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Cosmopolitan Nationalism in the Victorian Empire
 
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Cosmopolitan Nationalism in the Victorian Empire
Ireland, India and the Politics of Alfred Webb
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
14 Aug 2009
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£67.00
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9780230220850
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'All our absorbing interest in our own Irish affairs should not blind us to what is going on in other countries, should not lessen our sympathies towards men and women in other countries who are striving for free institutions as we are.' Thus wrote Alfred Webb (1834-1908), Irish Quaker, nationalist, Member of Parliament, suffragist, and President of the 1894 Indian National Congress. In the first full-length biography of Webb, Jennifer Regan-Lefebvre describes a vibrant civic and political life in Nineteenth-century Ireland. She reveals how Irish and Indian nationalists met in London, the capital of the British Empire, and pursued a multi-cultural politics of cooperation. Rich in detail and drawing on extensive original research, this historical biography provides a fascinating journey into the political, social and cultural worlds of late-Victorian imperialism, and provides a new assessment of the Irish role within it.


Description

'All our absorbing interest in our own Irish affairs should not blind us to what is going on in other countries, should not lessen our sympathies towards men and women in other countries who are striving for free institutions as we are.' Thus wrote Alfred Webb (1834-1908), Irish Quaker, nationalist, Member of Parliament, suffragist, and President of the 1894 Indian National Congress. In the first full-length biography of Webb, Jennifer Regan-Lefebvre describes a vibrant civic and political life in Nineteenth-century Ireland. She reveals how Irish and Indian nationalists met in London, the capital of the British Empire, and pursued a multi-cultural politics of cooperation. Rich in detail and drawing on extensive original research, this historical biography provides a fascinating journey into the political, social and cultural worlds of late-Victorian imperialism, and provides a new assessment of the Irish role within it.


Reviews


'A fascinating account of an important, though hitherto neglected figure in Irish political life. Scholarly and lucidly written, it spans the range of Webb's activities and influences as a humanitarian reformer, activist and man of letters, both in Ireland and internationally, and provides a thoughtful interpretation of his personality. It is an invaluable contribution to our understanding of the period.'
  - Carla King, St. Patrick's College, Dublin City University
 
'This critical biography adds to the broader understanding of the global reach of Irish nationalist thinking in the pre-1916 period...' - History Ireland
 
'The academic community is deeply in debt to Jennifer Regan-Lefebvre for this well-researched and nuanced study.
Webb's career 'reveals the fabric of multicultural social relations in late nineteenth-century Britain, in which individuals from the periphery of the British Empire met at the imperial core and found an international context to their nationalism'. Regan-Lefebvre has produced an important contribution to the study of Victorian Irish and Imperial radicalism. ' - Eugenio F. Biagini, English Historical Review
 
'An immensely readable and valuable addition to Irish, imperial and Victorian historiography. Regan-Lefebvre's findings are fresh and unexpected. Her account of Webb's Indian National Congress presidency, although clearly the high point of his life and this book, is honest in its anti-climactic portrayal. Cosmopolitan Nationalism in the Victorian Empire, although presented as biography of a peripheral Irish political figure, delivers much more than it promises: a room with a cosmopolitan view.' - Kate O'Malley, The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History
 
 







Contents

Preface
Abbreviations and Terminology
'How rich my life has been, not in itself but in its associations': An Introduction to Alfred Webb
'Interested in people of all countries, especially of America': A Quaker Family in the Atlantic World
'The labours and responsibilities nearly killed me': Social Activism in Victorian Dublin
'Some curious characters floated on the surface': Webb's Entry into Nationalist Politics
'I am willing to take any dangerous part': Webb in the World of Parnell and Gladstone
'A union of hearts firmly based on love of Ireland': Cosmopolitan Friendship in the Imperial Metropolis
'I stand beside you as a comrade': Irish and Indian Political Collaboration
'Politics is a difficult and anxious game': An Assessment of Webb
Bibliography


Authors

JENNIFER REGAN-LEFEBVRE, Lecturer in Modern History, University of Exeter, UK