This is a study of religion, politics and society in a period of great significance i modern Irish history. The late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries saw the consolidation of the power of the Protestant landed class, the enactment of penal laws against Catholics, and constitutional conflicts that forced Irish Protestants to redefine their ideas of national identity. S. J. Connolly's scholarly and wide ranging study examines these developments and sets them in their historical context. The Ireland that emerges from his lucid and penetrating analysis was essentially a part of ancien régime Europe: a pre-industrial society
in which the dominance of a landed elite depended on maintaining the balance between coercion, defence, and an absence of credible pretenders to power; in which the ties of patronage and clientship were often more important than horizontal bonds of shared economic or social position; and in which religion remained a central part of personal and political motivation.
Readership: Scholars and students of early modern and modern British and Irish history; especially social, religious and political historians; historians of colonial societies; specialists in eighteenth-century studies.
S. J. Connolly, Reader in History, University of Ulster
"groundbreaking study" - Albion
"an admirable achievement, unleashing a very active cat amongst the historiographical pigeons" - Irish Times