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Space to Think, a new book celebrating ten years of the Dublin Review of Books More Information 

    Talking Heads

    Deirdre Serjeantson.
    As recently as 1996, an English editor of an edition of a seventeenth century play wrote in a footnote to explain to students a puzzling reference that “the Irish were notoriously cruel and bloodthirsty”. This of course is very much a matter of perspective. Both sides in the sixteenth and seventeenth conflict in Ireland used extreme violence. The Elizabethan English tended to see Irish beheadings as savagery; their own decapitations were simply an expression of due process.
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