Book Blurbs (The Insurrection in Dublin by James Stephens)
The Insurrection in Dublin is a non-fiction work written by James Stephens (1880 – 1950) in which he observes the confusion, violence, and aftermath of the Dublin rising between April 24 1916, and May 8 1916. “What I have written is no more than a statement of what passed in one quarter of our city, and a gathering together of the rumour and tension which for nearly two weeks had to serve Dublin people in lieu of news” (xxvii). The narrative is written in a clear, at times strangely humorous and calm style as Stephens observes the slow destruction of part of his city. He sees families who hadn’t eaten in days, and confused civilians get shot, and observes the actions of the English military. The reader often forgets that bullets are being fired constantly as Stephens describes the situation so calmly. “The finest part of our city has been blown to smithereens, and burned into ashes” (73) he writes; describing the final outcome of the Rebelion. He then summarizes what occurs to the Volunteers (most were tried and shot), and that “I knew nothing about the rising. I kdo not know anything about it now, and it may be years before exact information on the subject is available” (xxvii).
Stephens, James. 1916. The Insurrection in Dublin. John A. Murphy, Intro. Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe Limited, 1978. print.