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Inventing the MythPolitical Passions and the Ulster Protestant Imagination$
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Connal Parr

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198791591

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198791591.001.0001

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The Strange Radicalism of Thomas Carnduff and St John Ervine

The Strange Radicalism of Thomas Carnduff and St John Ervine

(p.45) 2 The Strange Radicalism of Thomas Carnduff and St John Ervine
Inventing the Myth

Connal Parr

Oxford University Press

St John Ervine and Thomas Carnduff were born in working-class Protestant parts of Belfast in the 1880s, though Ervine would escape to an eventually prosperous existence in England. Orangeism, the politics of early twentieth-century Ireland, the militancy of the age—and the involvement of these writers in it—along with Ervine’s journey from ardent Fabian to reactionary Unionist, via his pivotal experiences managing the Abbey Theatre and losing a leg in the First World War, are all discussed. Carnduff’s own tumultuous life is reflected through his complicated Orange affiliation, gut class-consciousness, poetry, unpublished work, contempt for the local (and gentrified) Ulster artistic scene, and veneration of socially conscious United Irishman James Hope. It concludes with an assessment of their respective legacies and continuing import.

Keywords:   St John Ervine, Thomas Carnduff, Abbey Theatre, First World War, Orange Order, Labour Party, Fabianism, James Hope

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