected historical figure to explore constitutional nationalist politics and the cultural forces within Irish society during the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Through the rich and engrossing life of Stephen Gwynn (1864-1950), an alternative history of Ireland can be traced, one which envisaged a moderate form of Irish self-government, nationalist rapprochement with the British Empire, and the healing of the bitter divisions on the island. Gwynn was the most prominent Protestant member of John Redmond's Irish Parliamentary Party. He was also an active participant in the Gaelic language and Irish literature revival, and acted as a literary advisor to the Macmillan publishing house of London, providing an invaluable conduit between Irish authors and a major British publisher. As such, Gwynn offers a unique insight into the overlapping of these worlds, and his experiences illuminate many facets of the complex political and cultural psychologies in the Ireland of his time. Gwynn was an industrious writer, producing numerous books and articles. He provided an intelligent commentary on the major political and cultural issues in Irish affairs during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: this book makes a sustained case for considering Gwynn as one of the most thoughtful and articulate witnesses to the unfolding events in Ireland before, during and after revolution. This book is aimed at scholars and students of modern Irish and British history, as well as those interested in the development of cultural movements in Ireland during the age of W. B. Yeats.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationManchester
PublisherManchester University Press
Number of pages273
ISBN (Print)9780719085406
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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