Pearse's Patriots: St Enda's and the Cult of Boyhood
Cork University Press, 2004 - 233 páginas
* First comprehensive, full-length study of St. Enda's School
* Enriches the body of knowledge on one of Ireland's most intriguing historical figures, Patrick Pearse
* Explores the concepts of boyhood, masculinity and Irish identity
When the gates of St. Enda's opened in 1908 its headmaster and founder Patrick Pearse, declared that the school would be an 'educational adventure' for nationalist boys. Pearse's desire was that St. Enda's would create a modern Irish boy educated in the scholarly tradition of the early Celtic Church and in the ancient warrior culture of pagan Ireland. This heroic, yet Christian, boy would become the prototype of Irish masculinity educated into a life of public service and citizenship in order to serve the future nation state.
St. Enda's was a radical experiment in education, not least for its liberal and enlightened curriculum but also in its focus on child-centred learning. Many children from eminent nationalist families attended the school and most of the leaders of Irish Revivalism lectured at or visited St. Enda's at some point between 1908 and 1916. Amongst its many admirers were W.B. Yeats, Douglas Hyde, Roger Casement, and Sir Robert Baden Powell, the founder of the English Boy Scouts movement. While Pearse was in favour of a liberal, Irish speaking education for all children, the focus of St. Enda's was on helping to achieve a brotherhood of young Irishmen who would be ready to spend themselves in the service of their country. The task of creating a modern Irish boy, versed in mythologies and traditions of the past, was achieved in part by nationalizing British and German imperialist ideologies on masculinity, history an education. This book explores how the cult of Irish nationalist boyhood at St. Enda's was expressed through mythology, pageantry, theatre, Gaelic Games and Celticism.
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