Kimberly J. Stern, “The Publication of John Pentland Mahaffy’s The Decay of Modern Preaching (1882)”
This contribution to BRANCH documents the historical and biographical conditions surrounding the publication of John Pentland Mahaffy’s controversial volume The Decay of Modern Preaching (1882). Although often deemed to be a secular or even heretical thinker, Mahaffy emerges here as a thoughtful scholar of religion standing at the crossroads of faith and reason. In the years preceding the publication of The Decay of Modern Preaching, Mahaffy witnessed a number of changes at Trinity College Dublin that threatened the principles he deemed essential both to good preaching and to intellectual culture more broadly. Mahaffy’s views on intellectual work and religion were mutually sustaining, a fact that helps to enrich our understanding of this important text, its troubled reception in the nineteenth century, and the evolving narrative of nineteenth-century faith.
Lesa Scholl, “Irish Migration to London During the c.1845-52 Famine: Henry Mayhew’s Representation in London Labour and the London Poor“
The Great Irish Famine (c. 1845-52) was marked by mass emigration that had a significant impact on the British mainland. This paper examines Henry Mayhew’s representation of Irish migration to London during the height of the famine in his ethnographic study, London Labour and the London Poor. Mayhew’s ambivalence to Irish migration speaks to the widespread fears within Britain of the spread of disease, overpopulation, and increased pressures on wages and employment, but also expresses empathy for the Irish at a time when British sympathies were waning. The domestic spaces of the Irish migrants depict the tensions between mobility and settlement in a way that reinforces their permanence in the British social landscape