Joseph Lee, The Modernisation of Irish Society 1848-1918 (Clarendon Press 1973).

[Written] in the hope that modernisation may prove immune to the parochial preoccupations implicit in equally elusive and more emotive concepts like the gaelicisation and anglicisation. Modernisation is defined as the growth of equality and opportunity. This requires that merit supersede birth as the main criterion for the distribution of income, status and power, and this in turn involves the creation of political consciousness among the masses, the decline of deference based on inherited status, and the growth of functional specialisation, without which merit can hardly begin to be measured.

.. the most intractable problems to perplex students of 19th c. Ireland, the apparently abrupt reversal of demographic direction involved in converting the Irish from one of the earliest marrying to the latest and most rarely marrying people in Europe. [3]

A disproportionate number of famine survivors belonged to classes with above average age at marriage, already unaccustomed to subdivide [4]

Mixed marriages between farmers and labourers were considered unnatural. Farmers’ children preferred celibacy to labourers. The increasing longevity of parents reinforced the drift towards late marriage. [4]

The Churches however merely reflected the dominant economic values of post-famine rural society. … few societies … refined the marriage bargain to such an acquisitive nicety. The integirty of the family was ruthlessly sacrificed, generation after generation, to the priority of economic man … Priests and parsons, products and prisoners of this same society, dutifully sanctified this mercenary ethos, but they were in any case powerless to challenge the primacy of economic man over the Irish countryside. [5]

It seems probably that only the consolation offered by the Churches to the celibate victims of economic man prevented the lunacy rates, which quadrupled between 1850 and 1914, from rising even more rapidly. [6]

The Irish farmer behaved as a rational economic man, and, after the wave of famine evictions ebbed, it was he, not the landlord, who drove his children and the labourers off the land. [10]

Recent research has not substantiated the once fashionable belief that lack of capital frustrated industrialisation. … Capital flowed into railways, gas companies, insurance and shipping firms, and bank shares; but usually only after English investors had borne a disproportionate share of the initial risks and demonstrated to their timid Irish brethern that investment opportunities did actually exist. [12]

The clergy probably performed a minor economic service by mobilising otherwise totally unproductive capital and providing some ephemeral employment for local builders. [12]

Both the failure of Dublin and the success of Belfast suggest that considerable importance must be attached to the quality of businessmen. [14] ... Whatever the reason, few businessmen of international calibre emerged in post-famine Ireland. [19]

In discussing the role of the state, Lee argues that the English emphasis on free play of market forces and the efficiency of private entrepreneurship was inappropriate to Ireland. ‘Ireland thus became a victim of the peculiarly intense English preoccupation with the abstract merits of collectivism.’ [20]

the relative merits of Free Trade and Protection constituted one of the great debates of the century. Few countries in circumstances like Ireland failed to protext their industries to some extent. Yet no comprehensive external trade statistics existed for Ireland between 1825, when records of Anglo-Irish trade ceased to be kept, and 1902, when WP Coyne, chief statistician of the newly established department of Agriclture and Technical Instruction, determined to remedy this deficiency. [23]

The national school system, established in 1831, spread reapidly. The 4,500 schools and 500,000 pupils of 1848 roughly doubled to about 9,000 schools and 1,000,000 pupils in 1914. Originally intended to be undenominational, the system inpractice soon became sectarian. … Schools reflected rather thancreated community sentiments, and proved powerless against the blind hatred lovingly inculcated in the bosom of the Christian family. [27]

Contrary to popular persuasion, the schools did not kill the Irish language. Even before the famine, the country was predominantly English-speaking. O’Connell spoke in English because most of his east-of-Ireland audiences understood it better than Irish. By 1851 less than ten per cent of the population were unable to speak English, while only thirty per cent were able to speak Irish. The language committed suicide before 1845, aided and abetted less by the national schools than by the hedge schools cherished in nationalist mythology. [28]

Typically however the government was much more concerned with removing legal than economic barriers to equality. It refrained from making provisions for scholarships to encourage the gifted among the national school students to proceed to further education, thus ensuring that a substantial porportion of the one million it was spending annually by 1910 on primary education should be squandered. [30]

