Деятели ирландского Просвещения в современной британской историографии
This article reviews the prevailing tendencies in the interpretation of the works by the figures of the Irish Enlightenment: Geoffrey Keating, John Lynch, Charles O’Conor, Sylvester O’Halloran, and Charles Vallancey. The researchers of the works of the aforementioned authors can be divided into two groups depending on the angle of their approach to the issues: those who looked into ethnic discourses (first approach) and those who looked into ethnic groups (second approach) in the XVII—XVIII centuries. As a result of the review of contemporary historiography, Ireland is represented as a network of various discourses which are still to be reconsidered in their full diversity.
The early Modern time was the period of serious cataclysms and transformations. Various groups of population reacted to events in different ways. One of the instruments of the new territorial legitimacy, which was required by the epoch, were historical narratives. They were used as arguments in the polemic about the past of Ireland. English historians and writers followed Gerald of Wales and treated the Irish pre-Anglo-Norman past critically regarding the native population as barbarians. To counter their arguments Gaelic and Old English intellectuals tried to justify civility of the Irish. ‘Foras Feasa ar Éirinn’ by Geoffrey Keating (1570–1644), a Catholic priest of Old-English descent, was such a narrative, in which the history of Ireland from the first settlers to the Anglo-Norman Invasion is described. The basis of his narrative is ‘Lebor Gabála Érenn’ (‘The Book of Invasions’), the medieval source of the peopling of Ireland.
As far as Keating is concerned, it is worth to distinquish between a tradition (where he rigorously follows his predecessors in the field of Irish history-writing) and an innovation (where he re-transmits, modifies and comments on historical data). The article sheds light on what Keating shares with tradition and where he breaks with it.
The author concludes that Keating’s work heralded the transitional period in Irish history-writing. On the one hand, it fitted into the context of preceding tradition, which supplied Keating with frame stories and conceptual schemes he reproduced. On the other hand, his text was defined by the demands of his time and in this perspective it conformed to the standards of Antiquarian and Erudite history-writing with its integral engagement of the author in the described events. That is why, “Foras Feasa ar Éirinn” was definitely individual.
A piece of G. Keating's "Foras Feasa ar Éirinn" on Labraid commented and translated into Russian
The study represents reflection on a recent publication of articles by the renowned Irish historian Brendan Bradshaw “’And so began the Irish nation’: nationality, national consciousness and nationalism in pre-modern Irelandˮ dedicated to the issue of national consciousness and nationalism in early modern Ireland. Bradshaw’s materials are concerned not only with local Irish questions, but also with the debate between ethnosymbolists and modernists about the roots of nation and nationalism. Bradshaw proves, rather convincingly, that the early Modern period was the defining time for the subsequent development of identity processes on the island. He highlights the institutional factor of the formation of the idea of the Irish nation. It was the emergence of the kingdom of Ireland in 1541 within British composite monarchy and the rising level of political consciousness of English elites in Ireland that enabled manifestations of the idea.
However, there are certain imperfections of the methodological nature in the collection, which is hardly surprising, since the materials are republished and do not correspond to the current scholarly experience of humanities. Having formulated a vague definition of nationalism as ‘patriotically inspired commitment to upholding the freedom, identity and unity of one’s nation’, the Irish historian attempts to find it in the examined period, thus endowing personalities of the 16th and 17th centuries with a level of political thinking which is characteristic of the Modern age. Bradshaw’s perception of the texts is quite straightforward since he considers them to be representative of group ideology and ignores their individuality. The fragments of the text provided by him are sometimes interpreted literally on the basis of the context of the period without the recourse to discourse analysis. As the result of such a reading of sources, the identity processes of early Modern time are represented in an overly simplified way. The author of this paper tries to demonstrate which factors impeded formation of nationalism in the examined period.
The article is dedicated to the phenomenon of patriotism of the Irish nobility in the reign of early Stuarts, when specific loyalist consciousness of distinction within the composite British state of the Roman Catholic subjects, both of Old English and Gaelic descent, was formed.
The author suggests a term ‘patrimonial patriotism’, which combines both medieval and new aspects, for describing patriotism in early modern Ireland. He compares and contrasts different forms of patriotism in Stuart Ireland: Old English traditional allegiances, Irish patriotism of both Old English and Gaels and also a distinct Gaelic dimension of patriotism. The Old English patriotism is rather to be considered seigneurial loyalty since their constitutional, territorial and historical legitimacy was based on their motherland in England. Patrimonial patriotism of Old English and Gaels was characterized by loyalty to Catholicism and the Stuart’s dynasty. The most complete form of Irish patriotism supposed appropriation of the Gaelic past and cultural practices and at the same time acknowledging the legitimacy of the English invasion. In the Gaelic dimension of patriotism loyalty to Stuarts was combined with non-recognition of the legitimacy of the English invasion and disappointment with the collapse of the traditional Gaelic order.
The author highlights that common features of these forms of patriotism were, in part, their politicized, monarchical and Catholic nature, their feeling of distinction and non-Englishness and their non-modern character. He also points out that the case of Ireland shows patriotism is not restricted to only ethnic and territorial aspects, but is always mixed with other elements.