University of Cambridge > > Wolfson @ 50: Fiftieth Anniversary Lecture Series > "Ireland grows up: the debate about how to celebrate the centenary of the 1916 Rising"

"Ireland grows up: the debate about how to celebrate the centenary of the 1916 Rising"

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About the Series

A series of specially-commissioned 50-minute lectures to celebrate the first 50 years of Wolfson College. In the series, eleven distinguished members of the college reflect on developments in their fields of expertise in the half-century since Wolfson was founded.


In 1966 the Republic of Ireland celebrated the 1916 Rising as an unalloyed triumph and critics mainly kept silent. In 2015 there is an open and honest debate. Was the Rising a vital catalyst for the achievement of independence? Or was it a catastrophe that poisoned the island with political violence?

About the Lecturer

Ruth Dudley Edwards is an alumna of Wolfson. She was born and brought up in Dublin, was a student at University College Dublin, a post-graduate at Cambridge University and now lives in London. A historian and prize-winning biographer (the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Victor Gollancz: a biography), her recent non-fiction books include True Brits: inside the Foreign Office, The Pursuit of Reason: The Economist 1843-1993, The Faithful Tribe: an intimate portrait of the loyal institutions (shortlisted for the Channel 4 political book prize), Newspapermen: Hugh Cudlipp, Cecil Harmsworth King and the glory days of Fleet Street and Aftermath: the Omagh bombings and the families’ pursuit of justice (longlisted for the Orwell Prize, shortlisted for the Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize and winner of the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction). Her first book, An Atlas of Irish History, is now in its third edition. Patrick Pearse: the triumph of failure, which won the National University of Ireland Prize for Historical Research in 1978, was reissued in 2006 with a new foreword. And in 2011 she received an Honorary Doctorate from Queen’s University Belfast.

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This talk is part of the Wolfson @ 50: Fiftieth Anniversary Lecture Series series.

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