Ian McBride

Dublin’s New Dawn

The Irish Enlightenment

By

Harvard University Press 625pp £29.95 order from our bookshop

Michael Brown has written a brilliant, encyclopaedic but ultimately unconvincing book addressing an important subject that has for too long remained a closely guarded secret. A few minutes on Google Scholar will confirm that most references to the ‘Irish Enlightenment’ date from the last ten years. Scare quotes and question marks recur, emphasising the insecure status of this late arrival on the intellectual scene. The impact of the European Enlightenment on 18th-century Ireland has long been acknowledged, particularly since Marianne Elliott’s path-breaking studies of Wolfe Tone and the United Irishmen in the 1980s.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • . is next week! The programme is excellent and there are free copies of Literary Review, to boot! ,
    • 'Britain's spy chief in the Congo replied to a fellow peer who asked her whether SIS played any part in its prime m… ,
    • This month Lucy Popescu covers the plight of poet Galal El-Behairy and activist Wael Abbas in Egypt's crack-down on… ,
    • 'I fear that defending an 18th-century agrarian economist against – well, against whom exactly? – is not the best u… ,
    • 'He lacks empathy with all but the wealthy and has no grasp of the struggles faced by the majority of his concitoye… ,
    • Here's Richard Vinen's review of A Certain Idea of France by Julian Jackson: ,
    • RT : James Crabtree's 'Billionaire Raj' - my review for . "...For sheer chutzpah, India’s billionaires provid… ,