Ireland and India

Colonies, Culture and Empire

Edited by: Tadhg Foley, Maureen O'Connor

Irish diaspora studies have scarcely begun to investigate the widespread and complex political and cultural relationships between Ireland and India. In the nineteenth century, Ireland and India, though not technically defined as colonies, were both treated as such by Britain. Ireland, constitutionally a part of the imperial power, was both colonized and a colonizer. Irish soldiers contributed massively to the building of the Raj, and Irish doctors, engineers, lawyers, administrators, and missionaries serviced the empire in India, while the Anglo-Irish aristocracy and gentry provided several viceroys and governors-general. This book includes essays on a number of distinguished civil servants as well as chapters on such topics as law, religion, education, folk tale collecting, and literary connections between India and Ireland. The concept, developed in the 1860s, of 'governing Ireland according to Irish ideas' was influenced by Indian practice. One aspect of this program, the translation of the ancient Irish Brehon Laws, was in accordance with earlier Indian practice, as one contribution reveals. The supposed affinities between Celticism and Orientalism, frequently highlighted from the eighteenth century onwards, are discussed in the essay on Yeats as well as in those on James Cousins who, with his wife Margaret, was involved in nationalist and suffrage campaigns in Ireland and subsequently in India and both of whom won lasting fame in their adopted country. There are essays on the career of Margaret Noble ('Sister Nivedita') who is unknown in her native Ireland but who is a truly legendary figure in India, particularly in Bengal. There was an extraordinary but largely uninvestigated connection between Irish and Indian nationalism (sometimes mediated through the United States) in the twentieth century and this volume contains no fewer than six essays on the topic. There is also a chapter on Irish popular nationalism and the question of India in the early nineteenth century.

306 pages

Publication Date: 12/31/2006
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9780716528388

Temporarily out of stock