'Sir Roger Casement'
Another wonderful find - in the same place that I chanced upon Claude Cockburn's Reporter in Spain.
This cheap pamphlet was published in Dublin in 1916, in the period between the Easter Rising and the start of Sir Roger Casement's trial for high treason. Casement, a British civil servant, was alleged to have sought German support for an Irish rebellion. He was convicted, and hanged at Pentonville prison on 3rd August 1916.
This is a scarce title - notable for the cover portrait by G. Atkinson, and for Redmond-Howard's measured account of Casement (the pamphlet's sub-title is 'a character sketch without prejudice').
This copy is very fragile, the covers are loose and frayed - but it is a wonderful echo of a hugely important and contested moment in British history.
Irish National Conservative League
A political curiososity - bought from The Green Room, a great place for Irish political ephemera (and lots more besides) on Archway Road.
Graced with the Irish harp, this is a medal issued by the National Conservative League, founded in 1884. As the proprietor (himself Irish) remarked when making the sale, Irish Conservatives were an endangered species even in the 1880s. Sufficiently so, it seems, to embrace socialist-style slogans: 'Unity is Strength' and 'We Hold Together'
So what exactly was the National Conservative League? There's not much to go on on the 'net. I wondered whether it was a Northern Unionist organisation - but then it would be displaying the Ulster palmed hand rather than the harp.
My guess is that it was a response to the rise of Irish Home Rulers, followers of Parnell, who became such a powerful political force in Ireland from the mid-1880s. Anyone out there with any further info?
Andrew Whitehead's blog
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