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The ’98 Reader

An Anthology of Song, Prose and Poetry

By: Padraic O’Farrell

Publication Date: November 1998


The ’98 Reader: An Anthology of Song, Prose and Poetry edited by Padraic O’Farrell


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.


Padraic O’Farrell was born in Staplestown, Donadea, County Kildare. One of Ireland’s best-known journalists and most prolific authors, he was a regular contributor to the Irish Times, Irish Independent, Sunday Independent and Irish Examiner. His thirty-five books include The Burning of Brinsley MacNamara, a study of the controversy surrounding the publication ofThe Valley of the Squinting Windows; the bestselling Rebel Heart, a fictional account of Michael Collins’s love affair with Kitty Kiernan; Who’s Who in the Irish War of Independence and Civil War 1916-23; The Blacksmith of Ballinalee; and Ancient Irish legends. He also wrote and directed a number of plays, including Matchmaking, based on the work of John B. Keane andScullabogue, a drama about the 1798 Rebellion. His play Kitty, about the women in the lives of Michael Collins and Sean MacEoin toured throughout Ireland, including performances in Cork’s Everyman Palace Theatre and Dublin’s Andrew’s Lane Studio. Read more.

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Publication Date

November 1998


eBook, 224pp