Newman’s university, established in Dublin in 1854 as a Catholic alternative to Trinity College and the Queen’s Colleges, never flourished. lack of funds handicapped it from the outset. Much of the 190,000 spent was contributed by the pennies of the Catholic poor, fleeced to subsidise the education of middle-class Catholic. … the decisive factor proved to be lack of demand. … The Government finally took the university question out of politics in 1908 by establishing the nationa University, modelled on the University of Wales. [32]

The Dublin Chamber of Commerce, unlike its Belfast counterpart, had so few ideas on thesubject of business education as late as 1902 that it decided not to presnt evidence before the Robertson Commission on university education. [33]

Signs of incipient change began to emerge towards the end of the century. TJ Finlay and TM Kettle, early economics professors in the national University, showed themselves distinctly more alert to continental developments than the general run of Irish authorities. [34]

The problem was not why local firms collapsed, but why more of them were not destroyed by irish instead of English manufacturers. The collapse of existing handicrafts was inevitable; the course of subsequent change was not.

James Fintan Lalor’s rebellion in Waterford in 1849 failed so farcicially that few realised there had even been an attempted movement to abolish landlordism and establish an independent Ireland. Well-informed contemporaries were preoccupied with the problem of the encumbered estates. [36]

The decline in rents during the famine bankrupted 10 per cent of landlords. … The Encumbered Estates Act in 1849, after an abortive measure in the previous year, simplified the procedure by which purchasers might acquire the forfeited estates. … one seventh of the country changed hands within a decade. … over ninenty per cent of the five thousand purchasers were Irish, mainly younger sons of gentry, solicitors, and shpkeepers who did well out of the famine. [36-37]

The new landlords undoubtedly did well out of the act, though not primarily through racking their tenants, but simply because of the bargain prices at which they bought. [38]

The Encumbered Estates Act played a significant role in stimulating tenant thought about the structure of property rights in land, and contributed to the revolution in histrical consciousness which allowed many farmers to be convinced a generation later that they, as the rightful heirs of the despoiled celtic landowners and not the landlords, were the legitimate owners of the land, a revelation granted to few as early as 1849. [39]

For Lee’s account of Cardinal Paul Cullen, see RX and Library files.

Minor disturbances occured nearly every 12 July in Belfast during the 1850. The historic significance of the 1857 riots, which claimed an unknown number of victims, was that they marked the definitive urbanisation of ancestral rural animosities. [50]

FENIANISM [53-58] Fenianism was the first political movement to channel the energies of agricultural labourers and small farmers, hitherto expressed in ribbonism and faction fighting, into national organisation. [57] Feniansism began the grass-roots revolt against fatalism, so reassuring to the official mind, which drove thousands oto their famine graves. … The tour of Connacht by O’Donovan Rossa and Ned Duffy in 1864, which sowed the seeds that were to sprout 15 years later in the Land League, marks the beginning of the modernisaton of western mentalities. [58]

The National Association, to channel support for constitutional agitation, a ‘calm in a tea-cup’. [59]

The Land Act of 1879 legalised the Ulster Custom where it existed. It stipulated that tenants should receive compensation for improvements if evicted for non-payment and compensation for disturbance if evicted for any other reason. [60]

The Ulster Custom contributed greatly to peace and quiet, but made little difference to the economic performance of Northern agriculture, whichwas not, in fact, more efficient than that of the South. [61]

Gladstone … proposed to establish a new university in Dublin, which would include a Catholic college as well as Trinity College. This failed to satisfy the Trinity authorities, unwilling to be associated with a Catholic institution, or the Catholic hierarchy infuriated by the lack of financial support from the state for the proposed new college. The bishops influenced the Irish Liberals to vote against he measure in 1873 and thereby helped bring about the resignation of the government. [61]

An ecomiastic account of John O’Connor Power [67-8]; ditto, James Daly [69-70]

Michael Davitt, b. Straide, moved to Lancashire with his evicted family at the age of six; found grass roots sentiment far ahead of him when, in 1878, he toured Mayo preaching a straight separatist gospel [71]

Parnell’s decision to attend the Westport meeting of 8 June was no leapin the dark, but a calculated defensive decision to reassert his leadership by picking up a crown from a potato patch. [74]

Derogatory notice of Frank Hugh O’Donnell [75]

Invincibles, Special Commissioners on Parnell and Crime. [87]

The man in the field decisively rejected [Davitt’s] land nationalisation. Davitt’s politically fatuous proposal diverted attention from the more realistic redistribution programme, which might have dramatically altered the pattern of land holding, and condemned him to a career of relative ineffectuality. [88]

