Faith, fatherland and the politics of exile: the Irish press in mid-Victorian Britain

McNicholas, A. 2000. Faith, fatherland and the politics of exile: the Irish press in mid-Victorian Britain. PhD thesis University of Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design

TitleFaith, fatherland and the politics of exile: the Irish press in mid-Victorian Britain
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsMcNicholas, A.
Abstract

The subject of this study is the attempt to establish a press amid the Irish

immigrants in mid-Victorian England. There had long been a notable Irish

contribution to English journalism, and the first Irish papers to be printed in

England had been founded soon after the Act of Union.

The press of the 1860s was to be different, however. Earlier papers had been

aimed at a small, political elite but the massive immigration following the

Famine meant that there was now, potentially, a large reading public.

It was a public which was defined to a great extent by two ideas, nationality

and religion-in the parlance of the time, faith and fatherland. These two

elements crucially shaped the responses of both the migrants and of the wider

English society to each other. Where Irish life in England was organised, it

was Catholic and the secular, nationalist journalists of this study, wrote for a community and within a social organisation which was confessional.

They were also operating at this time, against a political background of

increasing turbulence-which led as the decade progressed, to rebellion and

repression and which saw both the last public execution in Britain and the

deaths of civilians on the streets of London.

The central question for the press of the migrants was how to produce and

sustain newspapers in a hostile political environment, which were at the same

time secular but operated within a system of distribution particularly sensitive to clerical control.

Year2000
FileMcNicholas.pdf
Publication dates
Completed2000

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