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The Partition – Ireland Divided, 1885-1925: Even-handed history has a familiar feel

This compelling story of how partition came about features Tory divisions, unionist suspicions and an enduring ‘border in the mind’, writes Ed McCann

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Cultural gulf: The annual procession of the Orangemen in Belfast in 1922, a year after partition

Cultural gulf: The annual procession of the Orangemen in Belfast in 1922, a year after partition

Historian Charles Townshend

Historian Charles Townshend

The Partition: Ireland Divided, 1885-1925 by Charles Townshend

The Partition: Ireland Divided, 1885-1925 by Charles Townshend

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Cultural gulf: The annual procession of the Orangemen in Belfast in 1922, a year after partition

In the pantheon of dates in the Decade of Centenaries, the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Northern Ireland may well be the one that passes with the least fanfare — or certainly the least planned fanfare.

Even on the sleeve of Charles Townshend’s textured and erudite exposition, The Partition, the division of the island is described as “ultimately a tragic story”. It is also a bitterly contested story, though Townshend steers a steady course throughout.


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