This year's Maynooth Studies in Local History volumes have been published by Four Courts Press.
The series, first published in 1995, has built into an impressive library of more than 130 high-quality theses based on original research by MA in Local History students at Maynooth University. Each is a comprehensive (15k-20k word/64-70 page) account of a subject, theme or episode in local history. (Full list of titles and authors.)
Below are brief details of three of the 2017 titles. (Details of the other three are in a separate blogpost – New: Maynooth Studies in Local History 2017 - 2.) Each paperback has a catalogue price of €9.95 but is on sale via Four Courts Press for €8.95.
Castle Hyde – The changing fortunes of an Irish country house, by Terence Dooley.
This book details the rise of Castle Hyde (Co. Cork) as a country residence during the heyday of the Irish landed class, when such properties symbolised social standing and political power. It examines the consequences of the Great Famine on the Hyde family, forcing them to sell the mansion and estate, a sale characterized by skulduggery and intrigue.
Post independence, when hundreds of similar mansions were disappearing from the Irish landscape, Castle Hyde was purchased by an American publishing tycoon but fell into near ruin after his death. It was saved after the dancer Michael Flatley purchased it in 1999. 64pp. ISBN: 978-1-84682-643-6. Click image for more information.
The Shawlies: Cork's women street traders and the 'merchant city', 1901–50, by Susan Marie Martin.
For centuries, working-class Irish women survived as street traders, selling fruit, vegetables and second-hand clothing. In Cork they were known as ‘the Shawlies’ because of the distinctive, traditional black shawls they wore on the streets well into the 20th century.
In 1926, the Irish Free State government introduced the Street Trading Act, insisting it was fair legislation needed to regulate street trading. In practice, it limited the rights of the Shawlies to earn, and facilitated their disappearance from the streets. This 64-page study assembles the first narrative of the lives of the Shawlies, and places it within the story of the larger strategies of governance that came to shape Cork’s urban landscape. ISBN: 978-1-84682-644-3. Click image for more information.
Culture, politics and local government in Fingal, 1891–1914, by Declan Brady.
Falling between more momentous events, the period from the death of Parnell to the Home Rule crisis is popularly thought to be somewhat stagnant. Instead, this era was filled by a radical discourse influenced by the cultural and literary revivals and the development of a more informed nationalist identity and objective.
This 56-page study examines the changing composition and conduct of the political elites in Fingal and explores the conditions that preceded and ultimately influenced the Irish revolutionary period. ISBN: 978-1-84682-641-2. Click image for more information.