Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Irish and the English

In honor of you-know-who's day: a collection of recent New York Times articles about the Irish and the English.

"A United Kingdom? Maybe," by Nicholas Wade, March 6, 2007
Most of history aside, DNA evidence suggests that the British and the Irish have much more in common than they once thought.

"When Irish Genes Are Smiling,"by John Tierney (blog), March 6, 2007
"'Tis a good day for the Irish -– and a really bad one for Basil Fawlty — thanks to my colleague Nicholas Wade’s article (see above for link) tracing the genetic heritage of the British Isles. I grew up listening to my Irish-American relatives bristle at the social pretensions of the Anglo-Saxons in England: 'We were preserving civilization while they were painting themselves blue! Blue, I tell you!' Now we can point to research suggesting the Celts started civilization in those isles by introducing agriculture 6,000 years ago."

"When English Eyes Are Smiling," by Wes Davis, March 11, 2007: The notion of racial inferiority persisted in British writing on the Irish well into the nineteenth century. In recent years, Irish writers have turned the idea of racial difference into an empowering distinction. Davis quotes Robert Knox, Matthew Arnold, and Charles Kingsley to devastating effect.

"A Wee Identity Crisis," by Alexander McCall Smith, March 11, 2007
Does new genetic evidence take the wind out of the sails of the cultural nationalists in Scotland, or those in Ireland?

"The Irish Are Like the English? Not!" (six letters to the editor), March 18, 2007


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