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John Savage’s ’98 and ’48: The Modern Revolutionary History & Literature of Ireland

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First published in 1852, this edition of John Savage's '98 and '48: The Modern Revolutionary History & Literature of Ireland was published in New York in 1882 and contains an appendix and index. John Savage dedicated '98 & '48 to his father who he described as a son of a United Irishman of '98 who was exiled from Ireland after the misfortunes of '98. Containing some 370 pages '98 and '48 is an account of two of Ireland's more recent attempts to throw off British dominion, namely the 1798 Rebellion of the United Irishmen and the 1848 Rising of John Mitchell and the Young Irelanders. Although both ultimately ended in failure they were to provide proof positive to later generations of Irish nationalists that only by blood sacrifice would Ireland every be free and it was to this blood sacrifice that Patrick Pearse and the Easter Rebels of 1916 looked for their place in history and the freedom of Ireland. Savage's '98 & '48 begins with an introduction on what would now be called 'nationalist theory' in the guise of two dominant but very different figures connected to the Rebellion of 1798, namely the armed revolutionary: Wolfe Tone and the constitutional revolutionary: Henry Grattan as a prelude to armed Rebellion in 1797. '98 & '48 continues with a description of some of the conflict in 1798 and is dominated in Savage's narrative by the bloody events in Wexford, which is followed by a biographical analysis of the political careers and in most cases the bloody deaths of some of the leading figures of 1708 Rebellion and after. The following chapter on the life and career of Baron Plunkett is used by Savage to connect this half of his 'history' with the second. The second part of '98 & '48 is given over to the rising of 1848 and Savage once again uses the tool of constitutional and revolutionary nationalist figures, this time Daniel O'Connell and John Mitchell and the Young Ireland Movement, in order to not so subtly illustrate that only by force could Ireland expect to gain her political freedom. '98 & '48 concludes with a chapter on the life a career of one of the lessor-known physical force members of Young Ireland, namely Thomas Devin Reilly. Although somewhat dated and a little one-sided at times, this republication of John Savage's '98 & '48 should appeal to anyone interested in the causes, consequences main events and leading figures in Ireland's Rebellions of 1798 and 1848. 

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