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Parnell and His Party, 1880-1890

Conor Cruise O’Brien
Date Published
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Conor Cruise O’Brien’s second book, published in 1957, grew out of the doctoral thesis he had submitted at Dublin’s Trinity College that, in 1954, duly earned him his PhD. In Parnell and His Party, 1880-1890, O’Brien applied a finessing scholarly eye to the figure of Charles Stewart Parnell, leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party and formidable proponent of Home Rule whose career was abruptly ruined by the ‘Mrs O’Shea’ divorce scandal of 1890 that split his party and dominated Irish politics for a generation. For O’Brien this schism was of more than academic interest: his maternal grandfather David Sheehy was among the MPs who repudiated Parnell.

‘An indispensable classic half a century after its first publication . . . a profound analysis of power and charisma in democratic politics.’ Roy Foster, Standpoint

‘One of the essential books of modern Irish history, a shrewd and clarifying study.’ Thomas Flanagan

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