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Open Access 8. ‘The Odious Demon from Across the Sea’. Oliver Cromwell, Memory and the Dislocations of Ireland

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8. ‘The Odious Demon from Across the Sea’. Oliver Cromwell, Memory and the Dislocations of Ireland

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Chapter Summary

Though Oliver Cromwell's invasion generated a significant amount of international press and attention at the time, scholars have argued that Oliver Cromwell as an embodiment of English violence, and perfidy is a relatively recent phenomenon in Irish historical memory. The phenomenon emerged only as the result of nineteenth-century nationalist movements which constructed traditions or shaped memories around him in order to justify their respective causes. Thousands of stories attest to remembrance of Cromwell in the National Folklore Collection at University College Dublin, an archive of memory that grew out of the National Folklore Commission established in 1935, after decades of folkloric collecting and anthologizing in Ireland. Containing manuscripts of oral and ethnological material transcribed from interviews and questionnaires in the 1920s and 1930s, the collection contains many hundreds of references to Cromwell, who ranks second to Daniel O'Connell in the amount of material devoted to him.

Keywords: Daniel O'Connell; English violence; ethnological material; Irish historical memory; National Folklore Collection; Oliver Cromwell



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