Ideals are dangerous: realities are better…

Excellent writing from Richard English in this review of the current exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London: Conquering England: Ireland in Victorian England. He explores the many ambivilances and contradictions in the cultural and political relations between the two countries.

He has one interesting quotation I’d not spotted before:

“…the IRA-man, inebriate and sometime wit Brendan Behan (a kind of Irish Dylan Thomas with explosives) could observe that he “really could not see why two small islands off the coast of Europe required four capitals”. “One is enough,” he said, “and we should live off the better one, which is in England.”

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