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Science, politics and society in early nineteenth-century IrelandThe Reverend William Richardson$
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Allan Blackstock

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780719085185

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719085185.001.0001

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Conclusion: Richardson's historical significance

Conclusion: Richardson's historical significance

(p.151) 7 Conclusion: Richardson's historical significance
Science, politics and society in early nineteenth-century Ireland

Allan Blackstock

Manchester University Press

This chapter draws together the various themes of the book. It examines why Richardson did not begin publishing until he was over sixty, then authored over fifty titles. It concludes that a desire to rehabilitate his class and his country after the Union was crucial. His friendship with the English MP George Bellas Greeenough was also important providing an entree into the wider world of metropolitan publishing. The dynamics of this friendship between an older and a younger man reveal that it was mutually beneficial, with Greeenough receiving a, informed commentary on Irish matters from an Irishman. Richardson's opposition to the Irish Bog Commission and his pamphlets on inland navigation are found to derive from the same patriotic detestation of jobbery as informed his fiorin campaign. It is argued that the fiorin campaign's eventual failure and Richardson's subsequent denigration by Victorian agriculturalists obscure his real historical importance as a unique provincial voice from post-Union Ireland.

Keywords:   George Bellas Greeenough, Irish Bog Commission, Inland navigation, Irish Union, Metropolitan publishing

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