Charles Stewart Parnell (1846-1891)


Life
1846: b. Avondale, Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow; son of Delia Tudor Stewart, an American from whom he reputedly acquired his aversion to the English; ed. partly at Yeovil, Somerset, a girls’ school where he contracted typhoid; thereafter priv. ed., and Kirk Langley, Derbyshire (expelled), and Great Ealing School; inherited estate in 1859; moved with family to Dublin; attended crammer in Chipping Norton; proceeded to Magdalene College, Cambridge; sent down in 1869; travelled to continent, and visited his brother John Howard Parnell (1843-1923); then farming in Alabama;
 
1875: elected IPP MP for Meath, 1875; declared ‘as publicly and as directly’ as he could that he did not ‘believe, and never shall believe, that any murder was committed at Manchester’ (in response to Sir Michael Hicks Beach’s allusion the the ‘Manchester murderers’ [viz, “Manchester Martyrs” of 1865], June 1876; President Home Rule Confederation, 1877; ‘New Departure’ (so called by John Devoy), 1878; President of newly-founded Land League, Oct. 1879 (‘Keep a firm grip on your homesteads’); and visited USA with John Dillon and Tim Healy, Dec. 1879-Feb. 1880; addresses American House of Representatives [Congress]; collected £40,000 in the States, enabling an independent policy; elected MP for Cork, 1880, as a result of a Tory scheme to split the Whig vote, and represented Cork to the end of his career; elected chairman of the IPP, 1880, advocating the model of ‘Grattan’s Parliament’; Capt. O’Shea returned for Galway in 1880 election; commenced affair with Katharine O’Shea (née Woods), in the course of which the couple had three children - the first being Claude Sophie, born in 1881 (and died shortly after) while O’Shea was carrying message between Parnell and the Government; promoted Boycotting policy against coercion; challenged to duel by Capt. O’Shea, July 1881;
 
1881: heavily engaged in Wicklow Arklow harbour schemes, 1881; Gladstone’s Land Bill introduced, 7 April 1881, second reading 25th April; acquired The Flag of Ireland from Richard Pigott, and reissued it as United Ireland under the editorship of William O’Brien; suspended from House of Commons, 1 Aug. 1881; spoke at Cork demanding full political freedom (‘those who want to preserve the golden link of the Crown must see to it that it shall be the only link connecting England and Ireland’); denounced by Gladstone, speaking at Cloth Hall banquet, Leeds, 8 Oct., 1881 (‘the resources of civilisation against its enemies are not yet exhausted’); spoke violently against Gladstone’s Land Act in response, Wexford, 9 Oct. (‘Ah, If I am arrested Captain Moonlight will take my place’); arrested under Special Powers; 13 Oct.; agreed to “No Rent Manifesto”, with William O’Brien and others, 18 Oct. 1881;
 
1882: settled terms in ‘Kilmainham Treaty’, withdrawing Manifesto, with Gladstone, 1882, negotations being conducted through Justin McCarthy and later the O’Sheas; released 2 May 1882 [var. 9 April], and honoured in torchlit march, 5 May 1882; suppressed Ladies Land League; est. Irish National League to replace Land League, 17 Oct. 1882; Phoenix Park Murders, perpetrated by the Invincibles, 6 May 1882 [see note]; Parnell’s offer of resignation delivered to Gladstone by Capt. O’Shea after the murders, May 1882; Fenian dynamite campaigns in London, 1883, 1884; speech at Cork Opera House, 21 Jan. 1885 (eve of Gen. Election: ‘We cannot, under the British constitution, ask for more than the restitution of Grattan’s parliament. But no man has the right to say to his country, “thus far shalt thou go and no further”, and we have never attempted to fix the ne plus ultra to the progress of Ireland’s nationhood, and we never shall’ [see note, infra]; sweeping election victory returns 86 seats and gains control of balance of power at Westminster; Gladstone’s conversion to Home Rule, 1885; Parnell issues manifesto to Irish in Britain to support liberal candidates, 21 Nov. 1885;
 
1886: First Home Rule Bill, introduced by Gladstone, 8 April 1886, and narrowly defeated; commenced to live with Katharine O’Shea at Eltham, summer 1886; withheld support from Plan of Campaign [1886-91] formulated for Land League by John Dillon, William O’Brien, Tim Harrington and others, and publ. in United Irishman (21 Oct. 1886), offering ‘fair’ rent and using it for Land League support if refused; Plan of Campaign declared ‘unlawful and criminal conspiracy’ by British Govt., Dec. 1886, and condemned by Pope Leo XIII, 20 April 1888; ‘Parnellism and Crime’ serial chiefly written by John Woulfe Flanagan [see note] and featuring facsimile letters purportedly by Parnell but actually forged by Richard Pigott, appeared in The Times, 1887-88 (7 March-17 April 1887), alleging his involvement with Land League activism [violence] in keeping with W. E. Forster’s charge that ‘crime dogged the footsteps of the Land League’ - and, more harmfully - with the Invincible murders at the Phoenix Park;
 
1887:Capt. O’Shea publishes unflattering portrait of Parnell in The Times (2 Aug. 1888); Parnell Commission, Oct. 1888-Nov. 1889, leading to exposure of Piggot as a forger under cross-examination by Charles Russell, the result being delivered 1890; Parnell attends Lyceum theatre at height of Times Commission crisis; hailed in Westminster by thunderous applause from both sides of the house, he walked to his seat without any sign of acknowledgement; represented by Thomas Sexton at foundation of Tenants’ Defence Association, 15 Oct. 1889; O’Shea divorce filed Christmas Eve 1889 (though O’Shea himself had conducted 17 known affairs), granted 17 Nov. 1890 [var. 18 Nov. DIH], 1890; details emerge of assumed names, including ‘Mr. Fox’; much engaged with quarries in Arklow, 1891; fnd. Irish Daily Independent, 1891;
 
1891: Gladstone withdraws Liberal-Party support of his leadership, Nov. 1891; Michael Davitt calls for his resignation in Labour World (20 Nov.); re-elected chairman, 25 Nov.; Gladstone published his position in a letter to John Morley [‘leadership ... almost a nullity ’] (26 Nov.); Irish Catholic hierarchy [of bishops] announces crisis meeting for 3 Dec., 18 Nov.; hierarchy publishes “Manifesto to the Irish People” (29 Nov.), attacking Gladstone, the Liberals and a section of his own party; Dillon and O’Brien, then in America, revoke their support of Parnell; Catholic hierarchy call on the Irish people to reject Parnell’s leadership, 3 Dec.; Party split occurs in Committee Room 15 of the House (Westminster), Sat. 6 Dec. 1890, forty-four members walking out behind McCarthy [var. 55 to 33]; aggravated by personal references to Parnell's use of the party’s “Paris Funds”;
 
1891: Parnell seizes control of United Ireland, then under the deputy-editorship of Matthew Bodkin - who brought out The ‘Supressed’ United Ireland, and later The Insupressible up to 14 Jan. 1891; CSP meets William O’Brien - by then returned from America - at Boulogne, his preferred successor, though breaking off leadership succession talks without resolution; conducted a political tour of Ireland to regain popular support, attracting Fenian ‘hillside men’ to his side with the policy of ‘no English dictation’; m. Katharine O’Shea, 25 June, 1891, on which day the Catholic hierarchy issued a condemnation of his conduct, only Edward O’Dwyer, bishop of Limerick withholding his signature; loses support of Freeman’s Journal;
 
1891: quicklime thrown at his eyes by hostile crowd in Castlecomer; addressed crowd in pouring rain at Creggs on Galway-Roscommon border [var. Mayo], and contracted pneumonia, 27 Sept.; returned to Dublin, thence to Brighton, departing by the mail boat, 30 Sept. (‘I shall be all right. I shall be back next Saturday week’); d. of pneumonia, near midnight, 6 Oct., Brighton; bur. Glasnevin Cemetery, 11 Oct., his body having been brought back to Ireland; a star is supposed to have fallen ‘in broad daylight’ when his coffin was lowered into the grave (as recalled by W. B. Yeats and Standish O’Grady);
 

Posthum.: a bronze figure of Parnell by Augustus St Gaudens, as part of the Parnell Monument, was unveiled in 1911 - the foundation stone having been laid by John Redmond in front of the Rotunda, O’Connell St., Dublin, in 1899 - with the inscription on the obelisk from the Cork speech of 1885 [‘no man has a right to set a boundary to the march of a nation ...’]; Avondale was sold to the State in 1899 by John Howard Parnell - who is a minor character in Joyce’s Ulysses, where he is seen playing chess; an Annual Charles Stewart Parnell Summer School convenes at Avondale, Co. Wicklow; Parnell’s speeches were collected as by Jennie Wyse-Power as Words of the Dead Chief, with an introduction by Miss Anna Parnell (1892); an early life was written by Harry O’Brien in 1898.

ODNB JMC DIB DIH DIL OCEL FDA OCIL

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Gladstone - Parnell - William O’Brien - Remarks on the Divorce Trial

Parnell (letter to Wm. O’Brien prior the divorce trial): ‘You may rest quite sure that if this proceeding ever comes to trial (which I very much doubt) it is not I who will quit court with discredit.’ [p.16.]

