Daniel Corkery’s The Hidden Ireland: A Study of Gaelic Munster in the Eighteenth Century, has had sustained appeal since its publication in 1925. There Corkery used literary evidence to sustain a picture of relieved poverty and oppression, spiritual counterpart to the social and economic conditions described by the Victorian chroniclers Froude and Lecky.
In 1969 Professor Louis Cullen exposed Corkery’s uncomplicated view of the period, coloured by the early twentieth-century national revival, in this classica revisionism (the name whereby historians interpret Ireland’s mythologies). Here Cullen suggests a closer investigation of the Irish poets’ milieux, from which emerges a richer, more subtle pattern than that imposed by earlier generations.
This important text, supplemented with a new Postscript and English-language translations of the poetry cited, is now available to the general reader, literary critic, historian and student of Irish affairs alike.