"Making the Grand Figure" by Toby Barnard

Making the Grand Figure Lives and Possessions in Ireland, 1641–1770 Toby Barnard

Publication date:
23 Jul 2013
Yale University Press
520 pages: 235 x 190mm
60 b-w + 10 color illus.

This pioneering study of the material culture of Stuart and Hanoverian Ireland reveals unsuspected richness and diversity of lifestyle, habitat, and mentality. Like its highly praised predecessor, A New Anatomy of Ireland, it abounds with quirky people and vivid scenes and is a striking reappraisal of Ireland under the Protestant Ascendancy.

The book ranges from the governing elite of Dublin Castle to Dublin itself, to provincial towns and the countryside beyond, and even to the Irish in Britain and Europe. Toby Barnard describes varied buildings, gardens, pictures, and belongings, showing how possessions highlighted and widened divisions between rich and poor, women and men, Irish Catholics and Protestant settlers. The book allows Ireland for the first time to be integrated into discussions of the pleasures and pains of consumerism.

Toby Barnard, fellow and tutor in history at Hertford College, Oxford, is the author of A New Anatomy of Ireland, published by Yale University Press.