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Catholics of Consequence: Transnational Education, Social Mobility, and the Irish Catholic Elite 1850-1900


Catholics of Consequence: Transnational Education, Social Mobility, and the Irish Catholic Elite 1850-1900

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    Available in PDF Format | Catholics of Consequence: Transnational Education, Social Mobility, and the Irish Catholic Elite 1850-1900.pdf | English
    Ciaran O'Neill(Author)
For as far back as school registers can take us, the most prestigious education available to any Irish child was to be found outside Ireland. Catholics of Consequence traces, for the first time, the transnational education, careers, and lives of more than two thousand Irish boys and girls who attended Catholic schools in England, France, Belgium, and elsewhere in the second half of the nineteenth century. There was a long tradition of Irish Anglicans and Catholics sending their children abroad for the majority of their formative years. However, as the cultural nationalism of the Irish revival at the end of the nineteenth century took root, Irish Catholics who sent their children to school in Britain were accused of a pro-Britishness that crystallized into still recognisable terms of insult such as West Briton, Castle Catholic, Squireen, and Seoinin. This concept has an enduring resonance in Ireland, but very few publications have ever interrogated it.

Catholics of Consequence marks the first ever attempt to analyse the education and subsequent lives of the Irish children that received this type of transnational education. It also tells the story of elite education in Ireland, where schools such as Clongowes Wood and Castleknock College were rooted in the continental Catholic tradition, but also looked to public schools in England as exemplars. Taken together it tells the story of an Irish Catholic elite at once integrated and segregated within what was then the most powerful state in the world.

Catholics of Consequence is an interesting and thoughtful book, remote from the characteristic dullness of school histories. The author brings a reflective intelligence to his work, linking the detail of his subject to broader historical and cultural questions. (Maurice Earls, Dublin Review of Books)Catholics of Consequence offers a rich tapestry of pedagogical patterns and parental attitudes and behaviors that both defined and defied the norms of the time, and he admirably expands our knowledge of a distinctive socio-economic and political power-base in later nineteenth-century Ireland. We members of the Donnelly Prize Committee heartily congratulate Ciaran O'Neill on producing a work that will stimulate renewed interest and fresh scholarship on the provocative and intertwined subjects of class and education at a pivotal juncture in Ireland's modern history. (James S. Donnelly Prize Committee)An important contribution to the social history of Ireland. It is a fascinating study of how a cross section of the Irish elite functioned, and the efforts of religious orders to secure the elite in its position in Irish society... (Oliver Rafferty, Journal of Jesuit Studies.)O'Neill uncovers a rich world of transnational social mobility and ambition, and in so doing he brings to life an almost entirely neglected but important stratum of nineteenth-century Irish society. This is a historiographically innovative book. It is built on deep archival research and a sound grasp of the relevant secondary and theoretical literature. (Senia Pašeta, Social History)a very significant work ... this is an outstanding work of scholarship. (Tom O'Donoghue, History of Education)[pays] welcome attention to quantitative data that carries it well beyond the familiar detailing of specific educational institutions. (Gary McCulloch, English Historical Review)

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Book details

  • PDF | 262 pages
  • Ciaran O'Neill(Author)
  • OUP Oxford (12 Jun. 2014)
  • English
  • 9
  • History
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