Home » Irelands Harp: The Shaping of Irish Identity c.1770 to 1880 by Mary Louise ODonnell
Irelands Harp: The Shaping of Irish Identity c.1770 to 1880 Mary Louise ODonnell

Irelands Harp: The Shaping of Irish Identity c.1770 to 1880

Mary Louise ODonnell

Published 2014
ISBN :
Paperback
161 pages
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 About the Book 

The image of the harp - symbolic of the political and cultural landscape of Ireland for centuries - evokes strong sentiments in the collective Irish imagination. This iconic instrument became the emblem on Irish coinage in the sixteenth century.MoreThe image of the harp - symbolic of the political and cultural landscape of Ireland for centuries - evokes strong sentiments in the collective Irish imagination. This iconic instrument became the emblem on Irish coinage in the sixteenth century. Since then it has been symbolic of Irish culture, music, and politics - finally evolving into a significant marker of national identity in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The most important period in this evolution was between 1770 and 1880. In these years, the instrument became central to many utopian visions of an autonomous Irish nation and the harps metaphoric significance eclipsed its musical one. Mary Louise ODonnell uses these fascinating years of major social, political, and cultural change as the focus of her study on the Irish harp. From the revolutionary symbolism of the harp to the cultural curiosities that were the blind Irish harpers, the many permutations of Irelands harp are thoroughly examined. ODonnell also discusses how the protection and patronage of the Irish harpers passed from the aristocratic Gaelic order to the Ascendancy and affluent middle classes in Dublin and Belfast.Irelands Harp brings to light the monumental importance of this instrument by highlighting the central place the harp occupied in the formation and expression of Irelands cultural and national identity.