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The award-winning book by Dr Graham Davis book
The award-winning book by Dr Graham Davis

Press Release - 27 October 2005

Opportunists or victims of oppression? Free public lecture on the Irish pioneers

Local people will get the opportunity to discover the truth about Irish pioneers in a free lecture at the University of Bath (Wednesday 2 November).

Dr Graham Davis, Course Director of the MA in Irish Studies at Bath Spa University College, will dispel the enduring myths about the Irish who left Wexford and Waterford in 1834 to settle in Mexican Texas.

In Myths and Legends of the Irish Pioneers in Texas, Graham will consider the image of the Irish emigration as oppressed, poor folk being driven out of Ireland as part of a sinister plan to rid the country of its ‘surplus’ population.

“Myths and legends abound in the history of the American West,” said Graham. “The American dream, the notion of Texas as a ‘Garden of Eden’ and the domestic ideal of pioneer women have all played an important role in the formative development and expansion of America during the nineteenth century.”

From letters, journals and emigrant guides, it is possible to demythologise much of what has been accepted in the past and reconstruct what took the pioneers to Texas, what happened to them on their journey and what problems they faced settling in.

Graham is the author of The Irish in Britain, 1815-1914 and the award-winning Land!: Irish pioneers in Mexican and Revolutionary Texas.

Admission is free, and people can just turn up on the evening. Free parking available in the West Car Park. All lectures run from 5.15pm until 6.15pm in the lecture hall 8 West 1.1 on the Claverton campus.


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