William O’Brien: ‘For myself, I should no more have voted Parnell’s displacement on the Divorce Court proceedings alone than England would have thought of changing the command on the eve of the battle of Trafalgar in a holy horror of the frailties of Lady Hamilton and her lover.’ [p.18.]

W. E. H. Gladstone (Prime Minister): ‘The continuance of Parnell’s leadership would render my retention of the leadership of the Liberal Party almost a nullity.’ [p.24.]

 

All quoted in D. D. Sheehan, Ireland Since Parnell (1921), respectively pp.16, 18, 24 - available online.


The Parnell Monument, by Augustus St. Gaudens
- unveiled in Upr. O’Connell Street, 1911.

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Works
Speeches collected as Words of the Dead Chief, being extracts from the public speeches and other pronouncements of C. S. Parnell … with an introduction by Miss Anna Parnell, and a facsimile of portion [sic] of Mr Parnell’s famous manifesto to the Irish people (Dublin: Sealy, Bryers & Walker 1892); Michael Hurst and Alan O’Day, eds., The Speeches of Charles Stewart Parnell (Hambledon Press 1996), 304pp.

Reprints, Jennie Wyse-Power, ed., Words of the Dead Chief: Being Extracts from the Public Speeches [] of Charles Stewart Parnell, with introduction by Anna Parnell (UCD Press 2009), 192pp.

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Criticism
  • R. Barry O’Brien, The Life of Charles Stewart Parnell , 2 vols. (London: Smith, Elder, 1898), 378pp., 394pp. [ill. pls.; frontis.]; cf. (Life of C. S. Parnell, with an sketch of the Irish [pasrites] from 1843 (1886), 536pp.
  • P. O’Connor, The Parnell Movement (London: Kegan Paul, Trench 1886).
  • Katharine O’Shea, Charles Stewart Parnell, His Love-story and Political Life, 2 vols. (1st ed. 1914).
  • John Howard Parnell, C. S. Parnell, A Memoir (1916).
  • M. M. O’Hara, Chief and Tribune (1919).
  • D. D. Sheehan, Ireland Since Parnell (1921) [see under author, q.v.].
  • St. John Ervine, Parnell (1925).
  • Henry Harrison, Parnell Vindicated: A Lifting of the Veil (1931) [rebutting much of Mrs Parnell’s His Love Story and Political Life].
  • Joan Haslip, Parnell (London 1936). Leon Ó Broín, Parnell (Dublin 1937) [in Irish].
  • F. S. L. Lyons, The Irish Parliamentary Party 1890-1910 (1951).
  • Conor Cruise O’Brien, Parnell and His Party 1880-1890 (OUP 1957), xii, 373pp.
  • M. Hurst, Parnell and Irish Nationalism (London: Routledge 1968).
  • F. S. L. Lyons, The Fall of Parnell 1890-91 (1960).
  • F. S. L. Lyons, Parnell, for Dublin Hist. Assoc. (Dundalk 1963)].
  • Jules Abels, The Parnell Tragedy (Bodley 1966).
  • D. W. Miller, Church, State and Nation in Ireland 1898-1921 (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan / Pittsburgh UP 1973).
  • Roy Foster, Charles Stewart Parnell: The Man and His Family (Brighton 1976).
  • John Kelly, ‘The Fall of Parnell and the Rise of Anglo-Irish Literature, An Investigation’, in Anglo-Irish Studies, Vol II (1976), pp.1-23.
  • A. O’Day, The English Face of Irish Nationalism, Parnellite Involvement in British Politics 1880-1886 (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1977).
  • F. S. Lyons, Charles Stewart Parnell (London: William Collins & Son 1977; Fontana 1978) [ded. Theodore William Moody, friend and teacher], 704pp. [Index, 685ff.].
  • Paul Bew, Charles Stewart Parnell (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1980; 1991).
  • D. George Boyce, Nationalism in Ireland (London: Routledge 1982; rep edn. 1991), Chap. 7: The Making of Parnellism and its Undoing’, pp.192-227.
  • Michael Steinman, Yeats’s Heroic Figures, Wilde Parnell, Swift, Casement (Dublin: Macmillan 1983).
  • William Michael Murphy, The Parnell Myth and Irish Politics 1891-1956 (NY: Peter Lang 1986).
  • Paul Bew, Conflict and Conciliation in Ireland 1890-1910, Parnellites and Radical Agrarians (Oxford 1987).
  • Mary Rose Callaghan, “Kitty O’Shea”: The Story of Katharine Parnell (London/San Francisco: Pandora 1989), 187pp.
  • Margery Brady, The Love Story of Parnell and Katharine O’Shea (Cork: Mercier 1991).
  • Donal McCartney, ed., Parnell: The Politics of Power (Dublin: Wolfhound [1991]) [sel. papers of 1st Parnell Summer School, incl. Roy Foster, Seamus Deane, and Mary Rose Callaghan [on Katherine O’Shea].
  • Boyce and Alan Day eds., Parnell in Perspective (London: Routledge 1991) [incl. Liam Kennedy, ‘The Economic Thought of the Nation’s Lost Leader: Charles Stewart Parnell’, cp.182; Sally E. Warwick-Haller, ‘Parnell and William O’Brien’, et al.].
  • Noel Kissane, Parnell: A Documentary History ([Dublin]: National Library of Ireland 1991), 118pp.
  • Donal McCartney, ed., Parnell: The Politics of Power (Dublin: Wolfhound Press 1991) [incl. essays by McCarthney, Roy Foster, Martin Mansergh, Pauric Travers, Alvin Jackson, Margaret O’Callaghan, Mary Rose Callaghan, Frank Callaghan, and Seamus Deane].
  • Frank Callanan, The Parnell Split 1890-91 (Cork UP 1992).
  • Robert Kee, The Laurel and the Ivy: The Story of Charles Stewart Parnell and Irish Nationalism (London: Hamish Hamilton 1993; Penguin 1994), 650pp.
  • Sean McMahon, Charles Stewart Parnell (Cork: Mercier 2000), 96pp.
  • Donal McCartney & Pauric Travers, The Ivy Leaf: the Parnells Remembered (UCD Press 2006), 224pp. [deals with Anna, Fanny and Kitty Parnell].
  • David Lawlor, Divine Right? The Parnell Split in Meath (Cork UP 2007), 240pp.
  • Roy Foster & Alvin Jackson, ‘Men for All Seasons? Carson, Parnell, and the Limits of Heroism in Modern Ireland’, in European History Quarterly, 39, 3 (2009), 414-38pp. [see extract under Edward Carson, supra].
  • Michael Keyes [on Parnell’s funding efforts in America], in From Parnell to Paisley: Constitutional and Revolutionary Politics in Modern Ireland (Dublin: IAP 2010), q.pp.
  • Paul Bew, Enigma: A New Life of Charles Stewart Parnell (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 2011), 272pp. [‘a conservative, constitutional nationalist with a radical tinge’]
 

See also Ernest Jones, ‘The Island of Ireland: A Psychoanalytical Contribution to Political Psychology’, in Essays in Applied Psycho-Analysis (London & Vienna 1922) [alleging that Parnell had a Oedipal complex]; W. B. Yeats, ‘Ireland After Parnell’ [chap.], in Autobiographies (London: Macmillan 1955); Herbert Howarth, The Irish Writers 1880-1940, Literature Under Parnell’s Star (London 1958); Herbert Howarth, The Fall of Parnell 1890-91 (London: Routledge 1960); Malcolm Brown, The Politics of Irish Literature: From Thomas Davis to W. B. Yeats (Washington UP 1972); Brian Farrell, ed., The Irish Parliamentary Tradition (Gill & Macmillan 1973) [essays incl. F. S. L. Lyons, ‘The Meaning of Independence’].

 

Note: David Dwan, The Great Community: Culture and Nationalism in Ireland (Field Day Co. / Keough-Naughton Inst. NDU 2009), has a concluding section on Parnell’s aloofness [see review by Frank Shovlin, in The Irish Times, 14 March 2009, Weekend, p.12].

