Revival and Revolution: Curtain

Cover of the final issue of the <em>Irish Review </em>(Sept-Nov 1914)

Cover of the final issue of the Irish Review (Sept-Nov 1914)

Manifesto to the Irish Volunteers after the Volunteer split.

Pages from the final 'Manifesto to the Irish Volunteers' after the Volunteer split

The editorship of Stephens and Colum in the first two years of activity made the Review a periodical with a strong literary focus. In particular Norstedt notes how Colum’s editorship was characterized by the incorporation of a wider number of less-well known authors (98). The editorship and proprietorship of Joseph Mary Plunkett from August 1913 onwards altered priorities and transformed the Review to “A Monthly Magazine of Irish Politics, Literature and Art” reproducing pieces such as the “Manifesto of the Irish Volunteers” first published in December 1913 issue of the Review after the Volunteers’ first meeting at the Rotunda on 25th November. The Review will also reproduce subsequent ‘Manifestos to the Irish Volunteers’ such as the one in the final issue (IR, Sept./Nov. 1914) documenting the Volunteer split caused by John Redmond’s exhortation to the Irish Volunteers to fight in the First World War. This final manifesto which appeared with a companion piece entitled ‘Twenty Plain Facts for Irishmen’, restates the signatories’ unwillingness to compromise with Redmond’s decision. Despite this obvious change and the more propagandistic approach and opinionated tone under Plunkett’s editorship, Kurt Bullock maintains that the Irish Review remained “a periodical devoted to the literary revival, its content of political as opposed to cultural articles remaining proportionately consistent throughout the nearly four years of its publishing life” (66). The magazine ceased publication after November 1914 due to difficulties identified by Plunkett as financial mismanagement, “international complications,” and the fact that all its staff by then was working “full-time and overtime in the Irish Volunteer organisation” (IR, Sept./Nov. 1914). At the intersection between the stateliness of the accomplished English and French literary quarterlies and the avant-garde of the Modernist little magazines, elbowing its way through the niches of the periodical marketplace in Ireland, the Irish Review occupied a sort of middle ground between the literary magazine and the advanced-nationalist periodical—a middle ground that was no longer sustainable on the eve of Ireland’s revolutionary stride.

Works Cited

Bullock, Kurt. “Literary Provocateur: Revival, Revolt and the Demise of the Irish Review, 1911-14.” The Home Rule crisis 1912-14. Ed. Gabriel Doherty. Cork: Mercier Press, 2014. 63-80. Print.

Hutchison, S. C.. “Kelly, Sir Gerald Festus (1879–1972).” Rev. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/31301. 15 June 2015. Web.

The Irish Review (1911-1914). [Abbrev. IR]

“The Irish Review” (Prospectus announcing the publication of The Irish Review). Dublin: The Irish Review Publishing Company, 1911. Dublin: National Library of Ireland. Print.

McGuire, James & James Quinn. Eds. Dictionary of Irish Biography. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009. http://dib.cambridge.org. 15 June 2015. Web.

The New Ireland Review (1894-1911)

Norstedt, Johann A.. Thomas MacDonagh. A Critical Biography. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1980. Print.

Stephens, James. “Letter to Constantine P. Curran about the start and funding of The Irish Review.” 8th February 1911. The Curran Collection, UCD Library Special Collections. Print.

Revival and Revolution: Curtain