Wolfe Tone’s Library: The United Irishmen and “Enlightenment”

  title={Wolfe Tone’s Library: The United Irishmen and “Enlightenment”},
  author={J. Smyth},
  journal={Eighteenth-Century Studies},
  pages={423 - 435}
  • J. Smyth
  • Published 2012
  • Sociology
  • Eighteenth-Century Studies
In some obvious ways the republican ideology of the United Irishmen derived from “Enlightenment” thought. Self-consciously “modern” in outlook, their movement was also, however, heterogeneous, drawing political inspiration from varieties of sometimes surprising sources. Wolfe Tone’s “Library”—what we know he read—illustrates that variety, thus complicating any simple assumption of a straightforward causal relationship between enlightened ideas and revolutionary politics. 
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