'Is it a siege, a riot, a revolt or a revolution? Perceptions of the 1916 Rising in the French Press

'Is it a siege, a riot, a revolt or a revolution? Perceptions of the 1916 Rising in the French Press'

Wednesday 11 May at 7pm

Speaker: Professor Grace Neville

Ireland attracted sustained interest among French commentators especially from the early nineteenth century onward. Consequently, extensive French press coverage of the 1916 Rising should come as no surprise. During the Great War, France had a flourishing press, with fifty newspapers in Paris alone. Some, like Le Petit Journal, reached one million copies per issue.
This presentation will analyse representations of the 1916 Rising across the French press, from broadsheets (including Le Figaro, Le Temps and L’Humanité, read by decision-makers) to the popular press (such as Le Miroir) with its heady mix of articles, drawings and photos. The French press, in general, struggled to understand the Rising, a difficulty exacerbated by the fact that much of its reporting came at one remove, from London. A consensus emerged that the Rising was a German plot and it was deeply resented. Lacking direct sources in Ireland, the French press often resorted to highlighting the human interest angle of the Rising through photos of the dashing Countess Markievicz, the ‘traitre’ Casement and of children salvaging wood from barricades for use as firewood. After the War, the French press generally reverts to a more sympathetic coverage of Irish nationalism, with extensive front-page coverage of the hunger strike and death of Terence MacSwiney in 1920, the death of Michael Collins in 1922, and civil war and further hunger strikes as late as 1923.

All welcome and booking is not required

Professor Grace Neville retired from UCC in late 2012 and is now Emeritus Professor in the French Department, UCC, and Adjunct Professor of French at University College Dublin.  In 2012, Grace held the post of Visiting Academic at Boston College, USA, and in 2013, she was awarded a Research Fellowship at the Centre Culturel Irlandais/Irish College, Paris. In October 2014, she was appointed to the post of Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee of Sorbonne-Universités, Paris for a five-year term, 2014-19. Since 2012, she has been frequently invited as evaluator, guest speaker and collaborator by various French state bodies including the Ministère de l'Education Nationale, Paris, as well as by the EUA (European Universities Association, Brussels).

Atlas of the Irish Revolution: Lecture Series:
This series of lectures in partnership with University College Cork’s Atlas of the Irish Revolution will take the Easter Rising as its theme. 
Contributors to the publication will discuss various aspects of the Rising over this monthly series beginning in March.

The Atlas of the Irish Revolution:
The Atlas of the Irish Revolution is a landmark publication that presents scholarship on the revolutionary period in a uniquely accessible manner. Featuring over 200 original maps and 300 images, the Atlas includes 120 contributions by leading scholars from a range of disciplines.  They offer multiple perspectives on the pivotal years from the 1912 Home Rule crisis to the end of the Irish Civil War in 1923.  Using extensive original data (much of it generated from newly-released archival material), researchers have mapped social and demographic change, political and cultural activity, state and non-state violence and economic impacts.  The maps also portray underlying trends in the decades before the revolution and capture key aspects of the revolutionary aftermath. They show that while the Irish revolution was a ‘national’ event, it contained important local and regional variations that were vital to its outcomes. The representation of island-wide trends stands alongside street-level, parish, county and provincial studies that uncover the multi-faceted dynamics at play. The Atlas also captures the international dimensions of a revolution that occurred amidst the First World War and its tumultuous aftermath. Revolutionary events in Ireland received global attention because they profoundly challenged the British imperial project. Key revolutionaries operated transnationally before, during and after the conflict, while the Irish diaspora provided crucial support networks. The often neglected roles of women and workers are illuminated, while commentators consider the legacies of the revolution, including collective memories, cultural representations and historical interpretations. The Atlas of the Irish Revolution brings history to life for general readers and students, as well as academics.  It represents a ground-breaking contribution to the historical geography of these compelling years of conflict, continuity and change.
The Atlas of the Irish Revolution is edited by   John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil , Mike Murphy and John Borgonovo and will be published by Cork University Press.

NLI Reference: CLON55
NLI Reference: CLON55
Quick Links