Many political and cultural events sent shock waves through the Irish world in the 19th and early 20th centuries as Ireland gradually shook off the shackles of British rule. Alongside a long and painful political process arose one of the greatest flourishings of literature in modern times - a spirited discourse among those who sought to shape their nation's future, finding the significance of their bloody present intimately entwined with their legendary past. As nationalists including Charles Stewart Parnell, Patrick Pearse, and Michael Collins studied their political situation and sought a road to independence, writers such as W. B. Yeats, James Joyce, J. M. Synge, Lady Gregory, and many others examined the emerging Irish identity and captured the spirit of the nation's ongoing history in their works.
Delve into this remarkable period with The Irish Identity: Independence, History, and Literature. After laying the groundwork of ancient Irish history and centuries of British rule - from the Norman invasion in the 12th century through the brutal Penal Laws and the Great Famine - Professor Conner brings you inside the Irish Renaissance, also called the Irish Revival. Around the turn of the 20th century, a group of writers began taking a keen interest in the uniquely Irish culture, from its language to its art to its mythology. This fascination fed into the growing demand for Irish nationhood, and the arts, culture, and politics of the time are inextricable.
The Irish Renaissance fused and elevated aesthetic and civic ambitions, fueling a cultural climate of masterful artistic creation and resolute political self-determination reminiscent of the Italian Renaissance. Over the course of 36 enthralling lectures, Professor Conner reveals the multifaceted story of the Irish Renaissance through an exploration of its complex history and remarkable literature.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
©2016 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2016 The Great Courses
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"More Literature with a little history thrown in."
If you're a fan of Irish "Renaissance" literature and academic literary analysis this is for you. It focuses mostly on a small group of writers that seem to have created said renaissance with special attention paid to James Joyce.
I would have preferred the history of the independence movement and the average Irish citizen to have taken a larger role in the lectures. Instead they were occasional seasoning next to a group of writers that the professor stresses were not like the average Irishman at all. I was expecting more actual history and connections between the literature and the actual independence movement given the description. While the professor does try to connect them it doesn't work. We're given academic and disconnected analysis of pretentious writing not a real look at Irish Identity.
"Please lose the background music"
This course was interesting enough, though I was expecting a much greater focus on history rather than literature. Still, the thing that really annoyed me was the occasional foray into background music - ~20-30 second clips of background material played under the main narration. I find this distracting and tedious, and it takes away from the overall experience. I would really like it if the Teaching Company would stop doing this!
"Too heavy on literature"
I was looking for more of a history lesson, over 50% reviewing Irish literature which to be honest was not as interesting as the lecturer made out.
"Entertaining and educational... Especially for literature buffs"
The narrative of the first few lectures was a little hard to follow, but after that this course was very entertaining, educational and interesting. I gained a strong appreciation for Irish literature and history and their role in shaping the national identity. After having traveled trough the country, this was a very rewarding course.
"Need to recommend a prerequisite"
If one was familiar with all the writings of all the Irish authors perhaps one might have understood what he was talking about. Was like being at a party where all they did was name drop. Yes I would like to learn more about my Irish roots but most of this was awful unless you know the writings of the authors he is talking about. Not a history, more a fan club. Disappointed , couldn't finish after several tries.
A wonderful blend of Irish history, literature, theater, politics and the people who lived through it all. Professor Conner is an excellent narrator and I was sorry when it came to an end! I enjoyed his Shakespeare course, too. More, Please!
"Wish I read this BEFORE visiting Ireland."
An excellent course that connects history, literature, and culture. After listening, I'm going to try James Joyce again. After learning about the social and cultural context and the life of the author I will read it this time with a fresh perspective, and hopefully be able to appreciate it.
"Wow, a wonderful journey into the Irish experience"
Not your typical great courses history lecture. Combining the artistic influences on the Irish Identity makes the history come to life. Enjoyed the ride very much.
Fascinating and comprehensive survey of Irish literature and culture. Essential listening for anyone wanting to learn about the Irish identity.
"In depth, incisive & invaluable account of Ireland's story"
I thoroughly enjoyed this audio book. It is well written & well read. The series of lectures seemed to flow naturally from the story of Ireland's earliest inhabitants to the huge influence of Seamus Heaney. The listener is guided backwards & forwards through the material in an entertaining & informative way. I highly recommend this fascinating & balanced overview of Irish Identity. I have walked, driven & exercised my way through five thousand years of my country's history in the company of a master teacher. Mo mhíle buíochas Marc c. Conner. Réamonn Ó Ciaráin - Ard Mhacha.
This course taught me a huge amount about Irish culture, literature and history. It is well structured for a beginner in the subject and the lecturer is a very good speaker.
"a right good listen"
excellent story and very informative on the top. very easy listening with a good amount of emotion from the teller
"Intelligent and engaging"
Refreshing perspective on all things Irish. Succinct and illuminating. I liked the authors intent and delivery and could easily forgive his occasionally dodgy pronunciation. Very much enjoyed. Thanks!
I was glued from start to finish. Very entertaining and informative review of Irish history and identity
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