Christopher Anderson

Life
fl. 1828; author of Historical Sketches of the Native Irish and their Descendants with Regard to Literature; Education and Oral Instruction (Edinburgh 1828; 2nd edn. 1830), Do., 3rd edn. improved (London: Pickering 1846).

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Works
Historical Sketches of the Native Irish and Their Descendents, Illustrative of their past and present state with regard to Literature, Education and Oral Instruction (London: OLiver & Boyd/Simpkin & Marshall 1828), xviii, 266pp.; another edn. 1830), 358pp., with index; also prefixed ads.; ded.: ‘The Descendents of the Ancient Native Irish and to all who Befriend Them These Pages are Inscribed by the Author’ [copy of 1830 Edn. in Princess Grace Irish Library; see infra].

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Quotations
Historical Sketches of the Native Irish and Their Descendents, Illustrative of their past and present state with regard to Literature, Education and Oral Instruction (London: OLiver & Boyd/Simpkin & Marshall 1828), xviii, 266pp.; another edn. 1830), 358pp., with index; also prefixed ads.; ded.: ’The Descendents of the Ancient Native Irish and to all who Befriend Them these pages are inscribed by the Author’. Epigraph: “Learning, which dawned in the remotest east, has hitherto moved westward like the great luminary of day. It would be anticipating the ordinary course of human knowledge to suppose that Ireland has passed her zenith; it should rather encourge her sons, that she has not yet come to her meridian.’ (Camden’s Hibernian by Gough). Preface: ‘Some time hence, it will certainly require a considerable effort for any many to believe, that a people existed, in the ninetheenth century, within the limits of this kingdom, in the condition here explained. Literature, Education, and Oral Instruction, involve the very highest interests of the community; but, speaking generally, these advantages have been so long enjoyed by the people of this country, and so richly, that the postive present circumstances of the Native Irish, when viewed in connexion with all around them, will certainly appear, to such a man, difficult of belief. [hypthetical speaker: “...] It is not that the progress of education should have been slow, when it might ave been rapid, but so perversely thwarted, that, after thrity years of the nineteenth century has elapsed, such an aggregate of this interesting people should have been unable to read the alphabet. It is not that oral instruction in the native tognue should hav been neglected from one century to the another, but that, in the year 1830, there should not [7] have been a single edifice in all Ireland expressly devoted to the purpose of procaliming the truth of God in the language of three millions, who speak it daily!” (p.[7]-8). Further, ‘The objects in view are of a description with which the feelings of party ought never be associated, and the writer greatly mistakes if, in any instance, he has betrayed them. His obejct has been to interest one part of the community on behalf of another, and, by correct information, to excite the sympathy of the general reader. At the same time, it is proper to state, without any disguise, that the present is simply another effort to clear away one of the most absurd and unregenerate barriers to moral improvement, which every existed in a civilised country; and to bring, if it be possible, the energies of British benevolence and Christian philanthropy to bear upon those parts of our country which still stand out in such contract to the rest, that they have often excited the astonishment of foreigners, and exposed this nation to their just though severe reproach. / In the year 1815, a brief Memorial on behalf of this people, with a view to their moral improvement, through the medium of their own lagnuage, excited some attention [...; 9]. The actual condition of so large a proportion of British subjects certainly cannot much longer be treated with cold indifference; and it would be well for them, if these statements were at leat regarded as an appeal, I will not say to the judgement only, but to the justice and humanity of the kingdom at large.’ (pp.7-10; Edinburgh, April 1830.) Chap. titles: Primitive Tribes in the west of Europe[,] four within the United Kingdom [-] four within the United Kingdom; the PUblich atttention frar from ebing sufficiently awakened to the present state of one of these; the importance of farther inquiry into their peculiarly neglectful condition [13]; Literary History - Or Gleanings from the Early Ages to the Present Day, including some notice of the most eminent Men; references to Irish Typography, whether in Britain or on the Continent; and an Account of the translation and printing of the Sacred Volume in the vernacular tongue [23]; Schools of Learning; Oral Instruction; Unfounded Objections against the employment of the Irish language answered and shown to be of baneful tendency in every sense [...]; The Irish Language, with proofs of the extent to which it is spoekn at present [...]; The Islands of Ireland, viewed [...] as an object demanding special consideration and assistance [...]; Desiderata - Books, or brief Catalogue of Desirables for the Nation Irish population [250]; Disiderata - Oral Instruction - Or the necessity and importance of ministering the Divine Word in a language understood by the People [191]; To the Native Irish - More especially to such Individuals among them as are interested in the Progress of Literture, Education, and Oral Instruction [319]; Appendix: Primitive Races - Continental and British Celtic Dialects [343]. TEXT: ‘That Irish literature, properly so called, should be in its present condition, is not owing to there having been no anxiety expressed by others respecting it. Nearly a hundred years ago, we find even Dean Swift, who was certainly no friend to the language itself, requesting the [28] Duke of Chandos to restore to Ireland, by presenting to the library of Trinity, then newly erected, a large quanityt of her ancient records, on paper and parchment, then in his Grace’s possession, which had been collected, chiefly by Sir James Ware, and brought to England by Lord Clarendon [letter of 31 Aug. 1734]. / Edmund Burke also expressed much anxiety respecting the translation of these Irish records, and even prevailed on Sir John Seabright to send his manuscripts to Ireland for translation. This same feeling on this subject also prevailed on the continent [quots Jouranl des Scavans, Oct. 1764; see under James Hardiman.]’; further remarks and citations from correspondence of Charles O’Conor with Dr. Johnson [also from Hardiman]. Further, ‘[...] let the Native Irsh in general have only one fair and unfettered opportunity of starting from this point [i.e., vernacular learning]. and it will soon be seen whether many among them will not proceed dar beyond the narrow limits of their native tongue.’ (p.205); ‘But whatever may be the opinions formed of these ancient tribes - whether the Irish and the Scots Highlanders are to be denominated Cynesian, Iberian, or ancient Celitc; and the Welsh, Cornish, and Armorican are to be distinghuished as Cymri or Cymraic Gauls; and the inhabitnats of Bearn and the lower Pyrenees, who speak the Basque, are to be associated with either, or, more anciently, with both, - or whether the whole continue to fall under the general denomination of Celtic, describing the differences between them by a more accurate analysis of their several dialects; still there is so much of affinity, that the whole must be regarded as the chiildren of one common parent stock.’ (p.341.) INDEX: Irish and Anglo-Irish persons listed incl.: Bedell [55-70 &c.]; Berkeley [158]; Boyle [72-83, &c.]; Carswell; Cogley; Conry; Creagh; P. Cusack; C. Cusack; Sir T. Cusack; Daniel; Davies; Donellan; Dowling; Edgeworth; Erigena; Fitzgerald; Fitzralph; Flood; Gallagher; Gearnon; Gotofrid; Halliday; Hamilton; Harris; Higgins; Hussey; Hutchinson; Kearney; Keenan; Kelly; King; Lloyd; Lhuid; Lynch; Macallum; Macaghwell; macCurtin; MacGuire; Magenis; Maildulf; Marsh; McNaghton; Moore; Murray; Nary; Nicholson; O’Brien; O’Bryan; O’Cionga; O’Clery; O’Donnell; O’Fihely; O’Molloy; O’Mulchonaire; O’Regan; O’Reilly; O’Sheridan; Ormond; Owen; Price; Reily; Sedulius; Stapleton; Stanyhurst; Stewart; Stokes; Swift; Tighernach; Ussher [W.]; Vallancey; Wadding; Walsh; Ware; Wetenhall; Wilson, et. al. Note, that though patently employed as a source of the work, James Hardiman is not cited in the Appendix.

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