Dark and evil days

In Wandering Rocks Tom Kernan thinks of the Rebellion of 1798 led by United Irishmen like Lord Edward Fitzgerald: "They rose in dark and evil days. Fine poem that is: Ingram. They were gentlemen." Kernan quotes a line from The Memory of the Dead, a poem written in 1843 by Irish mathematician, economist, and poet John Kells Ingram, whose Protestant background, shared with many of the United Irishmen, appeals to him. Two years later the patriotic poem was set to music and became a popular republican anthem. Echoes of the poem and the song sound through three successive chapters.

John Hunt 2023

Image of John Kells Ingram in sheet music for Dear Ireland When You're Free, published as a supplement to the Sunday World on 13 March 1898, held in the digital collection of the New York Public Library. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

1890 colored drawing of John Kells Ingram by Sarah Henrietta Purser, held in the National Museums of Northern Ireland. Source: www.mediastorehouse.com.

Purser's oil portrait of Ingram made for his 1892-1896 term as president of the Royal Irish Academy, held in the RIA, Dublin. Source: artsandculture.google.com.

Declan Hunt singing the musical version of Ingram's poem. Source: www.youtube.com.