The age of deference in rural Ireland was coming to an end with a bang when nearly half the total assaults in mayo in the final quarter of 1880 were perpetrated directly on landlords or their representatives. [89]

Fr. O’Malley of the Neale … coined the term boycotting when his parishioners couldn’t wrap their tongues round ‘ostracisation’. O’Malley eulogised the clergy of the once established Church—‘after all the Protestant clergymen lives amongst the people, spent his money amongst the people, was a kindly and a good neighbour to the people—the better to set up the landlords for the polemical kill—‘what is the object of the Land League? To do away once and forever with the curse of Ireland—Irish landlordism. What is Irish landlordism? it is the garrison of the enemy.’ [91]

Where the clergy responded to popular feelings they took their customary place at the vanguard of the movement; where they failed to respond, they were simply ignored. … The courts established by the Land League withdrew from priests much of their authority as arbitrators of land disputes, and field in which they had generally played an active mediating role … deference in ecclesiastical matters continued … but the role of the priest in society became increasingly circumscribed as major areas of social life were transferred from his informal jurisdiction to specialised agencies. [91]

United Ireland, founded by Parnell and edited by William O’Brien occasionally sold 100,00 copies, dwarfing the circulation of any previous Irish newspaper—the Nation sold 10,000 copies at the height of its fame forty years earlier. [93]

The League … pioneered on a mass basis a technique destined to become indispensable in nationalist agitation, the appeal to spurious historic rights. Celtic Ireland had been an intensely hierarchical society, the bulk of the people possessing only a tenuous and ill-defined share in the property for which the leading families contended. The information available to late nineteenth-century commentators did suggest that something like genuine communal property rights may have existed, and Michael Davitt devoted his preamble to the constitution of the Land League of May to an exposition of the historic rights of the cultivators in Celtic Ireland. But if modernisation of tenurial systems was wrapped in the swaddling clothes of historical reincarnation, Davitt soon found himself out-manoeuvred by more astute historiographical tacticians, and the ‘land for the people’ acquired the distinctly contemporary connotation of individual instead of communal proprietorship. [95]

The despoiled historic rights to which the tillers of the soil laid claim were conjured from the imagination of the living generation … The Land League not merely articulated but largely created that aspiration, legitimised it with an immaculate pedigree by which the tenants acquired retrospective private shares in a mythical Gaelic garden of Eden, and pushed it through to within sight of ultimate victory. It was a virtuoso performance. [96]

The absence of a strong populist or peasantist streak distinguishes the Land League ideology from that of most European rural models. The League was not al all anti-urban … The tension between twon and country, which many historians detect on the continent, barely existed in Ireland. Irish towns were overwhelmingly rural [97] … Ireland cannot be imprisoned in the urbanhistorians’ synthetic straitjacket of ‘town versus country’. [99]

LAND ACTS: Only a handful of tenants purchased their properties undert the Bright Clauses of the 1870 Land Act, because one-third of the money was to be paid down, and the annuity, 35 years at 5 per cent, frequently exceeded the rent. … Only 731 tenants bought under the purchase provisions of the 1881 Act which require a 25 per cent downpayment, the balance to be repaid at 5 per cent over 35 years. The small Ashbourne Act of 1885 which advanced five million, augmented by a further five million in1888, proved more successful. 25,000 tenants applied and the money was exhausted by 1891, because the repayment terms, 49 years at 4 per cent with no down payment, were far more attractive than previously. The 1891 Balfour Act imposed the sme basic conditions, but hinged them around with so many qualifications for both tenants and landlords, who were to be paid … in land stock of fluctuating value, that despite an amending Act of 1896, only 13 million of the 33 million made available was applied for. The Wyndham Act of 1903 was made compulsory in1909 to deal with a small number of landlord recalcitrants, but landlords and tenants alike generally found the terms sufficiently satisfactory to reach amicable agreement. As the price ranged from eighteen and a half to twenty seven and two-thirds years purchase, some what above prevailing market prices, landlord got a very reasonable lump sum. The repayment terms, on the other hand, 68 and a half at 3 per cent, averaging about 20 per cent below rent levels, with no down payment, seemed to attractive to the tenants to induce further hesitation. Only 70,000 holdings were purchased before 1903, nearly 300,000 under the Wyndham Act. [103]

