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Living in a nation, a state or a place? The Protestant gentry of County Cork

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The communal narrative of the Irish state defined the criteria for membership of the nation in opposition to the characteristics of the Irish gentry class, whether in their Protestantism, Anglicised lifestyles or external focus on Britain and its empire. The result ensured that while all Protestants engaged with the institutions of state, their inclusion in the nation proved much more difficult to negotiate, and for those with a gentry background, it would appear an impossibility. This article argues, in contrast, that the remnants of the Protestant gentry class successfully insert themselves into an alternative conception of the Irish nation that draws directly upon the longevity of their family association with specific localities in the Irish landscape.
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Keywords: Cork; Protestants; gentry; identity; nation; place; state

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University College Cork, Ireland

Publication date: 2009-03-01

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