G[oddard]. H. Orpen

Life
[Goddard Henry Orpen]; author of Ireland Under the Normans 1169-1216, 4 vols. (1911); Corageen in ’98 (1898); ed. Songs of Dermot and the Earl (1892); his wife Adela [née] Richards [Mrs. Orpen] was a novelist.

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Works
Goddard H. Orpen, Ireland Under the Normans 1169-1333 [4 vols.]. Vol. 1 & 2 (Oxford 1911), vols. 3 & 4 Oxford 1920), and Do. [rep. edn.], Ireland under the Normans, 1169-1333 (Dublin: Four Courts Press 2005), 640pp. [hb. €80].

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Commentary
D. George Boyce
, Nationalism in Ireland (London: Routledge 1982; 1991 Edn.), discussing the theory of Gaelic high-kingship developed by Eoin MacNeill: This contrasted sharply with the view of G. O. Orpen, who set down his own version of an anarchic Ireland in a  “tribal state”, possessing an ard ri with no political powerbut only nominal authority. Irelnd, unlike most European countries, was free from external threat, and had every opportunity to construct some kind of political unity; but, Orpen argued, this very absence of threat from Roman or Barbarian invasion meant that Ireland could remain in happy oblivion, free from any danger that might have “roused the Gael from his slumbers”.’ (p.26; see Orpen, Ireland under the Normans, Vol. 1, pp.20-28.) Boyce goes on to remark that ‘Ireland may not have been so far outside the mainstream of European life as Orpen and later authorities asserted’ and that ‘“the patchwork quilt” of Irish political institutions, the dynastic sub-kingdoms, the fluid network of local supremacies were altering by the twelfth century.’ (Idem.)

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References
Belfast Public Library
holds Ireland Under the Normans 1169-1216, 4 vols. (1911); Corageen in 98 (1898); ed. Songs of Dermot and the Earl (1892).

COPAC lists Goddard Henry Orpen as former owner of Adela Elizabeth Richards Orpen [fl.1893-1928] Perfection City (London: Hutchinson & Co. 1897), [6], 299, [15]pp.; 19.5cm.; also Corageen in '98: a story of the Irish rebellion (London: Methuen & Co. 1898), [6], 325, [1]pp. 19.2cm. [Editions in TCD Library.]

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