Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Trinity Menu Trinity Search


2015 Annual Edmund Burke Lecture

"An Inheritance from our Forefathers?" Historians and the Memory of the Irish Revolution

On 20 October 2015, Professor Roy Foster (Carroll Chair of Irish History, University of Oxford, and Visiting Parnell Fellow, Magdalene College, Cambridge) gave the 2015 Annual Edmund Burke Lecture which is supported by a generous endowment in honour of Padraic Fallon by his family.


Roy Foster, author of the recent and widely-acclaimed Vivid Faces: the Irish revolutionary generation 1890-1923, will lecture on the agendas, elisions and implications of commemorating events in Irish history that are at once inspirational and divisive. His lecture will consider the ‘history wars’ that broke out in Irish academic and public life in the 1970s, the psychological  uses of memory in Irish history, and the challenges presented by the current  centennial observations of the Irish revolutionary decade of 1912-22.


Roy Foster is a graduate of TCD, where he was a Foundation Scholar in History and studied under T.W.Moody. Subsequent appointments included Professor of Modern British History at Birkbeck College, University of London, visiting fellowships at St Antony’s College, Oxford, the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and Princeton University, and (since 1991) the  Carroll Chair of  Irish History, University of Oxford. Currently he holds the visiting Parnell Fellowship at Magdalen College, Cambridge.

 He is a Fellow of the British Academy, the Royal Historical Society and the Royal Society of Literature, and an Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy, and has received honorary degrees from the University of Aberdeen, The Queen's University of Belfast, Trinity College, Dublin, the National University of Ireland, Queen’s University, Canada, and the University of Edinburgh as well as an Honorary Fellowship at Birkbeck College, University of London. 

His books include Charles Stewart Parnell:  The Man and His Family (1976), Lord Randolph Churchill:  A Political Life (1981), Modern Ireland 1600-1972 (1988), The Oxford Illustrated History of Ireland  (1989), The Sub Prefect Should Have Held His Tongue:  Selected Essays of Hubert Butler (1990), Paddy and Mr Punch:  Connections in Irish and English History (1993), The Irish Story:  Telling Tales and Making It Up in Ireland (2001), which won the 2003 Chr istian Gauss Award for Literary Criticism, W.B. Yeats, A Life. I:  The Apprentice Mage 1865-1914 (1997) which won the 1998 James Tait Black Prize for biography, and Volume IIThe Arch-Poet, 1915-1939 (2003),  Luck and the Irish: a brief history of change 1970-2000 (2007) and  Words Alone: Yeats and his Inheritances (2011), based on his 2009 Clark Lectures at Cambridge. His most recent book is Vivid Faces: the revolutionary generation in Ireland 1890-1922 (2014). He is also a well-known cultural critic and broadcaster.

Related links: