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Smyllie's Ireland Reviews

Smyllie's Ireland by Caleb Wood Richardson

Smyllie's Ireland: Protestants, Independence, and the Man Who Ran the Irish Times

Caleb Wood Richardson

Score pending

1 review

Imprint: Indiana University Press
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Publication date: 24 Apr 2019
ISBN: 9780253041234
4 stars out of 5
11 Aug 2019

"[an] assured account of the former Irish Times editor’s life"

Richardson insists it is not a biography as such, though there is plenty about Smyllie’s interesting life (which included a period as an internee at Ruhleben camp in Germany during first World War, scene of Roger Casement’s unsuccessful attempt to recruit a freedom-fighting Irish Brigade from the Irish POW’s). Rather, he describes his book as a “series of microhistories”, looking at aspects of Protestant experience in the first half of the 20th century as refracted through the life and attitudes of one larger-than-life figure... Closer to home, Richardson entertainingly evokes the squalor and racketiness of The Irish Times in these years... His book bears out the judgement of Tod Andrews that Smyllie, for all his eccentricity, through his own unequivocal Irishness integrated The Irish Times with the new Ireland.