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Professor Ciaran Brady

Professor of Early Modern History and Historiography

Research Interests

My research interests have developed along two different but for me closely related lines. First, as an early modernist by training, I continue to research and write on Irish and English history in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Within this field I have a particular interest in the relations between the Gaelic Irish lordships and the English government and in the way the latter sought to engage with the former in terms both of practical policy and theoretical understanding. I am currently at work on the preparation of a Calendar of State Papers for the years 1556-65. My awareness of the unresolved interpretative conflicts which surround early modern Irish history and Anglo-Irish relations stimulated my second research interest in the theory and practice of history writing. I have published several articles and edited a number of books in this area and I have recently completed a study of the Victorian man-of letters and historian of the sixteenth century, James Anthony Froude.

Select Publications

  • Shane O'Neill (revised and expanded 2nd edition), Dublin, UCD Press, 2015, xiv + 112 pp.
  • James Anthony Froude: and intellectual biography of a Victorian prophet, 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014, xvi +500pp.
  • James Anthony Froude: an intellectual biography of a Victorian prophet, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013, xvi + 500pp.
  • British Interventions in Early Modern Ireland (Ed., with Jane Ohlmeyer; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), pp. xx + 371.
  • A Viceroy’s Vindication? Sir Henry Sidney’s Memoir of Service in Ireland, 1556-1578 (Ed.;Cork: Cork University Press, 2002), pp. vi + 136.
  • Shane O'Neill (Dundalk: Dundalgan Press, 1996), pp. 76.
  • Interpreting Irish history: The debate on historical revisionism, 1938-1994 (Ed., Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1994), pp. 348.
  • The Chief Governors: The rise and fall of reform government in Tudor Ireland, 1536-1588 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), pp. xviii + 322.
  • Ideology and the Historians (Ed., Dublin: Lilliput Press, 1991), pp. ix + 273.


