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Remembering the Year of the French
Irish Folk History and Social Memory
Guy Beiner


History of Ireland and the Irish Diaspora

James S. Donnelly, Jr., and Thomas Archdeacon, Series Editors


“The most important monograph on Irish history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to be published in recent years.”
—Matthew Kelly, English Historical Review

Remembering the Year of the French is a model of historical achievement, moving deftly between the study of historical events—the failed French invasion of the West of Ireland in 1798—and folkloric representations of those events. Delving into the folk history found in Ireland’s archives and rich oral traditions, Guy Beiner reveals alternate visions of the Irish past and brings into focus the vernacular histories, folk commemorative practices, and negotiations of memory that had gone largely unnoticed by historians. Though his focus is 1798, his work is also a comprehensive study of Irish folk history and of grassroots social memory.

“Beiner’s work is theoretically informed and presents an enormous amount of data . . . this book will be of interest to memory scholars because it is a case study that highlights many of the existing theoretical debates.” —Tara L. Tober, Memory Studies

“A book of impressive scholarship and striking originality.”—Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, Field Day Review

“Guy Beiner here shows himself to be a historian of unusual talent.”—Marianne Elliott, Times Literary Supplement

“Based on massive research. . . . [Beiner] demonstrates effectively how orally transmitted local memories have contributed to historical knowledge about the 1798 French invasion of western Ireland, as well as much else about the Irish past.”—Choice

“Accessible, full of intriguing detail, and eminently teachable. . . . Superb, painstaking scholarship that makes lasting contributions to Irish studies and to cultural and historical studies writ large.”—Ray Cashman, New Hibernia Review

• 2007 hardcover, UW Press
• Winner of the 2007 Ratcliff Prize for the Study of Folklore of Great Britain and Ireland
• Winner of the 2008 Wayland D. Hand Prize  for an outstanding publication in history and folklore, from the American  Folklore Society
• Finalist for the 2008 National Council on Public History Book Award
• Listed for the 2008 Cundill International Prize in History

Guy Beiner is lecturer in history at Ben-Gurion University in Israel. He has been a research fellow at Trinity College, Dublin, and an NEH Keough Irish Studies Fellow at Notre Dame University, and he is the author of many articles on modern Irish history and memory.

For more information contact our publicity manager, Chris Caldwell, phone: (608) 263-0734, email: publicity@uwpress.wisc.edu

Reviews | Related interest

Beiner's book is done in tones of brown and black. It features an illustration from the period.

First Paperback edition
June 2009

LC: 2006008619 DA
488 pp.  6 x 9
36 b/w illus., 9 tables and charts,
2 maps


Paper $29.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-21824-9
Cloth OUT OF PRINT
ISBN 978-0-299218-20-1
E-book logo e-book $16.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-21823-2
 

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“A brilliant and original contribution not only to Irish history . . . but also to the study of social memory.”
—Peter Burke, University of Cambridge

Reviews

“Beiner’s work is an invaluable resource for students of Irish history and folklife. It is also ideal for any classes that focus more broadly on history, cultural geography, popular culture, oral tradition, material culture, or folklore.” —Timothy C. Correll, Folklore, vol. 119, no. 2 (Aug. 2008), pp 239-241

"There is much to recommend Remembering the Year of the French to a wide audience . . . Beiner successfully demonstrates to the reader the ways in which folklore has the capacity to expand our historical horizons and open up a range of narrative windows on the past." —Yvonne Whelan, Journal of Historical Geography (2008)

"Elegantly constructed, lucidly written and inspired, and displaying an inexhaustible capacity for research, Beiner’s work is a rich storehouse of information both empirical and conceptual." —Ciarán Brady, History Ireland, vol. 16, no. 5 (Sept./Oct. 2008), pp 56-58

“Guy Beiner here shows himself to be a historian of unusual talent, well placed to bring a very wide range of skills and sources to what he calls a ‘cubist portrayal of the past’ and to do so without also losing it in jargonistic confusion.” —Marianne Elliott, Times Literary Supplement

“A remarkable piece of scholarship. . . . accessible, full of intriguing detail, and eminently teachable. . . . Superb, painstaking scholarship that makes lasting contributions to Irish studies and to cultural and historical studies writ large.” —Ray Cashman, New Hibernia Review

“This pioneering study, a major contribution to Irish historiography, challenges the position of the New Irish History historians who have regarded popular history as outside the pale of the professional historian." —Maureen Murphy, Irish Literary Supplement

“A valuable and insightful contribution. . . . There is no doubting the importance of [Beiner’s] methodological approach.” —Jonathan Githens-Mazor, Nations and Nationalism

“[This] book challenges folklorist and historian alike. . . . An exemplary methodology throughout.” —Stiofán Ó Cadhla, Journal of British Studies

“Beiner brings international perspectives, theoretical literacy, and palpable intellectual enthusiasm to bear on his subjects.” —Jim Smyth, History

“Historians will find this book very provocative. . . . [It] makes such a solid case for the significance of folk materials as cultural expression.” —Fernando Fischman, Journal of Folklore Research

“A brilliant and original contribution not only to Irish history, reconstructing the view from below, but also to the study of social memory.” —Peter Burke, Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge

“A painstaking and pathbreaking study. . . . Through the lens of 1798 in the West of Ireland, it focuses on the dynamic interface between vernacular and official versions of history.”
—Kevin Whelan, Keough–Notre Dame Center, Dublin

“Innovative and learned, the first major exploration of Irish ‘memory’ to be grounded in recent theoretical debates.”—Ian McBride, editor of History and Memory in Modern Ireland

Guy Beiner is lecturer in history at Ben-Gurion University in Israel. He has been a research fellow at Trinity College Dublin and an NEH Keough Irish Studies Fellow at Notre Dame University, and he is the author of many articles on modern Irish history and memory.

Of related interest
The Bible War in Ireland
The "Second Reformation" and the Polarization of Protestant-Catholic Relations, 1800–1840
Irene Whelan

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