Parnell: Charles Stewart Parnell: A Memoir

Pdf Parnell, John Howard. Charles Stewart Parnell: A Memoir. London, Constable & Company Ltd., 1916.
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John Howard Parnell (1843-1923) was the elder brother of Charles Stewart Parnell, the famous Irish Nationalist leader. It was John who first stood for election to Parliament as a Home Rule candidate in 1874, although he was not successful. He moved to the USA , and only returned to Ireland following Charles’ death in 1891 when he inherited the family home of Avondale, Co. Wicklow. In 1895, he was elected as a Parnellite for South Meath , but lost his seat in 1900.

Charles Stewart Parnell (1846-1891), an Irish Protestant landlord, was one of the most significant Irish Nationalist political leaders of the nineteenth century. He was first elected to the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1875, as MP for the Home Rule Party lead by Isaac Butt. Parnell was also elected as president to Michael Davitt’s Irish National Land League in 1879, and became an avid campaigner for land reform in Ireland . He travelled to America in order to gain more support for Home Rule in Ireland , and was also the founder of the Irish Parliamentary Party. He was commonly referred to as “the uncrowned king of Ireland ”.

Parnell’s political career began to falter when he was named co-respondent in the divorce between Captain William O’Shea and his wife Katherine, with whom he was in love. A split occurred in the Irish Home Rule Party in 1890 following divided opinions on whether Parnell should retire from politics after the divorce scandal. This resulted in the formation of Parnellite and anti-Parnellite Parties. He died in 1891.

John Howard Parnell’s memoir of his brother is an important source for those researching on Parnell. He gives a complete history of his life, from early childhood, to the beginning of his political career, his life in power and his downfall following the divorce case. The book also contains interesting appendices, including a letter from Parnell’s friend Joseph McCarroll to John Howard Parnell on the writing of this memoir, and the Manifesto of 1890 which Parnell issued to the Irish people.

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