Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1992. Medium octavo. pp. 208. Green papered boards, title in gilt on spine. A fine copy in pictorial dust jacket. In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries thousands of Irish people from all sections of society left their homeland for Europe. Most of them ended up in the foreign armies of Europe but for this period particularly in the so-called Army of Flanders in the Spanish Netherlands. This book tells their story-why they left Ireland, how they formed themselves into Irish communities, yet how at the same time they adapted and became part of the local community of the Spanish Netherlands. Above all the book examines how this group of Irishmen and women perceived Ireland from Europe and how among these people there developed the first sense of Ireland as a ‘Catholic nation’. It provides a fascinating insight into one of the most neglected groups in Irish history.
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