OConnor_2012_reconstruction.pdf (1011.52 kB)
'Déanta I nÉirinn': the reconstruction of Irish stereotypes, 1888-1914
thesisposted on 2022-10-13, 10:44 authored by John Philip O'Connor
This thesis shows how the synthesis between model Irish villages and picture postcards led to a reconstruction of Irish stereotypes on ephemera and commercial goods between 1888 and 1914. During this period Ireland became a visual commodity at international exhibitions where visitors were offered a utopian version of Irish life devoid of agrarian and sectarian violence. This depiction was replicated on postcards, showing a picturesque country replete with stage Irish characters no longer threatening to British rule that attracted visitors as part of tourism’s commercial growth during this period. These new stereotypes were also used in the successful advertising campaigns of Irish manufacturing companies abroad, which increased their global dissemination and re-branded Irish identity for foreign consumers. At home, however, this identity was contested and by 1912 had split irrevocably along political and religious lines. Impending Home Rule had raised the possibility of civil war between Ulster unionists and Irish nationalists, both of whom now used propaganda for self-definition. As each side borrowed from a shared pool of iconography, a repetition of tropes occurred across the political divide, with both sides deploying Paddies and colleens in conflicting campaigns. This study focuses on Ulster unionism’s use of such stereotypes, highlighting their historical development in both English drama and travel writing about Ireland.
First supervisorLogan, John
Department or School