Citing instances of individual landlord’s misjudgement about the effects of peasant proprietorship (determined by their partiality to the doctrine of the superior intelligence of their own class), Lee writes: ‘If this represents the landlord gift to Irish socialthought Land Leaguers could perhaps be forgiven for suspecting that Ireland might survive the loss of landlord intellect.’ [105]

In no European society, including England, did the transition from loosely organised, largely local groups to the tight central control of a national organisation occur so rapidly or effectively. The tragedy of the fall of Parnell was not only the fall of a great leader, but also the tragedy of a great party. [106]

Social composition of the IPP: William O’Brien was the son of a respectable but hardly affluent clerk. Tim Healy, son of a poor law union clerk, and Thomas Sexton, son of a police constable, both began their careers as junior railway clerks. TD Sullivan worked as a house painter before turning to journalism, and TP O’Connor, son of a billiard saloon keeper, wrote his biography of Disraeli on the back of advertisement handbills distributed in London streets. [108]

Electoral reform: a Tory governemtn intent on denying formal participation actually halved the size of the electorate by disenfranchising the 40 shilling freeholders in 1829. The Reform Act of 1850, mangled by the Lords, roughly doubled the electorate to 160,000. The second Reform Act of 1867 excluded Ireland, but a grudging Irish measure of 1868 increased the electorate to about 230,000. the third Reform Act of 1884 … trebled the size of theelectorate from 230,000 to 700,000, consolidating the base of this new type of political party. The Redistribution Act of 1885 abolished … the boroughs where 2 per cent of the electorate returned 15 per cent of the MPs. The Secret Ballot Act of 1872 effectively reduced rural corruption [and] encouraged opponents of entrnched landed dynasties to run candidates in uncontested constituencies. The eclipse of the dynasties outside the north-east—the Bruens and MacMurrough Kavanaghs in Carlow, the Powers in Wexford, the O’Conor Don in Roscommon, the Shirleys and Leslies in Cavan, Hamilton in Donegal—occurred in 1874 and 1880. [109]

Gladstone’s son announced his father’s sensational conversion on 17 December 1885 after the election left 86 Parnellites holding the balance of power between 335 Liberals and 249 Conservatives. [111]

The Home Rule Bill of June 1886 was effectively destroyed by the defection of the Liberal right wing under Hartington, and the Liberal left wing under Joseph Chamberlain.

The Plan of Campaign devised by Tim Harrington and initaited in October 1886, involved handing landlords what the tenants considered fair rents and, if refused, using it for evicted tenants; ineffectually condemned by Papacy, 1888; opposed by landlord organisation; agreement reached on 60 of 116 affected estates, 1890; with 24 tenant victories through confrontation, and 15 outright defeats. [114]

Parnell’s fall: it was not Ireland but the nonconformist wing of the Liberal party in England that set the wheels in motion to bring parnell down [threatening] that they could not accept an alliance with an adulterer.

Clerical influence [114-122]: Lee deals with the limited influence of the clergy in compelling anti-Parnellite candidates on the people, and more broadly with their diminished influence on politics in the period up to 1914. He cites the jeremiads and excommunications of several overly enthusiastic bishops, and finally the case of a priest supporting Home Rule against Sinn Féin in Straide, Co. Mayo, in 1914: ‘has it come to the time,’ he cried, ‘when an Irish Catholic priest will be refused a hearing in Mayo?’ ‘When you are on the right side, we will hear you,’ was the answer, and for Lee this is a summary of secular and sacerdotal relationships in the whole period. [122]

The anti-Parnellite leaders John Dillon, Tim Healy and William O’brien, jockeyed for position … with John Redmond leader of the Parnellite rump. O’Brien, disgusted with his failure to profit from internal squabbling, seized the opportunity proffered by the potatoe failure of 1897 to form the United Irish League [which] enrolled 50,000 members within two years. the Parliamentary party rallied round Redmond and succeeded in asserting authority over the maverick Leage [which] became synonymous the final mass movement primarily concerned with land [due to the widespread use of spraying against blight] [122]

