Posts Tagged ‘Easter Rising’

Review of Gerry Hunt’s ‘Blood Upon the Rose’, part one

2 November 2009

Contributed by Edward Madigan.

Blood upon the roseWe gave copies of  Gerry Hunt’s graphic novel on 1916 ‘Blood Upon the Rose’ to a historian and a graphic artist to review.  Edward Madigan, Centre for War Studies, Trinity College Dublin, takes the first half of this two-part review:

In the Ireland I grew up in boys’ comics were big business and those that specialised in historical war and violence were particularly popular. Yet virtually all the ones I remember were produced in Britain and featured English heroes and German villains. The stories that filled the pages of Victor, Hotspur, The Eagle, Battle Action, and Commando gave British and Irish boys a distinctly Anglo-centric version of British military history, and the Second World War in particular. Scottish and Welsh heroes, much less Irish ones, rarely got a look-in and any Irish schoolboys in search of a popular and dramatic account of Irish historical events had to make do with a dusty copy of Speeches from the Dock. Gerry Hunt’s Blood Upon the Rose, which focuses on the events of the Easter Rising, offers a valuable counter to this British dominance in ‘war in history’ comics available in Ireland.

From both a dramatic and historical point of view, Hunt’s narrative is quite simplistic. The rebel leaders and the rank-and-file volunteers are, to a man, brave, defiant and conscientious, while the British officers and men that oppose them are cold, cruel and ignorant. Ironically, given this black and white portrayal, both the rebels and the British soldiers appear to be wearing the same green uniforms, although in reality the British wore khaki and the relatively small number of rebels who donned uniforms on Easter Monday wore dark green. This is a relatively minor gripe, however, and despite the general simplicity of the narrative there is little for the historian to complain about in Blood Upon the Rose. Read more


Poll: Best film on the Easter Rising and its Aftermath

27 July 2009

Thomas McDonaghPue’s poll is one of the monthly features on the blog. This month’s poll is, as usual, entirely subjective and the result of our collective (and biased, of course) list-making: what’s the best film on the Easter Rising and its aftermath? Well, what are you waiting for? Go to our poll page and vote! Voting is completely anonymous, and we’ll publish the results in about 4 weeks.

Any ideas for future polls? Leave us a comment below.