Profile Books

  • Imprint: Profile Books
  • Published: 01/05/2014
  • Price: £30.00
  • Format: Hardback
  • Extent: 736p
  • Edition Illustration Details: 0
  • ISBN: 9781861973092
  • Subject: Modern History,Early Modern History,History
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The Making of a Capital City

Dr David Dickson

How Dublin grew from Viking settlement to capital city of Ireland: a one-of-its kind comprehensive history of one of the most popular cities in the world.

Dublin has many histories: for a thousand years a modest urban settlement on the quiet waters of the Irish Sea, for the last four hundred it has experienced great - and often astonishing - change. Once a fulcrum of English power in Ireland, it was also the location for the 1916 insurrection that began the rapid imperial retreat. That moment provided Joyce with the setting for the greatest modernist novel of the age, Ulysses, capping a cultural heritage which became an economic resource for the brash 'Tiger Town' of the 1990s.

David Dickson's magisterial survey of the city's history brings Dublin to life from its medieval incarnation through the glamorous eighteenth century, when it reigned as the 'Naples of the North', through to the millennium. He reassesses 120 years of Anglo-Irish Union, in which Dublin - while economic capital of Ireland - remained, as it does today, a place in which rival creeds and politics struggled for supremacy. Dublin reveals the rich and intriguing story behind the making of a capital city.

About the Author

David Dickson is Associate Professor of History at Trinity College, Dublin and has published extensively on the social, economic and cultural history of Ireland. He was elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2006.


'He distils a mountain of scholarship to illuminate the whole of Dublin's history. He is strongest on political and social change, informative too on the city's marvellous architecture ... This is the fullest overview of the many transformations of one of the world's most enchanting cities.', Eamon Duffy, Times

'A scholarly, encyclopaedic exploration of our capital city ... highly readable ... a magnificent work of scholarship ... Novelists, historians and general readers will plunder this cornucopia for years to come.', Dermot Bolger, Irish Times

'Anyone with even a cursory interest in how Dublin came to be what it is will find Dickson's book a ricjk source of information and entertainment. This is narrative history of a high order, supported by impressive scholarship.', Kevin Power, Sunday Business Post

'This new account has 'classic' written all over it. Thumbs up to Profile Books for producing such a handsome, well-indexed and copiously illustrated volume.', Cormac Ó Gráda, BBC History Magazine

'Dickson's Dublin is an achievement: he synthesises a vast body of literature to create a work that is comprehensive, intriguing and sober in its judgments ... Dickson has woven together the city's social, economic, cultural, demographic and architectural histories; the story he tells will intrigue natives, enlighten newcomers and stand as a monument to this great city's place in an ever-changing Ireland.', John Gallagher, Sunday Telegraph

'Majestic ... Dublin wears its years of study and learning without affectation, in language that's accessible and more than occasionally deliciously barbed with irony.', Tommy Barker, Irish Examiner

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