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Commentary

D. D. Sheenan, Ireland Since Parnell (London 1921)

Chap. III: “The Death of a Leader”
[...]
 Considering all the causes of his downfall in the light of later events the alliance of the Irish Party with English Liberalism was, in my judgment, the primary factor. Were it not for this entanglement or obligation - call it what you will - the Gladstone letter would never have been written. And even that letter was no sufficient justification for throwing Parnell overboard. If it were a question of the defeat of the Home Rule cause and the withdrawal of Mr Gladstone from the leadership of the Liberal Party, something may be said for it, but the words actually used by Mr Gladstone were: "The continuance of Parnell’s leadership would render my retention of the leadership of the Liberal Party almost a nullity." Be it observed, Gladstone did not say he was going to retire from leadership; nor did he say he was going to abandon Home Rule—to forsake a principle founded on justice and for which he had divided the Liberal Party and risked his own reputation as a statesman.
[...]
 We have since learned, through much travail and disappointment, what little faith can be reposed in the most emphatic pledges of British Parties or leaders, and we had been wiser in 1890 if we had taken sides with Parnell against the whole world had the need arisen. As it was, fought on front and flank, with the thunders of the Church, and the ribaldry of malicious tongues to scatter their venomed darts abroad, Parnell was a doomed man. Not that he lacked indomitable courage or loyal support. But his frail body was not equal to the demands of the undaunted spirit upon it, and so he went to his grave broken but not beaten - great even in that last desperate stand he had made for his own position, as he was great in all that he had undertaken, suffered and achieved for his country. It was a hushed and heart-broken Ireland that heard of his death. It was as if a pall had [26] fallen over the land on that grey October morning in 1891 when the news of his passing was flashed across from the England that he scorned to the Ireland that he loved. It may be that those who had reviled him and cast the wounding word against him had then their moment of regret and the wish that what had been heatedly spoken might be unsaid, but those who loved him and who were loyal to the end found no consolation beyond this, that they had stood, with leal hearts and true, beside the man who had found Ireland broken, maimed and dispirited and who had lifted her to the proud position of conscious strength and self-reliant nationhood. (pp.26-27.)
 
Chap. IV: “An Appreciation of Parnell”

[...]
There was never stagnation, nor stupidity, nor blundering in the handling of Irish affairs whilst his hand was on the helm. It was only later that the creeping paralysis of inefficiency and incompetence exhibited itself and that a people deprived of his genius for direction and control sank into unimagined depths of apathy, indifference and gloom.
 He thwarted and defeated what appeared to be the settled policy of England - namely, to palter and toy with Irish problems, to postpone their settlement, to engage in savage repressions and ruthless oppressions until, the race being decimated by emigration or, what remained, being destroyed in their ancient faiths by a ruthless method of Anglicisation, the Irish Question would settle itself by a process of gradual attenuation unto final disappearance.
 It was Parnell who practically put an end to evictions in Ireland - those "sentences of death" under which, from 1849 to 1882, there were no less than 363,000 peasant families turned out of their homes and driven out of their country. It was his policy which invested the tenants with solid legal rights and gave them unquestioned guarantees against landlord lawlessness. He and his lieutenants had their bouts with Dublin Castle, and they proved what a very vulnerable institution it was when courageously assailed. [35]
Taken all in all, he brought a new life into Ireland. He left it for ever under manifold obligations to him, and whilst grass grows and water runs and the Celtic race endures, Ireland will revere the name of Parnell and rank him amongst the noblest of her leaders. (pp.35-26.)

 

See full-text version in RICORSO Library > “Criticism > History” - via index, or as attached; available at Internet Archive - online.

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W. B. Yeats (1)

Nobel Acceptance Speech (1923)
‘The modern literature of Ireland, and indeed all that stir of thought that prepared for the Anglo-Irish war, began when Parnell fell from power in 1891. A disillusioned and embittered Ireland turned from parliamentary politics; an event was conceived; the race began, as I think, to be troubled by that event’s long gestation. ’ (“The Bounty of Sweden”, in Autobiographies, London: Macmillan 1955, p.559). [See commentary by Anne Fogarty, infra.]

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“Mourn - and Then Onward”: ‘Parnell came down the road, he said to a cheering man: / “Ireland shall get her freedom and you still break stone.”’ “PARNELL’S FUNERAL”, ‘Under the Great Comedian’s tomb the crowd. / A bundle of tempestuous cloud is blown / About the sky; where that is clear of cloud / Brightness remains; a brighter star shoots down; / What shudders run through all that animal blood? / What is this sacrifice? Can someone there / Recall the Cretan barb that pierced a star? / Rich foliage that the starlight glittered through, / A frenzied crowd, and where the branches sprang / A beautiful seated boy; a sacred bow; / A woman, and an arrow on a string; / A pierced boy, image of a star laid low. / That woman, the Great Mother imaging, / Cut out his heart. Some master of design / Stamped boy and tree upon Sicilian coin. / An age is the reversal of an age: / When strangers murdered Emmet, Fitzgerald, Tone, / We lived like men that watch a painted stage. / What matter for the scene, the scene once gone: / It had not touched our lives. But popular rage, / Hysterica passio dragged this quarry down. / None shared our guilt; nor did we play a part / Upon a painted stage when we devoured his heart. / Come, fix upon me that accusing eye. / I thirst for accusation. All that was sung, / All that was said in Ireland is a lie / Bred out of the contagion of the throng, / Saving the rhyme rats hear before they die. / Leave nothing but the nothings that belong / To this bare soul, let all men judge that can / Whether it be an animal or a man. / The rest I pass, one sentence I unsay. / No loose-lipped demagogue had won the day. / No civil rancour torn the land apart. / Had Cosgrave eaten Parnell’s heart, the land’s / Imagination had been satisfied, / Or lacking that, government in such hands. / O’Higgins its sole statesman had not died. / Had even O’Duffy - but I name no more - / Their school a crowd, his master solitude; / Through Jonathan Swift’s dark grove he passed, and there / Plucked bitter wisdom that enriched his blood.’

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Contemp. elegy to Parnell by Lionel Johnson
Lionel Johnson on the Death of Parnell
Given in Warre. B. Wells,
John Redmond (1919)
[ Not included in Selected Poems, 1908. ]

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W. B. Yeats (2) - “Come Gather Round Me, Parnellites”: ‘Come gather round me, Parnellites, / And praise our chosen man; / Stand upright on your legs awhile, / Stand upright while you can, / For soon we lie where he is laid, / And he is underground; / Come fill up all those glasses / And pass the bottle round. / And here’s a cogent reason, / And I have many more, / He fought the might of England / And saved the Irish poor, / Whatever good a farmer’s got / He brought it all to pass; / And here’s another reason, / That Parnell loved a lass. / And here’s a final reason, / He was of such a kind / Every man that sings a song / Keeps Parnell in his mind. / For Parnell was a proud man, / No prouder trod the ground, / And a proud man’s a lovely man, / So pass the bottle round. / The Bishops and the party / That tragic story made, / A husband that had sold his wife / And after that betrayed; / But stories that live longest / Are sung above the glass, / And Parnell loved his country / And Parnell loved his lass.’

On the death of Parnell: ‘Ireland was like soft wax for years to come’ (quoted in W. J. McCormack, Dissolute Characters: Irish Literary History through Balzac, Sheridan Le Fanu, Yeats and Bowen (Manchester UP 1993), p.193 [Chap.: “Yeats and Gothic Politics”].

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W. B. Yeats (3): ‘[A] follower recorded that, after a speech that seemed brutal and callous, his hands were full of blood because he had torn them with his nails […] Mrs Parnell tells how upon a night of storm on Brighton Pier, and at the height of his power, he held her over the waters and she lay still, stretched upon his two hands, knowing that if she moved, he would drown himself and her.’ (A Vision, 1937 Edn., p.124).

Note: In a letter of Sept. 1936, Yeats refers to Henry Harrison’s Parnell Vindicated (1931), and comments that Mrs O’Shea was free woman when she met Parnell, and that ‘the Irish Catholic press had ignored his book. It preferred to think that the Protestant had deceived the Catholic husband.’ (Letters, ed. Wade, pp.892-93);

W. B. Yeats (4):

Further, ‘The fall of Parnell had freed imagination from practical politics, from agrarian grievance and political enmity, and turned to the imaginative nationalism, to Gaelic, to the ancient stories, and at last to lyric poetry and drama.’ (q. source; quoted in Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, ‘James Joyce and the Tradition of Anti-colonial Revolution’ [Working Papers Ser.] Washington State Univ. 1999, p.4, citing Dominic Manganiello, Joyce’s Politics, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980, p.23, which cites Intro., Words upon the Windowpane, in Explorations, Macmillan 1962, p.343.)

Cf. Autobiographies, ‘A powerful class by terror, rhetoric, and organized sentimentality may drive their people to war, but the day draws near when they cannot keep them there; and how shall they face the pure nations of the East when the day comes to do it with but equal arms? I had seen Ireland in my own time turn from the bragging rhetoric and gregarious humour of O’Connell’s generation and school, and offer herself to the solitary and proud Parnell as to her anti-self, buskin following hard on sock, and had begun to hope, or to half hope, that we might be the first in Europe to seek unity as deliberately as it had been sought by theologian, poet, sculptor, architect, from the eleventh to the thirteenth century. Doubtless we must seek it differently, no longer considering it convenient to epitomize all human knowledge, but find it we well might could we first find philosophy and a little passion.’ (1955, p.195.)

Note: Richard Ellmann writes in The Identity of Yeats (1948): ‘[T]the death of Parnell is described as if it were the death of some pagan god, and the ancient rite of eating the hero’s heart to obtain his qualities is introduced metaphorically to explain the course of Irish history after Parnell's death.’ (p.208; quoted in W. J. McCormack, Dissolute Characters: Irish Literary History through Balzac, Sheridan Le Fanu, Yeats and Bowen, Manchester UP 1993, p.194.)

