Ireland Under Coercion, Revisited

I published “Ireland Under Coercion, Revisited” from Jan. 1 to June 15, 2018. The blog serial explored aspects of the 1888 book Ireland Under Coercion: The Diary of an American, by William Henry Hurlbert. (Linked posts below the first image.) ©2024 MH


An original edition of Vol. 1 of Ireland Under Coercion, as viewed in November 2018 at National University of Ireland/Galway. The map of Hurlbert’s travels was not included in Vol. 2.

William Henry Hurlbert was 60 when he traveled around Ireland during the first six months of 1888, a period of resurgent agrarian violence and nationalist political agitation. The Charleston, S.C.-born, Harvard-educated, veteran New York City newspaperman generally supported the private property interests of Ireland’s mostly absentee landlords and the law-and-order response of London’s ruling conservative Tory government. He soon drew the scorn of Irish nationalists, including a rebuttal pamphlet, Hurlbert unmasked: an exposure of the thumping English lies of William Henry Hurlbert in his ‘Ireland under coercion.’

This blog serial explores late 19th century Ireland through the people, places and events Hurlbert detailed in his travels. It supplements the original text with background material and my own 21st century perspectives. The posts are not only about the Land War and Home Rule conflicts of the day, but also other details of life in Ireland at the time, and Hurlbert’s numerous references to his homeland and the Irish in America. People, Places & Events offers additional background.

Ireland Under Coercion was originally published in two volumes, digitized and searchable at HathiTrust: Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. I worked from a consolidated text available through the Internet Archive. The main differences are some front matter and additional notes in the appendix, rather than the body of the narrative.

Original series:

1) An introduction2) Dublin arrival3) Meeting Balfour4) Home Rule; 5) Dublin slums6) Sion Mills7) Glenveigh evictions8) Father McFadden9) The scenery10) Lixnaw murder11) Unnamed sources; 12) Kilkenny visits; 13) National Gallery14 ) Other books; 15) Meeting Davitt; 16) More Davitt; 17) Milltown Malbay; 18) On boycotting; 19) Killone Abbey; 20) Hurlbert who? ; 21) An eviction; 22) Irish press; 23) Cork tourism;
24) Ponsonby Estate25) Missed train; 26) Two nicknames; 27) Battling books; 28) Pope’s decree; 29) Meeting Kavanagh; 30) On Moonlighters; 31) Bank deposits; 32) Nationalist poetry; 33) Uncrowned king; 34) Dinner guests; 35) Irish America; 36) Ulster booster; 37) Beautiful Belfast; 38) Civil War; 39) Hurlbert reviewed; 40) Hurlbert researched; 41) Final thoughts.

Additional posts:

42) Froude-Burke; 43) Killone photos

Map of Ireland showing Hurlbert’s 1888 travels, shown as red lines.