"Days in the Life: Reading the Michael Collins Diaries"

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"Days in the Life: Reading the Michael Collins Diaries"

"Days in the Life: Reading the Michael Collins Diaries, 1918–1922": talk by authors A Dolan & W Murphy on their new book about the diaries

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The Royal Irish Academy 19 Dawson Street D02 HH58 Dublin 2 Ireland

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The National Archives is delighted to announce its contribution to the programme for this year’s Dublin Festival of History in which Dr Anne Dolan and Dr William Murphy, authors of "Days in the Life: Reading the Michael Collins Diaries, 1918–1922", will discuss their new book with Professor Diarmaid Ferriter.

From 1918 to 1922, Michael Collins kept working diaries of his busy revolutionary life. They are a collection of hurried notes, necessary lists, names and appointments, things to do and things not done. They are a record of his long working days and they got him to where he needed to be on time. Though these diaries do not contain conventional lengthy entries in which Collins finally reveals his innermost thoughts, they still tell us much about this extraordinary man.

Anne Dolan and William Murphy in conversation with Diarmaid Ferriter will explore the nature of this fascinating if often cryptic source which was loaned to the National Archives by the Collins family in autumn 2021. By connecting the diaries to what we already know of Collins and the revolution, Dolan and Murphy invite us to take the opportunity to consider Collins’s life and career from a novel and particular perspective.

Speakers’ biographies

Anne Dolan is Associate Professor in Modern Irish History at the Department of History and a Fellow of Trinity College Dublin. She is author of "Commemorating the Irish Civil War: History and Memory, 1923–2000" (2003) and with William Murphy, "Michael Collins: the Man and the Revolution" (2018). She has published widely on the history of violence in the revolutionary period, the politics of memory and the social and cultural history of inter-war Ireland. Her latest book with William Murphy is "Days in the Life: Reading the Michael Collins Diaries, 1918–1922".

William Murphy is Associate Professor of History at Dublin City University. He is the author of "Political Imprisonment and the Irish, 1912–1921" (2014). He has co-edited the books "The Gaelic Athletic Association, 1884–2009" (2009) and "Leisure and the Irish in the Nineteenth Century" (2016). With Anne Dolan he is co-author of "Michael Collins: the Man and the Revolution" (2018). His latest book with Anne Dolan is "Days in the Life: Reading the Michael Collins Diaries, 1918–1922".


Diarmaid Ferriter is Full Professor and Chair of Modern Irish History at University College Dublin and author of numerous books including "The Transformation of Ireland 1900–2000 (2004)"; "Occasions of Sin: Sex and Society in Modern Ireland" (2009); "Ambiguous Republic: Ireland in the 1970s (2012)"; "The Border: The Legacy of a Century of Anglo-Irish Politics" (2019) and most recently, "Between Two Hells: The Irish Civil War (2021)". He is a regular television and radio broadcaster and a weekly columnist with "The Irish Times". In 2019 he was elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy.