© 2018

Class and Community in Provincial Ireland, 1851–1914


About this book


This book explores the experience of small farmers, labourers and graziers in provincial Ireland from the immediacy of the Famine until the eve of World War One. During this period of immense social and political change, they came to grips with the processes of modernisation. By focusing upon east Galway, it argues that they were not an inarticulate mass, but rather, they were sophisticated and politically aware in their own right. This study relies upon a wide array of sources which have been utilised to give as authentic a voice to the lower classes as possible. Their experiences have been largely unrecorded and this book redresses this imbalance in historiography while adding a new nuanced understanding of the complexities of class relations in provincial Ireland. This book argues that the actions of the rural working class and nationalists has not been fully understood, supporting E.P. Thompson’s argument that ‘their aspirations were valid in terms of their own experiences’.


Rural history Galway Great Famine Modernisation E.P. Thompson Landlords Irish Question Radical Farmers Tenants Land War

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University College DublinDublinIreland

About the authors

Brian Casey is a historian of modern Ireland and Scotland. His research interests focus upon the dynamics of agrarian radicalism and the land question. 

Bibliographic information


“The book is excellent in .developing new definitions of and perspectives on deference and patemalism, but although . ‘cömmunity’ is in the title of the book, a fuller discussion of what is meant by this comes relatively late on in the book,, and perhaps this might have come a little earlier. … This book. overall is a valuable addition to a distinguished field, and will be of great interest to rural, social and political historians in Ireland and across the British Isles.” (Irish Literary Supplement, Vol. 38 (2), 2019)