Georgian Dublin: the Forces that Shaped the City
Diarmuid Ó Gráda
Regular price €39.00
2015, Cork University Press, 404 pages
It is the Georgian heritage that most strongly defines Ireland’s capital city. However, Diarmuid Ó Gráda now shows us a Dublin quite unlike that depicted in the conventional histories of grand red-brick squares and elegant drawing rooms. Phenomenal population growth was forced on a place where local government, the workshops and the streets themselves had changed little since medieval times. In the course of the century the number of Dubliners trebled and the city was quite unprepared for the urgent challenge of feeding and housing so many people. In addition, Dublin’s role as the bastion of an English colony was transformed into that of the Irish capital.
This book explains how Dublin’s adjustment to the new reality gave rise to widespread civil unrest and how the official reaction to the turmoil took on aspects of a crusade. Most of these responses failed and, in reality, there were periods when the city was running out of control. Diarmuid Ó Gráda draws on a wide range of sources, including newspapers and parish records that had previously been neglected. His own career as a town planner has given him an understanding of urban impacts in terms of time and space. Georgian Dublin explains the processes at work and sets them within the wider context, comparing Dublin’s successes and failures with events in other European cities.