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The study of crime and violence in all its multifarious forms remains one of the most productive areas of enquiry for Irish historians. Considered an inordinately violent and unruly society by many contemporaries, nineteenth-century Ireland was notorious for sectarian unrest, agrarian disorder, alcohol-fuelled casual fighting, the seditious activities of various illegal underground organisations, as well as a host of other 'outrages'. The image of an Ireland in an almost perpetual state of tumult during the nineteenth century, however, is a false one, invariably pedalled by partisan observers with a particular political or religious agenda to satisfy. Modern historical scholarship has corrected many lingering assumptions about the extent and character of Irish violence, but much work remains to be done. This important collection of essays, based on original research delivered at one of the Society for the Study of Nineteenth-Century Ireland's most successful annual conferences, draws together some of Ireland's leading historians as well emerging talents to examine a broad range of topics under the banner of crime and violence. Irish secret societies, agrarian disorder, security and the law, sectarian violence, and a host of similar topics benefit from innovative methodological perspectives and advanced historical scholarship.
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