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The Cambridge History of Ireland

A recent review described The Cambridge History of Ireland as
'a mammoth, inspiring work'.

 The Cambridge History of Ireland was published in April 2018 and launched by

President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins.

Written by a team of more than 100 leading historians from around the world, this is the most comprehensive and authoritative history of Ireland yet attempted. Four comprehensive volumes offer an up-to-date and exciting synthesis of modern scholarship from the seventh century to the present, setting Irish history within broader Atlantic, European, imperial and global contexts.

100+ Contributors from 38 institutions

This landmark publication brings together 100+ contributors from 38 institutions in China, the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, and, of course, Ireland - highlighting the global character of historical research on Ireland. 

Trinity Historians

Professor Jane Ohlmeyer, Erasmus Smith’s Professor of Modern History and Director of Trinity Long Room Hub, is the editor of Vol II (1550-1730) and 17 Trinity contributors represent the largest cohort from any single institution. See the full list here  

Trinity Historians at the launch of The Cambridge History of Ireland, Dublin Castle 30 April 2018

Challenging traditional chronologies and categories

Each volume examines Ireland’s development over a distinct period in essays that address the full range of social, economic, religious, linguistic, military, cultural, artistic and gender history, while challenging traditional chronological boundaries in a way that offers new perspectives and insights.

Contemporary sources, multiple perspectives

The unifying approach is to go back to the archives, telling history through the voice of contemporary sources and from a multiplicity of perspectives, including those of ordinary people as well as the elite; popular culture as well as fine art and ‘high’ culture; and daily life as well as the drama of wars and disasters. 

Many of these new perspectives were facilitated by technology that has made accessible more archives than ever before, allowing historians to ask questions of sources that were previously unimaginable.

President Higgins with the editors and contributors at the launch of The Cambridge History of Ireland, Dublin Castle 30 April 2018

About the individual volumes of The Cambridge History of Ireland
General Editor: Thomas Bartlett, University of Aberdeen

Volume 1. 600–1550
Edited by Professor Brendan Smith, University of Bristol
Presents the latest thinking on key aspects of the medieval Irish experience.  The openness of Ireland to outside influences, and its capacity to influence the world beyond its shores, are recurring themes. Underpinning the book is a comparative, outward-looking approach that sees Ireland as an integral but exceptional component of medieval Christian Europe.

Volume 2. 1550–1730
Edited by Professor Jane Ohlmeyer, Trinity College Dublin
Surveys the transformative and tumultuous years between 1550 and 1730, offering fresh perspectives on the political, military, religious, social, cultural, intellectual, economic, and environmental history of early modern Ireland. As with all the volumes in the series, contributors here situate their discussions in global and comparative contexts.

Volume 3. 1730–1880
Edited by Professor James Kelly, Dublin City University
Providing new interpretations of a crucial phase in the history of Ireland, an era of continuity as well as change, from the peak of the ‘Protestant Ascendancy’ to the emergence of modern Catholic nationalism, this volume moves beyond the familiar political narrative to offer a perspective for the twenty-first century.

Volume 4. 1880 to the Present
Edited by Professor Thomas Bartlett, University of Aberdeen
Draws on newly available material to give an insightful interpretation of the emergence and development of modern Ireland and is copiously illustrated, with special features on images of the 'Troubles' and on Irish art and sculpture in the twentieth century.

Read or listen to President of Ireland Michael D.Higgins' speech from the launch of The Cambridge History of Ireland, Dublin Castle 30 April 2018

Hear about each volume from the editor in the clips below

Irish Stories and Irish Histories

At a symposium in the Trinity Long Room Hub prior to the launch on 30 April, the four editors participated in a panel discussion moderated by Dr Caitriona Crowe. Watch below.

Order copies here


The Irish Times - 5 May 2018
Bolder and wiser: our new and improved history of Ireland:
by Tom Bartlett and Jane Ohlmeyer

Read the full article here

Books Ireland - 5 June 2018

Facing up to ugly truths and reflecting today’s Ireland:
by Tom Bartlett

 Read the full article here

BBC History Magazine - 2 July 2018

History Extra: Jane Ohlmeyer discusses a new multi-volume history of Ireland

 Listen  here


TV and Radio Coverage

RTÉ - The History Show (22 April 2018)
The Cambridge History of Ireland

RTÉ One News – 6:00pm and 9:00pm - 30 April 2018
Four-volume History of Ireland to be published

Read the full article here

RTÉ Morning Ireland - 30 April 2018
Interview with Professor Jane Ohlmeyer
Listen here

Newstalk - 10 September 2018
Editors discuss 'The Cambridge History of Ireland: Volume 1-4'.
Listen here


The Irish Times - 30 April 2018
President voices fears about teaching of history in schools at book launch

Read the full article here

RTÉ - 30 April 2018

President laments loss of history as core Junior Cycle subject

Read the full article here

The Irish Times - 1 May 2018
Irish history, hot off the press

Read the full article here

The Journal - 5 May 2018

The past isn't the past, it's not even over: We can't discard Junior Cert History

Read the full article here  

BBC News NI - 15 May 2018

New book shines light on 1,400 years of Irish history

Read the full article here

The Evening Standard Mon, June 4, 2018

Today’s lesson for politicians is to learn from history

Read the full article here

Irish Independent - 6 July 2018

A hard rain: how grim days made us saints and scholars

Read the full article here

RTE News - 18 June 2018

President Michael D Higgins presents The Cambridge History of Ireland to Latvian counterpart Raimonds Vejonis

Read the full article here   

Irish Times - 19 June 2018

Why Irish universities are in thrall to neoliberalism

Read the full article here   


The Irish Times – review by Diarmaid Ferriter - 5 May 2018
The Cambridge History of Ireland: A mammoth, inspiring work

Read the full article here

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