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Land questions in modern Ireland$
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Fergus Campbell and Tony Varley

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780719078804

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719078804.001.0001

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Decentring the Irish Land War: women, politics and the private sphere

Decentring the Irish Land War: women, politics and the private sphere

(p.175) 8 Decentring the Irish Land War: women, politics and the private sphere
Land questions in modern Ireland

Heather Laird

Manchester University Press

The dominant Irish historical narrative, at its most basic, sees the history of Ireland since the nineteenth century as a series of revolts and risings which posed a direct challenge to the state with lulls in between. This narrative has been underpinned by a narrow notion of the political centred on the arena of the state. Little account is taken in this narrative of the more everyday forms of resistance that constituted rural agitation in Ireland, and the historical writings which seek to challenge its narrow parameters by focusing on such issues as agrarian unrest are widely considered to belong to social as opposed to political history. In this chapter Heather Laird, in making a case for broadening our definition of the political and the centrality of women to much local resistance, demonstrates how a variety of Land War ‘public’ activism reached into and overlapped with the ‘private’ household sphere.

Keywords:   The dominant Irish historical narrative, Broadening our definition of the political, Women and agrarian politics, Women in the Land War, ‘Public’ activism and the ‘private’ household sphere, Women and land

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