  • ‘The ends of History’, Dublin Review of Books , 1 October 2016:, Read Online, Review of Books October 2016
  • ‘Sir John Gilbert: historian of the Irish bourgeoisie’ in, editor(s) Salvador Ryan and Clodagh Tait,  Religion and politics in urban Ireland, c. 1500 - c. 1750, Dublin, Four Courts Press, 2016, pp 249 – 274.
  • ‘An Old Kind of History: the Anglo-Irish writing of Irish History, 1840 – 1910’, in editor(s) Carine Berberi and Martine Pelletier , Ireland: Authority and Crisis, Bern, Peter Lang, 2015, pp 247 – 286.
  • ‘Coming into the weigh-house: Elizabeth I and the government of Ireland’ in editor(s)Brendan Kane and Valerie McGowan-Doyle , Elizabeth I and Ireland, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2014, pp113 – 141.
  • 'Robin Dudley Edwards and the uses of Catholic nationalism' in editor(s)Neil Evans and Huw Pryce. , Writing a Small Nation's Past: Wales in Comparative Perspective, 1850-1950, Farnham, Ashgate, 2013, pp283 – 299.
  • 'Ireland : In the shadow of the fond abuser' in editor Peter Furtado , Histories of Nations: how their identities were forged, London, Thames and Hudson, 2012, pp70 – 82.
  • 'Viceroys? The Irish chief governors, 1541-1641' in editor(s)Peter Gray and Olwen Purdue , The Irish Lord Lieutenancy, c1541-1922, Dublin, UCD Press, 2012, pp15 – 42.
  • ‘From policy to power: the evolution of Tudor reform strategies in sixteenth century Ireland’ in, editor, Brian Mac Cuarta , Reshaping Ireland1550 - 1700: colonisation and its consequences, Dublin, Four Courts Press, 2011, pp21 - 42.
  • ‘Arrested development: Competing Histories and the formation of the Irish historical profession, 1801 – 1938’  in, editor(s)Tibor Frank and Frank Hadler , Disputed Territories and shared pasts: overlapping national histories in Modern Europe, London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, pp 275 – 302.
  • ‘Pitying the plumage: commemorating 'the flight of the earls' in contemporary and historical contexts’,  in, editor(s)Thomas O'Connor and Mary Ann Lyons , The Ulster Earls and Baroque Europe, Four Courts Press, 2010, pp 362 – 379.
  • ‘Spenser, plantation and government policy’ in, editor Richard A. McCabe , The Oxford Handbook of Edmund Spenser, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2010, pp 86 – 105.
  • ‘Destinies Intertwined: the Metaphysical Unionism of James Anthony Froude’ in Seamas Ó Siocháin , Social thought on Ireland in the Nineteenth Century, UCD Press, 2009, pp108 – 134.
  • ‘East Ulster, the MacDonalds and the Provincial Strategies of Hugh O'Neill, earl of Tyrone, 1585-1603’ in editor(s)William P. Kelly and John R. Young , Scotland and the Ulster Plantations, Dublin, Four Courts Press, 2009, pp41 – 61.
  • 'Shane O'Neill'; ' Turlough Luineach O' Neill'; Thomas Radcliffe , 3rd earl of Sussex'; 'Sir Henry Sidney';' Sir John Perrot', The Dictionary of Irish Biography, Royal Irish Academy, 2009.
  • ‘The Victorians and the decline of Spain’ in editor(s)Thomas O'Connor and Mary Ann Lyons , Ireland and Europe, 1500 - 1700, Four Courts Press, 2006, pp 203 – 225.
  • ‘Sir Henry Sidney and the Reformation in Ireland’ in editor(s)Elizabethanne Boran and Crawford Gribben , Enforcing Reformation in Ireland and Scotland, Palgrave Press, 2006, pp 14 – 39.
  • Brady C., Ohlmeyer J., British Interventions in Early Modern Ireland, Cambridge University press, 2005, xx & 1-371pp, B
  • Making Good: new perspectives on the English in Ireland in, editor(s)Ciaran Brady and Jane Ohlmeyer , British Interventions in Early Modern Ireland, Cambridge University press, 2005, pp1 - 27, [Brady C., Ohlmeyer J.]
  • ‘Arrested development: competing histories and the formation of the Irish historical profession, 1801-1938’, in Tibor Frank and Frank Hadler (eds), Disputed Territories and Shared Pasts: Overlapping national histories in modern Europe (Basingstoke, 2011), pp. 275-302.
  • ‘From policy to power : the evolution of Tudor reform strategies in sixteenth-century Ireland’, in Brian MacCuarta (ed), Reshaping Ireland, 1550-1700: Colonization and its consequences. Essays presented to Nicholas Canny (Dublin, 2011), pp. 21-42.
  • ‘Spenser, plantation and government policy’, in R.A. Mc Cabe (ed), The Oxford Handbook of Edmund Spenser (Oxford, 2010), pp. 86-105.
  • ‘Pitying the plumage: commemorating the "flight of the earls" in contemporary and historical contexts’, in Mary Ann Lyons and Thomas  O'Connor  (eds), The Ulster Earls and Baroque Europe: Refashioning Irish identities, 1600-1800 (Dublin, 2010), pp. 362-79.
  • ‘Destinies intertwined: the metaphysical unionism of James Anthony Froude’, in Séamus Ó Síocháin (ed.), Social Thought on Ireland in the Nineteenth Century (Dublin, 2010), pp. 108-34.

Teaching and Supervision

My teaching closely follows my research interests. At undergraduate level I teach Sophister [level 3 and 4] modules on sixteenth-century cultural history, 'The Elizabethans and their World' and 'History-writing in nineteenth century Britain and Ireland'. At Freshman level I participate in two modules on early modern Irish history, two modules on American history, and a module on early modern British history. At postgraduate level I participate in the History Department's M.Phil programmes in Early Modern History and Modern Irish History - and I co-ordinate the module 'Contesting Histories', shared also with the M.Phil in Public History. I am happy to offer supervision for research degrees on topics related sixteenth-century Ireland and England and on nineteenth- and twentieth-century British and Irish history-writing.

Professor Brady on the TCD Research Support System

Contact Details

Room 3116
Department of History
Trinity College
Dublin 2.

Telephone: +353 1 896 1578
Fax: +353 1 896 3995