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Gender and Sexuality in Ireland (Hardback)

P&S History Social History Ireland

Edited by John Gibney
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Series: Irish Perspectives
Pages: 147
Illustrations: 50
ISBN: 9781526736796
Published: 4th September 2019

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The history of sexuality in Ireland remains relatively understudied when compared with the more well-worn paths of political and military history, but that is not to say that it has never been considered. Now, in the fourth instalment of the 'Irish perspectives' collaboration between Pen and Sword and History Ireland, a range of experts explore Irish history from the perspective of the broad concept of sexuality, in both theory and practice.

From the legalities that defined gender roles in the middle ages and early modern periods, to women’s role in political life and civil society, Gender and Sexuality in Ireland provides a comprehensive overview of the nation's understanding and relationship with sexuality and patriarchy. Population change, prostitution, incarceration, infanticide, abortion and homophobia are all considered alongside attempts to impose - and ignore - Catholic morality in independent Ireland.

Struggles for women’s rights and reproductive rights, the culture wars of the 1980s, and Irish people simply trying to have good sex lives, the essays gathered here cast light on aspects of Ireland's past that are often overlooked in more mainstream narratives of Irish history.

A collection of experts have come together to look at Irish history through the lenses of gender and sexuality in this informative work that spans a period from the middle ages to the 1980's. With topics including marriage and inheritance in medieval Ireland, women and patriotism in the eighteenth century, the history of prostitution in Ireland, reformatories and mother and baby homes., conservative Catholicism and the Dance Halls Act, the fight for reproductive rights and the availability of contraceptives in the 70's and the 1983 Abortion Referendum it covers a very diverse set of issues in an easy to read and understand manner. I found it to be informative and educational and it was fascinating to see the social changes that have come about in more modern times.

NetGalley, Annette Jordan

About John Gibney

John Gibney is a historian attached to the Royal Irish Academy's Documents on Irish Foreign Policy Project. He is a long-time contributor to History Ireland and is the author of A short history of Ireland, 1500-2000 (Yale University Press, 2018).

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The Irish potato famine of the 1840s – the 'Great Famine' or 'An gorta mór' – is one of the defining events in modern Irish history. Over a five-year period a population of 8.2 million was reduced to 6.5 million through starvation, disease and emigration. The famine permanently changed one of the constituent parts of the United Kingdom as it then stood and its legacies of depopulation, socio-economic and cultural change, political resentment, and the expansion through mass emigration of an Irish 'diaspora' in Britain, North America and the British Empire still have a resonance today. Now,…

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