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John Millington Synge - on sitting with a young girl in a carriage full of drunken men going to Dublin to commemorate Parnell at the eighth anniversay of his death: ‘The presence at my side contrasted curiously with the brutality that shook the barrier behind us. The whole spirit of the west of Irelnd, with its strange wildness and reserve, seemed moving in this single train to pay homage to the dead stateman of the east.’ (Aran Islands, in Collected Works, Vol. 2, ed. Alan Price, OUP 1966, p.124; quoted in Anne Gallagher, ‘Tramps, Tinkers and Beggars in the Plays of J. M. Synge’, UUC UG Diss., 2010.)

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James Joyce

See the Christmas Scene episode in A Portrait [.. &c.] (1916) - where Simon Dedalus breaks down in tears, to the horror of his son, at the conclusion of a political row about his ‘poor dead king’ [Parnell], with Casey and [Aunt] Dante acting as the Fenian and the pious Catholic wings of Irish political opinion.

 
The Shade of Parnell” (1912)
: ‘[ … W]ithout forensic gifts or any original political talent, [he] forces the greatest English politicians to carry out his orders; and, like another Moses, led a turbulent and unstable people from the house of shame t the verge of the Promised Land. / The influence exerted on the Irish people by Parnell defies critical analysis He had a speech defect and a delicate physique; he was ignorant of the history of his native land; his short and fragmentary speeches lacked eloquence, poetry, and humour; his cold and form bearing separated him form his own colleagues; he was a Protestant, a secendant of an aristocractic family, and, as a crowning disgrace, he spoke with a distinct English accent […] Parnell, convinced that such liberalism would yield only to force, united behind him every element of Irish life and began to march, treading on the verge of insurrection […] He was deposed in obedience to Gladstone’s orders […] In his final desperate appeal to his countrymen, he begged them not to throw him as a sop to the English wolves howling around them. It redounds to their honour that they did not fail this appeal. They did not throw him to the English wolves; they tore him to pieces themselves.’ (Critical Writings, 1966, p.227.)
 
Home Rule Comes of Age” (1907), [on Nationalist MPs]
‘The representatives themselves have improved their lot, aside from small discomforts like a few months in prison and some lengthy sittings. From the sons of ordinary citizens, pedlars, and lawyers without clients they have become well-paid syndics, directors of factories and commercial houses, newspaper owners, and large landholders. They have given prooof of their altruism only in 1891, when they sold their leader, Parnell to the pharisaical conscience of the English Dissenters, without exacting the thirty pieces of silver.’ [End.] (Critical Writings (NY: Viking Press 1966 Edn.) p.196.)
 
Ulysses (1922)
In Ulysses Bloom calls Parnell a ‘born leader of men’ and compares him the current leadership of the Irish Parliamentary Party: ‘Messrs So-and-So who, though they weren’t a patch on the former man, ruled the roost after their redeeming features were very far and few between.’ (Ulysses, Bodley Head Edn., p.754).
 

Eumaeus” [Chap. 16]

  One morning you would open the paper, the cabman affirmed, and read, Return of Parnell. He bet them what they liked. A Dublin fusilier was in that shelter one night and said he saw him in South Africa. Pride it was killed him. He ought to have done away with himself or lain low for a time after Committee Room No. 15 until he was his old self again with no-one to point a finger at him. Then they would all to a man have gone down on their marrowbones to him to come back when he had recovered his senses. Dead he wasn’t. Simply absconded somewhere. The coffin they brought over was full of stones. He changed his name to De Wet, the Boer general. He made a mistake to fight the priests. And so forth and so on.
  All the same Bloom (properly so dubbed) was rather surprised at their memories for in nine cases out of ten it was a case of tarbarrels, and not singly but in their thousands, and then complete oblivion because it was twenty odd years. Highly unlikely, of course, there was even a shadow of truth in the stories and, even supposing, he thought a return highly inadvisable, all things considered. Something evidently riled them in his death. Either he petered out too tamely of acute pneumonia just when his various different political arrangements were nearing completion or whether it transpired he owed his [753] death to his having neglected to change his boots and clothes after a wetting when a cold resulted and failing to consult a specialist he being confined to his room till he eventually died of it amid widespread regret before a fortnight was at an end or quite possibly they were distressed to find the job was taken out of their hands.

Ulysses, Bodley Head Edn., 1962, pp.753-74; 1984 Corrected Edn., 16.1297-319.

Finnegans Wake (1939)
Joyce renders Parnell’s dictum ‘no man has a right to fix a boundary to the march of a nation’ as ‘no mouth has the might to set a mearbound to the march of a landsmaul’ (FW292; both quoted in Dominic Manganiello, Joyce’s Politics, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980, p.178.) [See also Book of Job in Notes, infra.]

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Louis-Paul Dubois, Contemporary Ireland (Dublin: Maunsel 1908): ‘Parnell shares with O’Connell the glory of being the greatest of Irish leaders. Like O’Connell he was a landlord and his family traditions were those of an aristocrat. Like him, too, he was overbearing, even despotic in temperament. But in all else Parnell was the very opposite of the ’Liberator.’ The Protestant leader of a Catholic people, he won popularity in Ireland without being at all times either understood or personally liked. In outward appearance he had nothing of the Irishman, nothing of the Celt about him. He was cold, distant and unexpansive in manner and had more followers than friends. His speech was not that of a great orator. Yet he was singularly powerful and penetrating, with here and there brilliant flashes that showed profound wisdom. A man of few words, of strength rather than breadth of mind - his political ideals were often uncertain and confused - he was better fitted to be a combatant than a constructive politician. Beyond all else he was a Parliamentary fighter of extraordinary ability, perfectly self-controlled, cold and bitter, powerful at hitting back. It was precisely these English qualities that enabled him to attain such remarkable success in his struggle with the English. Pride was perhaps a stronger motive with him than patriotism or faith.’ (Quoted in Capt. D. D. Sheehan, Ireland Since Parnell, London: Daniel O’Connor 1921, pp.32-33; see full text in RICORSO Library, “Criticism > History”, via index or attached.)

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R. Mitchell Henry [MA, QUB], The Evolution of Sinn Féin (NY: Huebsch 1920; rep. 1971): ‘The pathetic and humiliating performance (of the Butt “Home Rulers”) was ended by the appearance of Charles Stewart Parnell, who infused into the forms of Parliamentary action the sacred fury of battle. He determined that Ireland, refused the right of managing her own destinies, should at least hamper the English in the government of their own house; he struck at the dignity of Parliament and wounded the susceptibilities of Englishmen by his assault upon the institution of which they are most justly proud. His policy of Parliamentary obstruction went hand in hand with an advanced land agitation at home. The remnant of the Fenian Party rallied to his cause and suspended for the time, in his interests and in furtherance of his policy, their revolutionary activities. For Parnell appealed to them by his honest declaration of his intentions; he made it plain both to Ireland and to the Irish in America that his policy was no mere attempt at a readjustment of details in Anglo-Irish relations but the first step on the road to national independence. He was strong enough both to announce his ultimate intentions and to define with precision the limit which must be placed upon the immediate measures to be taken. […] He is remembered, not as the leader who helped to force a Liberal Government to produce two Home Rule Bills but as the leader who said “No man can set bounds to the march of a nation….” To him the British Empire was an abstraction in which Ireland had no spiritual concern; it formed part of the order of the material world in which Ireland found a place; it had, like the climatic conditions of Europe, or the Gulf Stream, a real and preponderating influence on the destinies of Ireland. But the Irish claim was, to him, the claim of a nation to its inherent rights, not the claim of a portion of an empire to its share in the benefits which the Constitution of that empire bestowed upon its more favoured parts.’ (Quoted in Capt. D. D. Sheehan, Ireland Since Parnell, London: Daniel O’Connor 1921, pp.33-34; see full text in RICORSO Library, “Criticism > History”, via index or attached.)

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Marvin Magalaner, “The Problem of Biography” [Chap. 2], in Magalaner & Richard M. Kain, James Joyce: The Man, The Works, The Reputation [1956] (London; John Calder 1957): ‘For young Joyce to have known even vaguely of the brave fight waged by The Chief to recover the political ground lost by the assassinations, so that by 1886 it was possible for Gladstone to argue seriously in Parliament for an Irish Home Rule Bill, was bound to make the aftermath of the Parnell affair shockingly bitter. Parnell’s vindication during the libel trial of The Times was no preparation, even for hardened veterans in politics, for the fall which was to come just two years later over an issue that had nothing to do with the political well-being of Ireland. In the late 1880’s his supporters still attributed to him the strength of lions. He had seemingly weathered every storm and had come within hailing distance of securing a free Ireland. It appeared appropriately paradoxical, therefore, that his downfall should come, not at the hands of his English enemies in and out of Parliament, but through the manipulations of a political adventurer, Captain W. H. O’Shea, with whose wife Parnell had long been carrying on an affair. Named corespondent in the politically inspired divorce proceedings, Parnell, a proud figure to the last, maintained a silent aloofness. So strong was his position in Ireland that after the divorce trial and its attendant disclosures, he was elected unanimously by party heads as their leader. Only then were political lines drawn and the fight to depose him begun. Only then did T. M. Healy give vent to his real feelings of hatred for his superior - the sordid story of which nine-year-old Joyce told in his first published work, Et Tu, Healy! So Parnell was unceremoniously dropped by the very people whose cause he had brought to the edge of success. This was in December 1890. In the following year, Parnell died.’ (p.34.)

