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News from the Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses and Estates
This year the Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses and Estates (CSHIHE) celebrated its Twentieth Annual Historic Houses Conference on the theme of ‘Exploring the Mental World of the Country House’. Plenary lectures were delivered by Professors David Cannadine, Roy Foster, Elizabeth Grubgeld, Raymond Gillespie, Christopher Ridgway and Dr. Mark Purcell.
In April, Professor Terence Dooley, director of the CSHIHE, published his most recent book, Burning the Big House: The Story of the Irish Country House in a Time of War and Revolution (Yale University Press). Since publication, the book has become an acclaimed best seller, receiving laudatory praise in the press and in academic circles.
Professor Dooley’s recent research into the burning of country houses has also led to the launch of an exhibition and lecture series of the same name. Funded by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, the free virtual lecture series received tremendous success welcoming over 1000 attendees on a weekly basis for a period of nine-weeks. The series was inspired by the government’s decision to initiate a Decade of Centenaries Programme in 2012 to commemorate the historical events of the revolutionary period.
These talks ran in tandem with the exhibition Burning the Big House: The Story of the Irish Country House in Revolution, 1920-23, which was first launched by Minister Catherine Martin at the Irish Architectural Archives in March and later by Minister Heather Humphries at Maynooth University Library in May. There are plans for the exhibition to tour various cultural and heritage locations in Ireland in the coming months.
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