Arthur Balfour established Congested Districts board in 1891, comprising one sixth of the country and one tenth of the population, and extended to one third and one quarter respectively by 1910. … The board adopted the disasterous policy of creating uneconomic work … bound to disappear when support was withdrawn [124] Had the capital invested in uneconomic projects in the west been intelligently invested in the east, not only would the east have developed more rapidly, but theinevitable movement from the west might have gradually been diverted from emigration to internal migration. [125]

Among the few who realised the inadequacy of the Board’s policy was one of its first members, Horace Plunkett. Observing, like many others, that the unreliability of the quality of Irish butter, notoriously the most unpredicable on the European market, restricted its sale and reduced its price, Plunkett concluded that the farmers must be taught self-help. After overcoming initial skepticism between 1889 and 1894 concerning his alien notion that honesty was the best policy in describing their wares, and that customers valued cleanliness and freshness, interest developed sufficiently to justify his establishing the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society in 1894. By 1914 one thousand societies were in existence, with an annual turnover of 3.5 million.

.. Agricultural credit banks, in which the members guaranteed loans to one another, formed an important component of the co-operative movement, but as credit worthiness varied … loans were naturally made to men with the most security. … By helping to widen differences in income between larger and smaller farmers, the co-operative movement fostered dissension and jealousy withint the rural community. [126]

[Plunkett] became first president of the department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction in 1899. Pressure from the Nationalist party persuaded the Govt. to sack him as a Unionist in 1907, and TW Russell, a political appointment, never measured up to the job. [107]; neither did TP Gill, ex-nationalist MP, Plunkett’s unfortunate choice of secretary. [127]

Local Govt. Act of 1898 … established five organs of local administration … broke the landlord strangehold by introducing County and cit councels, rural and urban district councils, and boards of guardians for poor relief, instead of grand juries … but the new system soon became a by-word for corruption. [127-28]

James Bryce, Liberal Secretary, attempted to establish a Catholic college within University of Dublin but this was opposed by TCD; his successor Augustine Birrell created a new university college in Dublin, with a predominantly RC teaching body (though officially non-denominational) and linked with Queen’s Colleges in Cork and Galway as part of the National University, under the Irish Universities Act of 1908. TCD was left independent, and Queen’s College, Belfast endowed with independent university status. The new college received only poor financial provision and reflected this deficit in low standards, with no attempt made to address analysis of social and economic problems in Ireland. Lee concludes: ‘the new universit probably reinforced rather than reduced the existing inequalities of opportunity in Irish society, for the low standards allowed less gifted children of the middle classes acquire a degree, which increased the status differential between them and clever but poor children unable to secure a university place through lack of scholarships.’ [129]

Physical Force Unionism: 130-136

Carson and Craig, 130

the Scotch Irish subjective sense of separate identity—the ultimate criterion of nationality—drew sustenance from a history, language, culture and economy undeniably different from those whoch nationalists chose to consider essentially Irish. [130]

It was as vulgar a unionist error to assume that Belfast prospered because of the union as it was a nationalist error to assume that the southern Irish economy decayed because of it. … Why should they be penalised [by ending free trade imports of raw materials] to succour lesser breeds? The economic argument thus fused into the racial syndrome. [131]

Roaring Hugh Hanna [132]

Randolph played the Orange card in 1886 by bequeathing to Belfast the slogan “Ulster will fight and Ulster will be right”

The Ancient Order of Hibernians revitalised by Joe Devlin after 1886. [133]

Nationalist interpretation of popular unionist opposition to home rule rose no higer than simple conspiracy theory [assuming] that unionists were deluded victims of a false consciousness cunningly implanted by Protestant propaganda. [133]

In conceding home rule within home rule to the unionists, Redmond forgot that it was not equality but superiority that the Orangemen claimed as birthright. … as long as the Scotch Irish were prepared to fight for their ascendancy no solution was possible.

Bonar Law, replacing Balfour in 1911, proclaimed, ‘there are things stronger than parliamentary majorities’, and that he could imagine ‘no lengths of resistance to whichUlster can go in which I should not be prepared to support them.’ [135]

Solemn League and Covenant, 28 Sept. 1912: to resist home rule by any means. [135] modelled on sixteenth century document, the traditional technique for reminding God which side he was on. [135]

The Nationalists refused to contemplate partition at all, had no contingency plans, and ignored the opportunity for effective manoevre on the precise location of the border in their refusal to concede the principle. [136]

24,600 guns and 3,000,000 rounds of ammunition at Larne and Donaghadee, April 1914. Curragh Mutiny, March 1914. ‘By bringing the gun back into politics, Orangemen paved the way for the triumph of forces long gestating in southern society.’ [136]

The election of 1892 savagely debased the currency of political debate. … In Nov. 1892, Douglas Hyde, son of a Roscommon rector, attempted to shift the focus of discussion from politics to “identity” in a Lecture to the National Literary Society, ‘The Necessity for de-Anglicising Ireland’ [137].

