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The Man Who Divided Ireland

by Geoffrey Lewis

ISBN 1852854545 / 9781852854546 / 1-85285-454-5
Publisher Hambledon & London
Language English
Edition Hardcover
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Book summary

The partition of Ireland in 1921, and the birth of Northern Ireland as a political entity, was the work of one man above all others: Edward Carson. This is the first biography of a major figure in Irish political history. Born in Dublin in 1854, he was a brilliant lawyer whose cross-questioning of Oscar Wilde at his libel trial brought about Wilde's downfall. An inspiring orator and political heavyweight at Westminster, his defense of Unionism in the years before the First World War, and of the rights of Ulster not to be swamped in an independent Ireland, made a united Ireland a political impossibility. While some of his actions were denounced in England as close to treason, Carson's idealism and religious tolerance were atypical of the sectarian bigotry that marred the later history of Northern Ireland.