Recent studies of the experiences of Irish migrants in Victorian Britain have emphasized the significance of the themes of change, continuity, resistance and accommodation in the creation of a rich and diverse migrant culture within which a variety of Irish identities co-existed and sometimes competed.
In contributing to this burgeoning historiography, this book explores and analyses the complexities surrounding the self-identity of the Irish in Victorian Britain, which differed not only from place to place and from one generation to another but which were also variously shaped by issues of class and gender, and politics and religion. Moreover, and given the tendency for Irish ethnicity to mutate, through a comparative study of the Irish in Britain and the United States, the book suggests that in order to preserve their Irishness, the Irish often had to change it.
Written by some of the foremost scholars in the field, these original essays not only shed new light on the history of the Irish in Britain but are also integral to the broader study of the Irish Diaspora and of immigrants and minorities in multicultural societies.
This book was previously published as a special issue of Immigrants and Minorities.
Table of Contents
Introduction - Roger Swift and Sheridan Gilley 1. Identifying the Irish in Victorian Britain: Recent Trends in Historiography - Roger Swift 2. The Origins of the Irish in Northern England: An Isonymic Analysis of Data from the 1881 Census - Malcolm Smith and Donald MacRaild 3. Resistance and Respectability: Dilemmas of Irish Migrant Politics in Victorian Britain - Mervyn Busteed 4. The Making of an Irishman: John Ferguson and the Politics of Identity in Victorian Glasgow - Elaine McFarland 5. William O’Brien, M.P.: The Metropolitan and International Dimensions of Irish Nationalism - Philip Bull 6. English Catholic Attitudes to Irish Catholics - Sheridan Gilley 7. Irish Episcopalians in the Scottish Episcopalian Diocese of Glasgow & Galloway during the Nineteenth Century - Ian Meredith 8. Strangers on the inside: Irish Domestic Servants in England, 1881 - Bronwen Walter 9. ‘A source of sad annoyance’: The Irish and Crime in South Wales, 1841-1881 - Veronica Summers 10. ‘An Irish Power in London’: making it in the Victorian Metropolis - Roy Foster 11. A Conundrum of Irish Diasporic Identity: Mutative Ethnicity - Alan O’Day
Roger Swift is Emeritus Professor of Victorian Studies at the University of Chester, UK.
Sheridan Gilley is Emeritus Reader in Theology at the University of Durham, UK. They jointly edited The Irish in the Victorian City; The Irish in Britain, 1815-1939 and The Irish in Victorian Britain: The Local Dimension.