- Publication Date
Irish Academic Press
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Anglo-Irish History, Architectural History, Northern Irish History, Social History, Sociology
In 1613, the small settlement of Belfast, with a population of about 1000, was granted its Royal Charter as a borough. Three hundred years later, Belfast had emerged as a city of international importance. With one of the world’s largest ports, it enjoyed a brief spell as Ireland’s largest urban centre and was a major player in the British industrial scene. Unique in being an Irish city with a self-consciously British identity, the city revelled in, and in many ways depended upon, its central role within the British Empire.
This attractive book celebrates and explores an exciting period in the city’s history – 1850–1914 was Belfast’s own Belle Époque. By focusing on the people of the city those who built it, lived in it, visited it, worked in it and governed it – the book presents a kaleidoscope of snapshots which combine to reveal the rich and varied experiences of life, both temporal and spiritual, in the emerging city.
Dr Olwen Purdue is visiting research fellow at the School of History, Queen’s University Belfast. She is the author of The Big House in the North of Ireland: Land, Power and Social Elites (2009).