Hyde derived his inspiration primarily from Anglo-Irish rather than Gaelic concepts of Ireland. … Hyde in fact populated his ideal Ireland with a nation of stage Irishmen, mimicking reality in Irish instead of English … The whole infra-structure of modernisation appalled him, and he assumed that Ireland could not survive in a modernised world. They should therefore … opt out from the modernisation process and continue to dwell in a mythical world of kneebreeches. [138-39]

Lee’s response is that, in fact, Ireland had quite successfully asserted her identity under the aespices of British administration: ‘Ireland was no more anglicised in 1892 than in 1848 … The transformation of the tenurial system, the euthanasia of the aristocracy, marked a major victory for native values—all the more remarkable in tht these values were themselves transmuted through the centuries. The native mind responded to the English challenge not by clinging blindly to old concepts but by creating new “native” values, which it then compelled the conqueror to recognise as “immemorial tradition”, and which even the Scotch-Irish settlers adopted. [139-40]

Hyde’s endearing personality and patent sincerity have disguised his ideological isolation within the broader Gaelic movement … bypassed by the active modernisers in the Irish Republican Brotherhood. [140]

The preoccupation of Irish-Irelanders with legitimising their aspirations by invoking alleged precedents from the celtic mists has misled some observers into portraying them as simple reactionaries. In fact … the modernisers created the past in their own image. [141]

PEARSE [141] the murder machine

The Irish Volunteers were established in November 1913 under the leadership of Eoin MacNeill, professor of early Irish history in University College, Dublin, whose article The North Began, published on 1 Nov., appealing for a volunteer force on the Ulster model, roused considerable public response.

Lee’s account of Pearse is keenly partisan; he exposes contradictions in his thinking, but finds nothing reactionary in it, and finally affirms: ‘he was an honest thinker, and his non-sequitors [sic] spring from logical confusion, not from ideological expediency.’ [148] For quotations, see library\authors\pearse.


Irish Trades Congress, 194, recruited 70,000 by 1910; Larkin’s ITGWU, 1908, reached 10,000 by 1913; Lock Out Strike ensues on his strike of 26 August 1913; 150,000 funds from Britain withdrawn after Larkin foolishly denounces Trades Union Congress for not striking in sympathy.

Lee: ‘’In one respect it was shrewd tactics [in Connolly] to ally with the republicans, the only nationalists who might conceivably pry Ireland loose from the grip of the obesely bourgeois home rule party. But by allowing himself to become involved in the blood sacrifice of Easter week Connolly buried Irish socialism for several decades. Blood sacrifice made some sense in Pearse’s eschatology, but none in Connolly’s. … Connolly’s death ensured that whatever pheonix rose from the embers of Easter week would unfurl no red flag. [152]

Nothing more clearly reflects the political sophistication of Sinn Fei than the adroitness with which it evaded this question [of its actualy policy in the practical political arena] Its specific campaign commitments remained elusive and ambiguous [161]

Redmond, more a Buttite than a parnellite, increasingly saw his ideal role as esentially that of a dominion statesman rather than as the leader of a small but fiercely independent people. [163]

In his concluding remarks, Lee notes the racist intransigence of Ulster Orange Unionism, and the insensitivity of the southern nationalists in failing to recognise the depth of emotional difference between sides—exemplified by accepting Cardinal Logue as abitrator over seats in Ulster between Home Rule and Sinn Fein in 1918. From the standpoint of modernisation, he regard the IPP as a spent force—it rejected the extension of the school meals and the Insurance Act to Ireland—and the intentions of Sinn Fein in these regards as open to question. But in the period under discussion—1848-1918—he doubts that any European country can show such a rapid progress towards modernisation. [168]

What distinguishes this history from others, is firstly its definition of the specific train of narrative it follows: modernisation; and secondly, its consistently wry - and sometimes flagrantly satirical tone. It is a remarkable work of condensation.

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