THE IRISH
A Photohistory, 1840-1940

SEAN SEXTON and CHRISTINE KINEALY
224pp 271 PHOTOS 2002 OUT OF PRINT HB48

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£17.95

Description
The first Irish photographs date from 1840, a year after Louis Daguerre’s discovery of the photographic process. In the century that followed, Irish political life was dominated by the struggle for land rights, for Home Rule and finally for independence. Ireland was to know tragedy and triumph, bitter struggle and agonised compromise. Much of that experience, now so remote, is brought to life here in images. Yet these photographs do more than tell the political story. They give a wider insight into a people, a landscape and a lost way of life. They capture the sheer hard labour of rural survival: cutting peat for fuel, gathering seaweed, fishing and tilling the soil -- against the often-harsh Irish landscape. They also show the grandeur, elegance and complacency of life in the Big House, home and symbol of the doomed Anglo-Irish elite.