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Marvin Magalaner, “The Problem of Biography”, 1957) - further remarks incl. the following: ‘If Gladstone could tell an interviewer in 1897 that ‘Parnell was the most remarkable man I ever met … . and the most interesting … Parnell was supreme all the time,” [Henry Harrison, Parnell Vindicated […; &c.], 1931, p.68] it is no wonder that to an unsophisticated child [i.e., James Joyce] who looked to his father for a sense of values Parnell should have assumed superhuman proportions.’ (p.34; see further under J. M. Healy and James Joyce.) Magalaner quotes Lord Morley: ‘I cannot explain it [the public outpouring of emotion] save by the intensity of countless private griefs and by the reactions of a general sense of consternation as at the happenings of something incredible and monstrous-that together create a sort of collective nerve tensity which carries individuals out and away beyond their normal depth. Certain it is that public sorrow in Ireland was manifest on a scale and to a degree unparalleled… . And the public funeral in Dublin was an immense spectacle of human emotion …’ (In Harrison, Parnell Vindicated [… &c.], 1931, pp.94-95; Magalaner, op. cit., p.36.) Magalaner concludes: ‘No public event in his [Joyce’s] life did more to color his personality and his work than Ireland’s treatment of The Chief.’ (Ibid., p.37.)

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F. S. L. Lyons, ‘The idea of the lonely, heroic figure, deserted by his party, fighting to the end against overwhelming odds, had a nobility which made an irresistible appeal to those - such as John O’Leary [… ] - who saw the issue primarily in terms of the ancient struggle against England; to others, like Yeats, whose piety and indignation were stirred by the spectacle of greatness overthrown by mediocrity; and to such as Joyce, for whom the fall of Parnell symbolised the triumph of all that was […] degrading in Irish life.’ (Lyons, The Fall of Parnell 1890-91 (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul 1960), p.309. Cited in James Fairhall, James Joyce and The Question of History (CUP 1993), p.128.

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R. F. Foster, ‘He was equivocal by nature - especially in his rhetorical relationship with extremism. Parnell’s supposed Fenian connection was really a triumph of language, especially on American platforms; at home he achieved a highly political use of silence. While his record as a leader was ostensibly restrained, except at times of crises, a personality cult developed round him greater than that around any other Irish leader. Inevitably there was a hollowness at the centre. [… &c.]’ (Foster, Modern Ireland, pp.401-2; cited by Michael Valdez Moses, ‘Dracula, Parnell, and the Troubled Dreams of Nationhood’, in Journal X: A Journal in culture and Criticism, 2, 1 Autumn 1997, p.104; ftn. 4.) Quotes Conor Cruise O’Brien on ‘a system in which the emotional “residues” of historical tradition and suppressed rebellion could be enlisted in the service of parliamentary “combinations” of a strictly rational and realistic character [and] the ambiguity of the system must be crystallised in terms of personality.’ (Foster, idem.)

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James Fairhall, James Joyce and The Question of History (Cambridge UP 1993), for a succinct account of the Parnell split, ‘Parnell and Irish Politics’, sect. of chp. 4, - viz. Emmet Larkin [The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland and the Fall of Parnell 1888-1891 (Chapel Hill: N. Carolina UP 1979)] sees Parnell as the architect of the modern Irish State, which he created between 1878 and 1886 on the foundation of two political alliances. The first was the Clerical-Nationalist alliance, on which Parnell’s state depended for stability. The second was the Liberal-Nationalist allience, which Parnell need to translate ‘his de facto state from reality to legality’. When conflict arose [in the divorce and Split], Irish nationalists had to choose between these alliances and the man who fashioned them. (p.132.)

Note: In Committee Room 15, John Redmond said, ‘If we are asked to sell our leader to preserve an alliance … we are bound to enquire what we are getting for the price we are paying.’ Parnell interjected, ‘Don’t sell me for nothing … If you get my value, you may change me to-morrow.’ This becomes, in James Joyce, ‘Get my price!’ Fairhall, op. cit., p.138.)

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D. George Boyce, Nationalism in Ireland (London: Routledge 1982; 1991 Edn.), ‘[between 1877 and 1885] Parnellism carried Parnell to power and near-success; after 1886 Parnell disentangled himself from Parnellism with relief, and committed all to the Liberal alliance. When this alliance broke his leadership of the party in 1890, he sought to save his position by playing upon the sentiments that had helped him to power in the first place, and directing them against the Liberal alliance. But the party and the country would not follow him; they shared his emotions, but disapproved of his tactics. It was perhaps tragic, but appropriate, that in 1886 Parnell destroyed Parnellism, and in 1891 Parnellism destroyed Parnell.’ (p.223.)

Further, ‘A true revolutionary movement in Ireland’, Parnell had confessed to an [332] American journalist in 1888, ‘should, in my opinion, partake of both a constitutional and an illegal character’; but the question facing Sinn Féin in 1919, as it had faced Parnell in 1888, was that of finding the most appropriate, and least dangerous, mixture of the two. (Boyce, op. cit., p.332-33.)

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Paul Bew, Charles Stewart Parnell (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1980; 1991, ‘Even moderate nationalist opinion - let alone Irish Tories and Liberals - saw Parnell as an extremist … hopelessly entangled in dangerous and speculative projects.’ (p.39; quoted in Michael Valdez Moses, ‘Dracula, Parnell, and the Troubled Dreams of Nationhood’, in Journal X: A Journal in culture and Criticism, Vol., 2, No. 1, Autumn 1997, p.71.)

Note that Moses holds Bew’s biography to argue that Parnell was a ‘conservative … nationalist with a radical tinge’ who hoped to ‘salvage the declining political and economic fortunes of the Ascendancy.’ (Bew, p.136; Moses, p.79.)

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S. J. Connolly, ‘Culture, Identity and Tradition: Changing Definitions of Irishness’, in In Search of Ireland: A Cultural Geography of Ireland, ed. Brian Graham (London: Routledge 1997), pp.43-63: ‘The spectacular success of nationalism in supplanting other alignments, across little more than a decade, owed much to Parnell’s political skills. The opportunistic exploitation of the land agitation reflected his ability to combine the politics of the possible with a militant rhetoric in a way that secured him the support of a broad spectrum of opinion, from Catholic bishops and the comfortable middle classes to Fenians and agrarian radicals. But his achievements were made feasible by broader changes in attitudes and ideas. The second half of the nineteenth century saw the development and popularisation of nationalist historical writing, in which the web of changing identities with which we have been concerned was recast as a linear narrative of Irish resistance to English rule. More specifically, the linking of the issues of land and home rule depended on the perfection of a coherent mythology, already beginning to take shape in the Defenderism of almost a century earlier, in which the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century dispossession of the Gaelic and Old English élites was reinterpreted as the dispossession of the Irish people as a whole. This legitimised the claims of the tenant farmer while undermining those of the landlord. The mythology of the Land War of the early 1880s also encouraged a new sense of collective identity. Large and small farmers, the landless and the land-poor, as well as urban groups to whom the farmers’ problems were of no direct concern, were taught to see themselves as united in a joint struggle for lost ancestral rights. In short, the linking of land and home rule created an imaginary community, possessed of a strong sense of collective identity based on historic wrongs and current grievances.’ (p.52.)

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Owen Dudley Edwards, review of Robert Kee, The Laurel and the Ivy, in ‘Summer Books’ [with Fortnight 330] (Summer 1994), pp.3-6. The review deals wittily with the development of modern Irish historiography - chiefly revisionism - and with the foregrounding of Irish nationalism in the English conception of Ireland and the Irish (as well as in the self-image of the Irish in England) as a result of Kee’s somewhat over-emphasis of that strand. It also underscore the impact of Bishop Thomas Nulty on Parnell, and postulates that Cpt. O’Shea actually engineered the affair with his wife; further, it presents a psychological portrait of Tim Healy as a kind of homosexual lover of Parnell who ‘destroys the thing he loves’.

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Anthony Jordan, review of Frank Callanan, The Parnell Split 1890-91 (Cork UP 1992), with foreword Conor by Cruise O’Brien, 320pp., in Books Ireland (March 1993): study opens of 17 Nov 1890, O’Shea divorce granted; support from Irish Party show three days after; re-elected as leaded eight days after that, on the day of Gladstone’s letter being published; Parnell attacks Gladstone and the Liberals; Tim Healy changes sides; Healy ridicules Parnell and Mrs. O’Shea vitriolically; defeat at bye-election in North Kilkenny, against Michael Davitt’s side; North Sligo defeat, followed by Carlow bye-election defeat in July 1891; left Ireland 28 Sept; died Brighton with his wife by his side, 6 Oct., and buried Glasnevin five days after that. John O’Leary said, ‘in him alone rested all our hopes from constitutional action’; Arthur Griffith said, ‘The era of constitutional politics ended on the day Parnell died’.

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Roy Hattersley, reviewing Christy Campbell, Fenian Fire: The British Government Plot to Assassinate Queen Victoria (HarperCollins 2002), writes: ‘None of us finds it easy to be objective about Ireland. And, towards the end of Fenian Fire, I found myself both doubting and resenting Campbell’s judgement that Charles Stewart Parnell was ‘the coping stone in the universal conspiracy’ that killed so many innocent British citizens. Parnell himself was the intended victim of a plot in which the Times printed incriminating letters that it knew to be forgeries. Then the same newspaper, which had followed him for months, revealed his relationship with Mrs O’Shea at the moment that his disgrace was most likely to reduce hopes for Irish Home Rule. As Fenian Fire confirms, there is something abbot Irish independence which both encourages supporters and opponents to advance their respective causes by dirty work. (Guardian Weekly, 6 June 2002., p.17.) See also Keith Jeffery, review of same, in Times Literary Supplement (14 June 2002), p.29,m giving details of the plan to blow up Queen Victoria with assembled dignitaries at thanksgiving service for her Jubilee in Westminster Abbey, June 1887 masterminded by Lord Salisbury; notes that a bomb blew up the recently formed Special Irish Branch unwisely located above a public urinal, in 1884. Cites previous studies, K. R. M. Short, The Dynamite War (1979); Bernard Porter, The Origins of the Vigilant State (1987); Porter, Plots and Paranoia: A History of Political Espionage in Britain, 1790-1988 (1989). Jeffery quotes the last named on the Jubilee Plot: ‘this was probably cooked up by the British agent F. F. Millen, with Jenkinson’s knowledge’, and remarks: ‘this hardly adds up to “a British Government plot”’.

Myles Dungan, ‘Writing Nearly on the Wall for Parnell’, in The Irish Times (13 Feb. 2010), Weekend Review, p.6 - a feature article on the Pigott forgery and espec. the last letter published in The Times (18 April 1887) expressing the view that Thomas H. Burke got his deserts for a life-time of interventions inimical to nationalist interests. Dungan’s article anticipates a lecture that the RIA (25 Feb. 2010) incorporating a partial re-enactment of the Charles Russell’s cross-questioning of Pigott.

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Anne Fogarty, ‘The Memory of the Dead: Joyce and the Shade of Parnell’, in Voices on Joyce, ed. Fogarty & Fran O’Rourke (Dublin: UCD Press 2015): ‘[quotes Yeats: ‘The modern literature of Ireland [...] began when Parnell fell from power in 1891 [... &c]’ - as supra]’: ‘The assertion much-invoked by later historians that culture subsumed the role of politics in the post-Parnell period is here deftly proposed and set up as a neat explanatory principle. But, Yeats’s comments, it must be noted, were made with the benefit of hindsight and are purposefully obscure and contradictory. The death of Parnell is seen as a rupture and yet as galvanising a period of renewal and of the re-consolidation of Irish identiy. Moreover, Yeats intimates that he himself indirectly assumes the mantle of Parnell and that the political energies once orchestrated by the fallen leader find a new outlet in the literary activities of the Revival. The “event” at which Yeats gestures remains determinedly vague. It appears to indicate the founding of the Abbey Theatre in the first instance, but also obliquely encompasses later upheavals of the 1916 Rising and the War of Independence. Parnell hence seems ot act as a guarantor of integrity and continuty for Yeat, qhile yet allowing hi ot construct a malleabe political vocabulary with which he fences with the intricate realities and ideological divisions of early twentieth-century Ireland. / Joyce’s initial assessments of the fall of Parnell are by contrast far less sanguine and conciliatory. Where Yeats implicates Parnell in a narrative of self-renewal, the re-routing of values and of processes of reclamation, Joyce highlights the tragic aspects of the fall of a leader who was once so revered and uses this recognition of mass betrayal as the grounds for excoriating social and political critique. A scornful disregard for populist and constitutional nationalism, moreover, appears to be the overriding lesson that he draws from his contemplation of the political disarray of the 1880s and 1890s. The surviving fragment of Joyce’s lost juvenile poem “Et tu, Brute”, written when he was ony nine years old, denouncing T. M. Healy, Parnell’s opponent in the Irish Parliamentary Party, and seeing him as replicating the treacher of Brutus in his assassination of Caesar, may be seen as typifying the author’s early stance In “Home Rule Comes of Age”, Joyce bitterly condemns the Irish Parliamentary Party for selling Parnell to the “English Dissenters” without exacting the 30 pieces of silver that would have fully underscored their Judas-like role. In this and other Triestine journalistic pieces, Joyce identifies with Parnell, casting him as a victim or outcast and uses his anger and devotion to the lost cause of Parnellism as points of leverage against the debased politics and social values of contemporary Ireland. Loyalty to the deposed leader seems to warrant a supercilious stance that sets the author apart from his fellow country people and forces him into the role of satirist and moral scourge. Yet, it also provides the grounds from which Ireland can be critiqued from within and a different future in the wake of Parnell can be envisages. Even though “The Shade of Parnell” (1912) repeats and even magnifies the lacerating insight of the earlier disquisition on Home Rule in asserting that the Irish did not throw Parnell “to the wolves: they tore him apart themselves”, it begins to construe his fateful death not as a tragic endpoint but rather as part of a cycle of renewal. The central trope of the essay casts Parnell as an unappeased Shakespearean ghost but the final lines gloss this image not as a vengeful revenant - “it will not be a vindictive shade” - but rather as a monitory presence and an inelectuable aspect of the natonal condition that refuses to be suppressed. The lingering spectral presence of Parnell become a means of ensuring that more radical forms of freedom and more untrammelled modes of identity might emerge in the country. Ultimately, then, Joyce in his non-fictional conjurations of Parnell exploits the ambiguity and opposing facets of his legacy: on the one hand, the ousted leader as a sign of guilt, lack and failure, while, on the other hand, he betokens power, froideur, indomitability and the unrealised promise of nationalist ideals. As will become evident,, Joyce’s fictional works make even further play with these countervailing aspects of the myth of Parnell and fruitfully expand them while never relinquishing the primary insights so starkly laid forth in his journalism. Although the fervour of Joyce’s Parnellism never abates, it is capable of taking on a number of guises.’ (pp.39-40.)

Note: Fogarty goes on to criticise the common assumption that Joyce’s view of Parnell was "fixed and invariable" and not responsive to ‘further developments on the Irish political scene.’ (Ibid., p.41.) Further, she characterises the revisionist biographies by F. S. Lyons, Conor Cruise O’Brien, R. F. Foster, Paul Bew, and Frank Callanan each according as they ‘disentangle the man from the myth’ (p.42) and identifies Joyce’s polysemous relation to Parnell as "symbol of legitimacy, national identity, sovereignty", but also as a "symptom" - after Slavoj Žižek - ‘the defective father figure or a lack in the symbolic order’. (here p.44.)

Some Joyceans…

Patrick Bixby, ‘Perversion and the Press: Victorian Self-Fashioning in “A Painful Case”, in Oona Frawley, ed., A New & Complex Sensation: Essays on Joyce’s Dubliners(Dublin: Lilliput Press 2005): ‘[The Parnell/Kitty ’Shea affair was] one of the most publicized and debated sex scandals in modern Irish history. The initial response of the Irish people was to support Parnell…But after a long public debate among newspaper editors, the Catholic clergy and political officials … popular opinion began to turn against Parnell … The Catholic hierarchy publicly declared Parnell morally unfit to represent the Irish people. His marriage to Katharine O’Shea in June 1891 only intensified Catholic antagonism … [and] Parnell’s political career was all but over. Frantic but unsuccessful attempts to regain public standing devastated his health, and in October 1891 the one-time Home Rule leader died.’ (p. 112.)

James Pribek, SJ, ‘Dubliners’ Priests’, in A New & Complex Sensation: Essays on Joyce’s Dubliners, ed. Oona Frawley (Dublin: Lilliput Press 1998): ‘Fr Keon embodies the anti-Parnellite clergy is supported by a small but telling detail: Fr Keon wears no ivy, and his unctuous speech puts him squarely among the ‘rabble-rout/Of fawning priests’ in the sixth stanza of Hynes’ poem.’ (p.140.)

Craig Hansen Werner, Dubliners: A Pluralistic World (Boston: Twayne Publ. 1988): ‘“Ivy Day in the Committee Room” can be seen as Joyce’s critique of, and lament over, the collapse of nationalism … As any contemporary Dubliner would have known, “Ivy Day” is 6 October, the anniversary of Parnell’s death, on which his followers wore sprigs of ivy in commemoration. Similarly, the term “committee room” – an allusion to Committee Room 15 where the vote to remove Parnell from leadership of the Home Rule movement was held – would have alerted Joyce’s contemporaries to the theme of betrayal.’ (p.106.)

- all quoted in in Declan McColgan, UG Diss. [on Joyce and Irish Nationalism], UUC 2010.

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Quotations
Speeches - 1: ‘Show the landlords that you intend to hold a firm grip on your homesteads and lands. You must not allow yourselves to be dispossessed as you were dispossessed in 1847.’ (Westport, 1 June, 1879); ‘Not one cent of the money contributed and handed to us will go towards organising an armed rebellion in Ireland’ (New York, Jan. 1880.)

