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States of EmergencyColonialism, Literature and Law$
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Stephen Morton

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781846318498

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781846318498.001.0001

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Sovereignty, Sacrifice and States of Emergency in Colonial Ireland

Sovereignty, Sacrifice and States of Emergency in Colonial Ireland

(p.35) Chapter 1 Sovereignty, Sacrifice and States of Emergency in Colonial Ireland
States of Emergency

Stephen Morton

Liverpool University Press

Chapter one traces the language, rhetoric and imagery of emergency in Anglo-Irish literature and law in colonial Ireland. It begins by considering how the rhetoric of the Fenian threat in newspapers such as The Illustrated London News and novels such as Fred Burnaby’s Our Radicals (1886) could be seen to mirror and prefigure the language of emergency in the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act 1887, and the Defence of the Realm Act of 1914. It then proceeds to consider how the British government’s use of emergency measures to counter violent anti-colonial insurgency in Ireland marked a crisis in colonial authority were framed in the Blackwoods anthology Tales of the RIC. Finally, the chapter considers how a discourse of sacrifice has been mobilised in Irish nationalist discourse to affirm the agency of the colonised over their life and death in colonial Ireland.

Keywords:   Ireland, British colonial rule, emergency laws, Fenian, sovereignty, sacrifice, W.B. Yeats, Padriac Pearse, Eavan Boland

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