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Ireland

Ireland

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Excerpt from Ireland: From the Earliest Times to the Present Day

In his essay on 'How History should be written' Lucian, after remarking that brevity, provided it be not due to insufficient information, is essential, proceeds, ' but there is a brevity of matter as well as of expression. Some events require less extended treatment than others, while some may well be omitted altogether'. It is in the spirit of Lucian's advice that I have written this little history. The book is primarily intended that they who run may read. But whether I have been successful in distinguishing between what is essential and what is not essential is of course open to question. Facts may be manipulated as easily as figures, and some writers are great adepts at extracting only those facts which tell for their theory. Fortunately I have no theory to serve. Historically, Ireland is as remote to me as ancient Egypt. My only concern is to get at the truth. Every history must bear a personal tinge, and all that can reasonably be demanded from an historian is that he should make himself as fully acquainted as possible with the facts and that he should be scrupulously honest in his use of them. I have endeavoured to satisfy both these canons; but if in anything I have written I have unconsciously erred I trust I may be forgiven. Particularly I hope that no one will consider me to be wanting in sympathy for those who have fought to secure national independence.

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