Friday 9 November 2012

400 years of urban Belfast - book published

A comprehensive history of Belfast has been published by Liverpool University Press, supported by Queen`s University Belfast and Belfast City Council.

Belfast 400: People, Place and History tells the story of the city`s unique urban history and has been published to mark the 400th anniversary of the granting of Belfast`s City Charter in 1613.

Beautifully produced and illustrated, Belfast 400 has been written by a team of experts on the city`s history: historians, archaeologists, geographers and social scientists from Queen`s University and NUI, Maynooth, led by Professor Sean Connolly from QUB`s School of History and Anthropology.

The project was awarded a grant of £60,000 by the Leverhulme Trust and has been three years in the writing. It explores the full range of developments in Belfast`s urban history, from its emergence as a settlement, through its rise as an industrial town, through urban decay and renewal.

The book looks at how Belfast, which began as a settlement at a waterlogged river mouth, developed into one of the world`s great centres of shipbuilding and linen manufacture - and the effects of this industrialisation and its subsequent decline on its citizens. It asks how the city of Belfast can now redefine its identity, and the still often fraught relationships that exist between different sections of its population, to face the challenges of the 21st century.

Editor of the book and Professor of Irish History at Queen`s University Belfast, Sean Connolly, said: 'This is one of those opportunities that comes along once or twice in a career. Over the past few years specialists in several fields have started to show us just how much there is to be discovered about Belfast past and present. I have been very lucky in being given the opportunity to pull the results of all that work together into an overview that should make anyone interested in Belfast look at the city in a new light.'

Belfast 400 is available in both hardback (rrp £35) and paperback (rrp £14.95), and also as a special limited edition slip-cased volume priced at £100, from Liverpool University Press, Amazon, and bookshops across Belfast and Northern Ireland.