Chapter

Growing Up Irish, 1730–1744

F.P. Lock

in Edmund Burke, Volume I

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780199226634
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191696244 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199226634.003.0001
Growing Up Irish, 1730–1744

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This chapter discusses Edmund Burke's Irish upbringing and his childhood. Burke was born in Dublin, in January 1730, about three months after the publication of Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal. He grew up in the shadow of the conditions that Swift described — an Ireland overshadowed by social and economic ills. Growing up in the 1730s and 1740s, he saw real poverty. Burke's early years were unusual. He experienced the life and culture of each of Ireland's chief religious groups: the Anglicans, the Catholics, and the Protestant Dissenters represented by the Quakers. His Irish upbringing conditioned in important ways the development of his mind and ideas. Growing up in Ireland, his earliest impressions of human life and society were far removed from those he would have absorbed in England or in Scotland. Just as he never lost his Irish accent, he never forgot his Irishness.

Keywords: Burke; Ireland; Swift; childhood; Dublin

Chapter.  14597 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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