Speeches - 2: ‘None of us, whether we be in America or Ireland or wherever we may be, will be satisfied until we have destroyed the last link which keeps Ireland bound to England’ (Cincinnati, Jan. 1880; Parnell to Pearse: Some Recollections and Reflections, Dublin: Browne & Nolan 1948, p.17.)

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Speeches - 3: ‘We cannot, under the British constitution, ask for less than the restitution of Grattan’s parliament, with its important privileges and wide far-reaching constitution. We cannot, under the British constitution, ask for more than the restitution of Grattan’s parliament. But no man has the right to say [to his country], “thus far shalt thou go and no further”; and we have never attempted to fix the ne plus ultra to the progress of Ireland’s nationalhood, and we never shall’ (Jan. 1885, Cork; quoted in Parnell to Pearse: Some Recollections and Reflections, Dublin: Browne & Nolan 1948, p.28.)

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Speeches - 3 [on Boycotting - I]: ‘I think I heard somebody say “Shoot him!” - (loud cries of “quite right too” with renewed applause) but I wish to point out to you a very much better way - a more Christian, and a more charitable way, which will give the lost sinner an opportunity of repenting. When a man takes a farm from which another has been evicted, you must show him on the roadside, when you meet him, you must show him in the streets of the town, you must show him in the fair and the market place, and even in the place of worship, by leaving him severely alone - putting him into a kind of moral Coventry, isolating him from his kind like the leper of old - you must show him your detestation of the crime he has committed. And you may depend upon it, that there is no man so full of avarice, so lost to shame, as to dare the public opinion of all right thinking men, and to transgress your unwritten code of laws.’(10 Sept. 1880; quoted in Peter Berresford Ellis, A History of the Irish Working Class [1972] London: Pluto 1996 edn., p.138.)

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Speeches - 4 [on Boycotting - II]: ‘Keep a firm grip on your homestead [and use] the strong force of public opinion to deter any unjust men amongst you … from bidding for such farms.’ Parnell dissuaded Land League members from violence and recommended a ‘very much better way - a more Christian and charitable way’ of restraining than murder - placetakers must be shunned ‘as if if her were a leper of old.’ (Quoted in D. George Boyce, Nationalism in Ireland, London 1982, p.210.)

Speeches - 5 (Belfast in 1891): ‘I have to say this, that it is the duty of the majority to leave no stone unturned, no means unused, to conciliate the reasonable or unreasonable prejudices of the minority. I think the majority have always been inclined to go a long way in this direction; but it has undoubtedly been true that every Irish patriot has always recognised … from the time of Wolfe Tone until now that until the religious prejudices of the minority, whether reasonable or unreasonable, are conciliated … Ireland can never be united; and until Ireland is practically united, so long as there is this important minority who consider, rightly or wrongly - I believe and feel sure wrongly - that the concession of legitimate freedom to Ireland means harm and damage to them, either to their spiritual or their temporal interests, the work of building up an independent Ireland will have upon it a fatal clog and a fatal drag.’ (Quoted by Paul Bew, in Fortnightly Review, October 1991.)

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Speeches - 6 (Wolverhampton, q.d.): Parnell spoke about the ‘sacred ties’ between England and Ireland, a phrase and notion which John Redmond was to describe as the very ‘theory of Home Rule.’ (Quoted by Paul Bew, in Fortnightly Review, Oct. 1991; see also Bew, Charles Stewart Parnell, Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 1991, 152pp.)

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References
Justin McCarthy, ed., Irish Literature (Washington: Catholic Univ. of America 1904), gives extract from Address to the House of Representatives, Washington.

Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 2. The the chief works containing significant testimonies on Parnell cited or sampled are by R. Barry O’Brien, T. P. O’Connor, Timothy Healy, Frank Hugh O’Donnell, and William O’Brien; Vol. 2, selects Words of the Dead Chief (1892) [303-12]; ‘To The People of Ireland’, the manifesto of 29 Nov 1890 [312-15]; approx. 45 REFS & REMS; BIOG, 369, & COMM [under the caption Parnellism], 366. FDA3 adds some 35 REFS & REMS. in addition to a bio-biographical section on Parnell, FDA2, 366 has a section on Parnellism with a select general bibliography that includes, CC O’Brien, Parnell and His Party 1880-90 (Oxford 1957). [Bibl. as supra.]

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James Joyce Library: held in his Trieste library copies of The Life of Charles Stewart Parnell (London & Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson [1910]); R. J. O’Duffy, Historic Graves in Glasnevin Cemetery (Dublin: James Duffy 1915); and Words of the Dead Chief, compiled by Jennie Wyse-Power (Dublin: Sealy, Bryers & Walker 1892). (See Richard Ellmann, The Consciousness of James Joyce, Faber, p.122 [Appendix].

Hyland Books: Catalogue No. 214 lists Henry Parnell, On Official Reform (1969 facs. of 1831 3rd ed.); H. Harrison, Parnell Vindicated: A Lifting of the Veil (1931); Alfred Robbins, Parnell, the Last Five Years Told from Within (1926). Catalogue No 224 lists Dorothy Eden, Never Call it Loving (London 1966), fictional biography of Kitty O’Shea [Cathach Cat. 12]; The Repeal of the Union Conspiracy, or Mr Parnell, MP and the IRB (1st ed. 1886), 92pp. [Carty 1472]; H. O. Arthur Forster, ‘Guilty or Not Guilty?’, or The Opinions of Eminent Liberals with Regard to the Parnellite Party [1883], 8pp.

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Belfast Linenhall Library holds The Parnell Movement, T. P. O’Connor; F. H. O’Donnell, The Lost Hat, the clergy, the collection, the hidden life [n.d.; also n.d. in BELF].

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Notes
Arthur Griffith
, ‘The era of constitutional politics ended on the day Parnell died’, and W. B. Yeats,  “The Death of Parnell”, in Autobiographies (1955).

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W. B. Yeats: According to Joseph Holloway, Yeats said on 26 April 1905 that he had Charles Stewart Parnell in his mind when he wrote On Baile’s Strand : ‘People who do aught for Ireland […] ever and always have to fight with the waves in the end.’ (Holloway’s Journal ; quoted in Richard Allen Cave, ed., W. B. Yeats: Selected Plays, Penguin Edn. 1997, “Commentaries & Notes” [The Green Helmet ], p.300.

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Boundaries (& Job): When Parnell said, ‘No man has the right to set a boundary to the march of a nation and to say ne plus ultra, thus far shalt thou go and no further’ - his famous answer to the Fenians delivered in Cork (Jan. 1885), he was ultimately echoing the Book of Job: ‘Where were you when I stopped I planned the earth? Tell me, if you are wise, do you know who took its dimensions? / … Were you there as I stopped the waters / as they issued gushing from the womb? / When I wrapped the oceans in clouds / and swaddled the seas in shadows? / and when I closed it with barriers / and set its boundaries, saying, “Here shalt thou come but no farther, / here shalt your proud waves break?”’ (Job, 38:4-9.)

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Hesitency: Parnell’s supposed letter from Kilmainham to Patrick Egan contained the phrase, ‘Let there be an end to this hesitency [sic]. Prompt action is called for […].’ (See Robert Kee, The Laurel and the Ivy, Penguin 1993, p.228; quoted in Niamh O’Sullivan, Joyce: The Spiritual Liberator, BA Diss., UUC 2000.) See also under Richard Piggott q.v., - author of the forged letter.

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Kitty O’Shea (1): Katharine O’Shea was left the equivalent of seven million pounds in today’s money in 1889 at the death of an aunt; she later wrote wrote a 2 vol. Charles Stewart Parnell, his love story and political life (publ. 1914).

Kitty O’Shea (2) Katherine O’Shea cited her own sister Anna Steele with whom she was locked in a probate quarrel as co-respondent in her return of charges of adultery against her husband, knowing her to have had several affairs.

Kitty O’Shea (3) - properly Kate to self and family - is buried in Littlehampton Cemetery, Sussex, under a Celtic cross inscribed ‘To the beloved memory of / Catherine / widow of Charles Stewart Parnell [...]’ She bore three children by him while still married to O’Shea, an possibly another still-born after her marriage to Parnell.

