All Dressed Up

All Dressed Up : Modern Irish Historical Pageantry

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In the early twentieth century, publicly staged productions of significant historical, political, and religious events became increasingly popular-and increasingly grand-in Ireland. These public pageants, a sort of precursor to today's opening ceremonies at the Olympic games, mobilized huge numbers of citizens to present elaborately staged versions of Irish identity based on both history and myth. Complete with marching bands, costumes, fireworks, and mock battles, these spectacles were suffused with political and national significance.

Dean explores the historical significance of these pageants, explaining how their popularity correlated to political or religious imperatives in twentieth-century Ireland. She uncovers unpublished archival findings to present scripts, programs, and articles covering these events. The book also includes over thirty photographs of pageants, program covers, and detailed designs for costumes to convey the grandeur of the historical pageants at the beginning of the century and their decline in production standards in the 1970s and 1980s. Tracing the Irish historical pageant phenomenon through the twentieth century, Dean presents a nation contending with the violence and political upheaval of the present by reimagining the past.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 21.59mm | 589.67g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 29 black & white illustrations, 8 colour
  • 0815635273
  • 9780815635277

Review quote

Dean's reach is both deep and wide...she sketches the broad socio-historical contexts involved in the production of pageants, deftly stitching together different interest groups, political agendas, literary sources, and dramatis personae.--Canadian Journal of Irish Studies This is the first thorough, widely researched and informed contextual study to document the relevance of the open-air Pageant in the formation, and reflection, of national identity in twentieth century Ireland....Dean evokes the visual and textual manifestations of these ephemeral, sometimes huge scale, symbolic participatory enactments.--Nicola Gordon Bowe, associate fellow, National College of Art and Design "Nicola Gordon Bowe, associate fellow, National College of Art and Design " A great strength of the book is the author's ability to write with verve and wit, offering microscopic and telescopic views of these events. That is, while she examines these Irish paratheatricals as distinct to events within Ireland, she also places them in the broad streams of European and American social and cultural history.--Timothy McMahon "author of Grand Opportunity: The Gaelic Revival and Irish Society, 1893-1910 " Dean's book enriches our understanding of the overlaps between the theatre and politics in Ireland--but it also shows how Irish performance has always been surprisingly participative. Written with fluency and style, this is a masterful reconstruction of a neglected element of Irish life.--Patrick Lonergan "professor of drama and theatre, National University of Ireland Galway " This brilliantly-conceived and evocatively written book could not be more timely--it deserves to become a classic.--Irish Arts Review In her marvelous new book, Joan FitzPatrick Dean explores the pervasive yet elusive phenomenon of Irish historical pageantry and traces its manifestations over the course of the entire twentieth century.--Breac: A Digital Journal of Irish Studies All Dressed Up is a memorable and necessary addition to our understanding of how historical pageantry was vitally important to the evolution of theatre and performance within an increasingly global Irish context.--Comparative Drama
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About Joan FitzPatrick Dean

Joan FitzPatrick Dean is Curators Professor of English at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. She is the author of Riot and Great Anger: Stage Censorship in Twentieth-Century Ireland.
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