The ’98 Reader: An Anthology of song, prose and poetry


Seventeen ninety-eight saw French and American revolutionary ideals converge with popular rebellion in Ireland. The rebellion ended in bloody failure, but 1798 was kept alive in folk memory by a nascent literature added to by succeeding generations of nationalists and cultural revivalists. This wide-ranging gathering of prose, poetry and song mirrors both sides of that conflict, orange and green, imperial and republican, from the early idealism of the 1782 Dungannon Convention to the final snuffing out of resistance in Wicklow in 1803.

Here are the legendary ballads and verse accounts of the rebellion, familiar and little known, ranging from those by anonymous balladeers to works by John Keegan Casey, P.J. McCall, Thomas Moore, Thomas Davis, Alice Milligan, William Drennan, William Rooney and Ethna Carbery.

These are supplemented by prose accounts by Theobald Wolfe Tone, Charles Teeling, Robert Emmet, Jonah Barrington and Maria Edgeworth, and folk narratives from the archive of the Irish Folklore Department at UCD. The 98’ Reader is a delightful companion, recording-and-celebrating-a pivotal moment in Ireland’s history.

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