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There is a tragic inevitability about Irish history: "hatred answering hatred", as Lady Gregory wrote. Four events in particular, Yeats' "four deep, tragic notes", ring through Irish history: the Catholic revolt against Elizabeth; the battle of the Boyne, which established the Protestant Ascendancy; the impact of the French Revolution; and the fall from power of Charles Stewart Parnell, which turned Ireland away from peaceful solutions to its ills. The authors bring the story up to the present, then look ahead to the end of the century.
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