Ireland’s Disease: The English in Ireland, 1887
By Paschal Grousset
This is the second time I’ve written about Pascal Grousset’s 1886-87 Irish travelogue in this space. The first time was last summer, when I had read only the introduction and first chapter and recommended it to GPF readers based on that limited sample. As often happens, I was waylaid from finishing the book and did not pick it up again until last month. The motivation was simple: It was beginning to look uncertain that the United Kingdom and European Union would reach a Brexit deal, and Northern Ireland was the main stumbling block. Though the two sides have a deal now, Northern Ireland may still be a stumbling block, and Grousset’s book is as good an explanation of why as any.
The book is a collection of articles Grousset wrote for Le Temps – in French – during the summers of 1886 and 1887. It’s essentially a photograph of life in Ireland at the end of the 19th century – in that purgatory betwee