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A 'Countryside Bright with Cosy Homesteads': Irish Nationalism and the Cottage Landscape

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The new Irish state, like other nations, invoked 'folk roots', returning to a pre-colonial golden age located in the rural west. Indeed, the state and the Church promoted an 'ideology of the rural' despite limited modernisation. An ancient and authentic west was evoked in travel writing, and especially in paintings of the Irish cottage landscape. National identity was not only embodied in but maintained through cottage landscape imagery by means of what Michael Billig terms banal nationalism, that is, the daily inculcation of nationhood by means of an array of barely-noticed signs. The cottage landscape, constantly reproduced and taken for granted daily recalled citizens to their heritage.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2001-11-01

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