The Irish Story: Telling Tales and Making it Up in Ireland

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9780140296853: The Irish Story: Telling Tales and Making it Up in Ireland

R.F. Foster's The Irish Story: Telling Tales and Making it Up in Ireland examines how key events in Irish history have been recast and retold to serve a multiplicity of purposes.

In this provocative and extremely funny book Roy Foster demolishes the clichés that surround Ireland's past, examining how key moments have been turned into myths - and, more recently, airbrushed and repackaged for Hollywood and popular culture.

Whether discussing the 'misery tourism' of Famine theme parks, ideas of mystical Celticism, the contested 'Irishness' of Yeats or the sentimentalized childhoods of Angela's Ashes and Gerry Adams's memoir, The Irish Story brilliantly separates the tall tales from the truth.

'Brilliantly scathing ... combative, incisive and immensely enjoyable'
  Fintan O'Toole, Irish Times

'Inspirational ... challenging, illuminating and witty'
  Antonia Fraser, Irish Times Books of the Year

'Very funny ... the Irish story has rarely received so lively and unbiased an unfolding'
  Patricia Craig, Independent

'A complex and supremely intelligent revision of Irish identity'
  Colm Tóibín, Independent Books of the Year

'Blazingly good ... lucid and elegant'
  John Lloyd, Financial Times

R. F. Foster is Carroll Professor of Irish History at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Hertford College, Oxford. His books include Modern Ireland: 1600-1972, Luck and the Irish and W. B. Yeats: A Life.

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Product Description:

The Irish Story Examines how key events in Irish history have been recast and retold to serve a multiplicity of purposes. In this book, the author demolishes the cliches that surround Ireland's past, examining how key moments have been turned into myths - and, recently, airbrushed and repackaged for Hollywood and popular culture. Full description

Review:

No historian has done more to unravel, question and undermine Irish nationalist historiography than Roy Foster, award-winning biographer of WB Yeats. His revisionism will now be refuelled with the The Irish Story. It is often said that the Irish know too much history, as opposed to too little; or rather they know too much one-sided history. Mythical versions of conflict in the past have a nasty habit of getting in the way of peace and reconciliation in the present. In a dozen separate studies, most of which began life as reviews and lectures, Foster mounts a further onslaught on the morose and partisan manner in which the Irish past (especially that of the Republic) continues to be memorialised. He surveys popular histories, the emergence of professional Irish historiography, historical theme-parks (the macabre phenomenon of "faminism"), Angela's Ashes, Gerry Adams' autobiography and the recent commemoration of the 1798 rising. Throughout he offers an elegant and forceful corrective to those who seek to locate Ireland within a simplistic narrative of exploitation and suffering. A good deal of the book is devoted to Yeats and there are essays on Trollope, Elizabeth Bowen and Hubert Butler too--all writers for whom Ireland and England were not opposite poles, but sites of complex identity and inspiration. This leaves one wondering where Roy Foster himself sits--like Yeats, on the border, "advantaged by the duality of the emigrant existence"--or simply on the fence, enjoying the age-old academic sport of debunking? In a book devoted to invented traditions and the politics of memory the author has left himself out of the story. -- Miles Taylor

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R. F. Foster
Published by Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom (2005)
ISBN 10: 0140296859 ISBN 13: 9780140296853
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 124 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. R.F. Foster s The Irish Story: Telling Tales and Making it Up in Ireland examines how key events in Irish history have been recast and retold to serve a multiplicity of purposes. In this provocative and extremely funny book Roy Foster demolishes the cliches that surround Ireland s past, examining how key moments have been turned into myths - and, more recently, airbrushed and repackaged for Hollywood and popular culture. Whether discussing the misery tourism of Famine theme parks, ideas of mystical Celticism, the contested Irishness of Yeats or the sentimentalized childhoods of Angela s Ashes and Gerry Adams s memoir, The Irish Story brilliantly separates the tall tales from the truth. Brilliantly scathing .combative, incisive and immensely enjoyable Fintan O Toole, Irish Times Inspirational .challenging, illuminating and witty Antonia Fraser, Irish Times Books of the Year Very funny .the Irish story has rarely received so lively and unbiased an unfolding Patricia Craig, Independent A complex and supremely intelligent revision of Irish identity Colm Toibin, Independent Books of the Year Blazingly good .lucid and elegant John Lloyd, Financial Times R. F. Foster is Carroll Professor of Irish History at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Hertford College, Oxford. His books include Modern Ireland: 1600-1972, Luck and the Irish and W. B. Yeats: A Life. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780140296853

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Published by Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom (2005)
ISBN 10: 0140296859 ISBN 13: 9780140296853
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 124 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. R.F. Foster s The Irish Story: Telling Tales and Making it Up in Ireland examines how key events in Irish history have been recast and retold to serve a multiplicity of purposes. In this provocative and extremely funny book Roy Foster demolishes the cliches that surround Ireland s past, examining how key moments have been turned into myths - and, more recently, airbrushed and repackaged for Hollywood and popular culture. Whether discussing the misery tourism of Famine theme parks, ideas of mystical Celticism, the contested Irishness of Yeats or the sentimentalized childhoods of Angela s Ashes and Gerry Adams s memoir, The Irish Story brilliantly separates the tall tales from the truth. Brilliantly scathing .combative, incisive and immensely enjoyable Fintan O Toole, Irish Times Inspirational .challenging, illuminating and witty Antonia Fraser, Irish Times Books of the Year Very funny .the Irish story has rarely received so lively and unbiased an unfolding Patricia Craig, Independent A complex and supremely intelligent revision of Irish identity Colm Toibin, Independent Books of the Year Blazingly good .lucid and elegant John Lloyd, Financial Times R. F. Foster is Carroll Professor of Irish History at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Hertford College, Oxford. His books include Modern Ireland: 1600-1972, Luck and the Irish and W. B. Yeats: A Life. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780140296853

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