For almost a thousand years language has been an important and contentious issue in Ireland but above all it reflects the great themes of Irish history: colonial, invasion, native resistance, religious and cultural difference.
Collected here for the first time are texts on language from the date of the first legislation against the Irish: the Statute of Kilkenny, 1366, to the constitution of the Free State in 1922. Crowley's introduction connects these texts to current debates, giving The Belfast Agreement as a textual example and illustrating that the language debates continue today. Divided into six historical sections with detailed editor's introductions, this unique sourcebook includes familiar cultural texts such as essays and letters by Yeats along side less familiar writings including the Preface to the New Testament in Irish. (1602)
Providing direct access to original texts, this is an historical resource book which can be used as a case study in the relations between language and cultural identity.
"A very impressive work...I would recommend it with enthusiasm. It is lucidly organised, well-informed and comprehensible both to a specialist and non-specialist audience."
-Seamus Deane, Keogh Professor of Irish Studies, University of Notre Dame