Phoenix Park Murders’: The assassination of Thomas Burke (Permanent Under-Secretary) and Lord Frederick Cavendish (Irish Chief Sec. for Ireland) - who happened to be accompanying the other for an evening walk at the time (7.30 p.m.) - was perpetrated in the Park on 6 May 1882 by members of the Irish National Invincibles, a Fenian splinter group. The assassins, Tim Kelly and Joe Brady, had targeted Burke as a perceived traitor and a so-called “Castle Catholic”, though Burke, a graduate of Royal College, Galway, was responsible for the introduction of the Intermediate Examination awards an numerous educational improvements. Kelly struck and Burke and Brady at Cavendish. The killers used surgical knives purchased for the purpose while the victims unsuccessfully defended themselves with umbrellas - details that lent added horror to the event. Superintendent Mallon of the “G” Division organised the manhunt, arresting numerous suspects on 13 Jan. 1883 - among them James Carey and Michael Kavanagh, both of whom supplied information about the crime. (Carey - who was a builder - pointed out Burke while the latter acted as get-away driver.) Cary agreed to testify against the assassins, who were hanged on his evidence together with Michael Fagan, Thomas Caffrey, Dan Curley, all found to be materially involved in the assassination - all between 14 May and 4 June 1883. The hangman was one William Marwood. James Fitzharris (known as “Skin the Goat”) acted as driver for the assassins and served 15 years in prison (d.1910) during which he revealed no information about the plot or his associates. (There is a bronze grave plaque to him, citing also the men who were hanged but also Joseph Poole, as having “died for Ireland”.) Members of the founding executive, John Walsh, Patrick Egan, John Sheridan, Frank Byrne, and Patrick Tynan escaped trial and later were well-received by Irish-Americans. While travelling under the alias of Power, Carey himself was shot dead by Patrick O’Donnell of Donegal on board the Melrose Castle off Cape Town, South Africa, on 29 July 1883. O’Donnell was brought back to London, convicted of murder at the Old Bailey and hanged on 17 Dec. 1883. [See “Irish National Invincibles” Wikipedia page with “Skin the Goat” plaque - online.]

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James Joyce: References to the Phoenix Park Murder permeated Joyce’s Ulysses, but notably the “Eumaeus” chapter where the character called “Skin the Goat” is falsely supposed to be a denizen of the cabmen’s shelter. Early on, in All Hallows Church, Westland Row, Bloom mistakenly cites Peter Carey, the brother of the betrayer, when he reflects ‘That fellow that turned Queen’s evidence on the invincibles he used to receive communion every morning. This very church. And plotting that murder all the time’ (81:26-28). (Later the Invincibles are called ‘the Denzill Lane boys“ in reference to the address where many of them lived - a street adjacent to the church here mentioned: 424:26.) The “Aeolus” chapter contains some erroneous information circulating in the offices of the Freeman’s Journal about the time and location of the murders (136:3-4), together with the identity of the murderers, Kelly and Brady (136:11). Information about the two cab-drivers, Michael Kavanaugh [Kavanagh], and James “Skin-the-Goat” Fitzharris, is also supplied. (136:16). Here the supposed route of the assassins is communicated by means of anagram: “F. A. B. P. X.” (137:5) - though this was actually the rout taken by Fitzharris who carried the main party rather than the killers, and whose itinerary is regarded as a decoy. (137:12) When he hears the phrase ‘give him the whole bloody history’ in the journalists’ conversation, Stephen Dedalus recurs to his earlier conception of history as the ‘[n]ightmare from which you will never awake’ (137:22). Meanwhile we are told that commemorative postcards are being sold at the site of the murders (138:5). Next, in dwelling on Corny Kelleher as a possible betrayer, Bloom harps on Joseph Chamberlain - the supposed instigator of the Boer War - and compares him with Carey, a real betrayer (‘Egging raw youths on to get in the know. All the time drawing secret service pay from the castle’: 163:20-1). Here is reference is patently inaccurate since Carey was not in the pay of the Castle - a detail that better suits the “Sham Squire”, Francis Higgins [q.v.]. A little after, Bloom contemplates the cell-like organisational structure of the Fenians - a structure originated by James Stephens [q.v.]: ‘Circles of ten so a fellow couldn’t round on more than his own ring. Sinn Fein’ (163:36). In the “Cyclops” episode, a cadenza on the behaviour of the penis of the hanged man is specifically related to Joe Brady (304:30), and this provides the pretext for a political intervention on the part of the Citizen (Michael Cusack): “So of course the citizen was only waiting for the wink of the word and he starts gassing out of him about the invincibles and the old guard [ …]" (305:11). In the “Eumaeus” episode, “Skin the Goat” [Fitzharris] is identified with the pig-keeper in the Odyssey (621:37). The facts of the murders are then revisited - again erroneously (629:7) since Bloom get the year wrong in the telling (629:28). This takes place in the context of Bloom’s colloquy with the sailor Murphy off the Rosevean, and leads on to his remarks about “Skin-the-Goat” and the character of the plot as a ‘confidence trick ... prearranged’ (640:1). Finally, he forms the conclusion that conspiracies are best avoided in Ireland on the “offchance of a Dannyman coming forward and turning Queen’s evidence’ (640:8) - a reflection of Joyce’s own conviction that a traitor is never lacking in Ireland. [The information for this note is substantially gleaned from the Invincibles page of Jesse LeRoy Mabus at Evergreen Academic Computing - online; accessed 12.07.2012.]

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John Woulfe Flanagan (1852-1929), the eldest son of Stephen Woulfe Flanagan, PC, a judge of the landed estate court and owner of 3,500 acres in Sligo and Roscommon (with an estate at Rathfudy); m. Mary Deborah, dg. of John Richard Corballis, QC; ed. Oscott and Balliol Coll., Oxford; grad. double-first in classics; English bar, 1877; high-sherriff of Roscommon, 1881; appt. to staff at the London Times, 1886; became main-player in the newspaper’s campaign against Parnell and wrote the articles entitled “Parnellism and Crime”, though exonerated from blame in regard to the acceptance and publication of the “Parnell letters” - i.e., Pigott’s forgeries - by his obituarist; chief leader-writer for the Times in 1916, when he dismissed the insurgents as pro-German; m. Maria Emily, dg. of Maj. Gen. Sir Justin Sheil, 1880; children John Henry and Jane Mary; d. 16 Nov. 1929, at home, 31 Tedworth Sq., Chelsea. (See Dictionary of Irish Biography, RIA 2004.) Note that the Woulfe-Flanagan home in Dublin is now part of Belfield campus of UCD.

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Curifixes: ‘There were portraits of John Dillon and Michael Davitt hanging in the parlour, and the landlady told me Parnell’s likeness had been with them, until the priest had told her he didn’t think well of her hanging it there. There was on the wall, in a frame, a warrant for the arrest of one of her sons signed by, I think, Lord Cowper, in the days of the Land War …’ (Lady Gregory, Visions and Beliefs, 1920. q.p.)

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Keeping the faith: Parnell published a letter in the Freeman’s Journal appealing to the Irish people to have faith in his leadership despite his personal situation; on the following day, Walsh gave an interview with the Central Press Agency in which he said: ‘If the Irish leader would not or could not, give a public assurance that his honour was unsullied, the Party that takes him as a leader can no longer count on the support of the Bishops of Ireland.’ (1 Dec. 1890; Larkin, op. cit., [q.p.]; quoted in Niamh O’Sullivan, “Joyce: The Spiritual Liberator”, BA Diss., UUC 2000.)

House of Parliament: ‘Parnell, on the way to smash up the Freeman’s Journal, stopped the driver of his carriage and pointed silently to the Houses of Parliament on Stephen’s Green which Yeat’s called the noblest edifice in Europe, to extended cheering.’ (Anthony Cronin, “Hearts and Minds”, keynote lecture at the Princess Grace Irish Library Symposium, 2000.)

Tu quoque: ‘In a footnote to his book on Parnell and the Irish Party, Conor Cruise O’Brien writes that when Parnell was cited in the fatal divorce case, the ‘addiction to the tu quoque’ among his supporters ‘would not have helped the cause much either. In a London church when a clergyman at this time condemned Parnell’s moral lapse, an interrupter loudly asked, “What about the Prince of Wales?”’) [See Geoffrey Wheatcroft on O’Brien, in The Guardian (12 July 2003) - online; accessed 12.05.2014.]

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Breaking stones: The paving stones on O’Connell St. Bridge were supplied to Dublin Corporation from Parnell’s quarry in Arklow in face of Welsh competition. (See Roy Foster, Paddy and Mr. Punch, 1993, p.57).

Plan of Campaign: note that a novel entitled Plan of Campaign (1881) was issued by an English writer, and historian Frances Mabel Robinson (See Margaret Kelleher, ‘Prose Writing and Drama in English; 1830-1890 […]’, in Cambridge History of Irish Literature, ed. Kelleher & Philip O’Leary, Cambridge UP 2006, Vol. 1, p.479. See also the reference to the ‘plan of campaign’ against Count Dracula on the first page of Bram Stoker’s eponymous novel (Dracula, 1897).

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Portraits, F. S. L. Lyons, John Dillon (1968) incls. a drawing of C. S. Parnell made by J. D. Reigh in 1891, with an MS addition from Parnell himself: ‘That Reigh is the only one who can do justice to my handsome face.’ See also “Parnell” by S. P. Hall, pencil, Nat. Port. Gallery [Anne Crookshank, ed., Irish Portraits Exhibition (Ulster Museum. 1965)]; also an oil portrait by Sydney Prior Hall [signed 1892] in the National Gallery of Ireland, which serves as the cover on F. S. L. Lyons’s life (Charles Stewart Parnell, 1977); a bronze figure of Parnell by Augustus St. Gaudens, on the Parnell Monument, unveiled 1921 [de Breffny, p.215], and made the object of criticism by Arthur Griffith; Sir John Tenniel, cartoon of Parnell as “The Irish Frankenstein”, in Punch, 20 May, 1882 [featuring the monster, watched by a croaching Frankenstein].

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