Nicholas Mansergh

Life
1910-1991; Anglo-Irish family settled in Co. Tipperary; nationalist history; ed. Cambridge; political adviser to Charles Haughey in government; the loss of his ‘clear unflinching gaze’ regretted by many; Martin Mansergh, a son, is adviser to the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

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Works
The Irish Question 1840-1921 (London: Allen and Unwin 1965; rep. 1968; 3rd rev. edn. 1975); ‘Manufacturing Consent’, Fortnight, 350 (May 1996), pp.13-15.

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Criticism
David Harkness, ‘Nicholas Mansergh: Historian of Modern Ireland’, Études Irlandaises [hors série] (Automne 1994), pp.87-97; Diana Mansergh, ed., Nationalism and Independence: Selected Irish Papers (Cork UP 1997), 264pp.

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Quotations
Ireland and India: ‘At the time of partition both countries were within a single polity, the British imperials system, and and in each case the partition took place coincidentally in time with a transfer of power, albeit limited in the Irish case, to indigenous authorities […] In a triangular pre-transfer of power situation there is, all affinities supposed or actual apart, a tendency for the second and third parties the minority and the outgoing impenal power, to be drawn together in resistance to the demands of the first, the majority Nationalist party. Indeed it is close to a law of politics […; q. source.]

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Notes
The Irish Question (new edn. 1968) is cited as ‘the first, and arguably still the best venture into Irish intellectual history’ in W. J. McCormack, Battle of the Books (1986), with the further remark that its ‘chapter on romanticism of Young Ireland [is] especially commendable.’ (p.40.)

Kith & Kin: ‘Roger Boyle, Lord Broghill, was author of an eloquent pre-restoration manifesto on difficulties in church and state, signed by 44 Munster army officers in February 1660, one of whom, an ancestor, was Captain James Mansergh.’ (See Liam Irwin [essay], in History and the Public Sphere: Essays in Honour of John A Murphy, ed. Tom Dunne & Laurence M. Geary, Cork UP 2005 - reviewing which in Irish Times, 27 Aug. 2005, Martin Mansergh calls his namesake an ancestor.]

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