Irish Politics in Postcards examines the role of the postcard in Irish politics during the twentieth century. The first two decades of the twentieth century constituted ‘The Golden Age’ of postcards, when they were probably the most commonly used means of communication. In their heyday they fulfilled the role of email, text message and telephone call, but their role extended much further in Ireland. During this period in particular, but also in later years, picture postcards were produced not only to illustrate Irish political events, but also through photographs and cartoons to influence or at least try to influence contemporary opinion.
Within its nine chapters, this book looks at major events such as the Home Rule Crisis of 1912–14, the 1916 Rising, and the rise of Sinn Fein, along with other significant political developments and issues up until, and including, the most recent violence in Northern Ireland.
Each chapter opens with an outline narrative of events, setting the context in which the postcards were issued. The selected range of postcards on each topic seeks to represent a wide swathe of political opinion. The text is richly illustrated with some 190 pictures and constitutes an innovative approach to a much-analysed historical period. In its conclusion, this book undertakes the difficult task of trying to understand the impact of these somewhat neglected historical sources.