Roger Casement: The Black Diaries - with a study of his background, sexuality, and Irish political life

Roger Casement: The Black Diaries - with a study of his background, sexuality, and Irish political life

by Jeffrey Dudgeon

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Overview

In this revised and expanded second edition with more photographs, all Roger Casement's Black Diaries are, uniquely, again published together, including the never-before-seen erotically-charged 1911 Diary over which London threatened an obscenity prosecution. A number of new characters are introduced and some old mysteries solved.

The volume provides both a comprehensive view of the diaries' texts, with explanations for many of the cast of characters, famous, infamous, and fleeting, and a context for the author whose significance and seminal role in the political development of independent Ireland has been masked by the debates over the diaries' authenticity. This is a uniquely fresh and original look at the Irish patriot and humanitarian, hanged in 1916 for treason. It was the same Casement whose reports on rubber slavery and genocide in King Leopold's Congo and the Peruvian Amazon, in 1904 and 1911, reflected in two of his Black Diaries, that shocked Edwardian England.

The book also deals with the neglected sides of Casement's life, his involvement in Ulster politics, his family background in Co. Antrim, his Belfast boyfriend Millar Gordon, and his sociopathic companion, the Norwegian sailor, Adler Christensen, as well as a comprehensive view of the authenticity controversies, Casement's homosexuality, and his time in Africa and Brazil.

Roger Casement had iconic status in life and after death was sanctified and vilified in equal measure. His real self was consequently obscured. This book combines a rigorous academic study of Casement, the public and political figure (with over 1,000 references and an extensive bibliography, updated to 2016), alongside an account of his personal life, sexuality, and consular career, and an informed view of how they all interlocked and originated. It also provides a fresh assessment of the events leading up to the Easter Rising and British intelligence failings, and an up-to-date account of the controversies that have swirled around Casement to this day, including the attempts made in Dublin, from the 1930s, to threaten the truth about the Black Diaries.

'No Roger Casement - No Easter Rising': Casement groomed the key personnel who set about creating the Irish Republic, from 1904 to 1923. He commissioned the first arms for the IRA - on two occasions, in 1914 and 1916. To know about Roger Casement is to know why Ireland achieved independence and why Ulster stayed separate remaining in the UK after partition. This volume therefore provides an insight into the political conflict in the north and suggests how it could be diminished by both learning and respecting each other's stories and agreeing to disagree.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780953928736
Publisher: Belfast Press
Publication date: 01/05/2016
Pages: 730
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 1.46(d)

About the Author

Jeffrey Dudgeon was born in Belfast, educated locally and at Trinity College, Dublin. In 1981 he was the winning plaintiff at the European Court of Human Rights in a suit against the UK. This resulted in the decriminalisation of male homosexuality in Northern Ireland in 1982. A civil servant for many years, he was, from 1995-8, parliamentary adviser to the UK Unionist MP for North Down. For the following two years, he was engaged, full time, in researching this book. Awarded an MBE in the 2012 New Year's Honours List, for services to the LGBT community, he was, in 2013, one of the two Ulster Unionist Party representatives at the Haass Talks. In 2014, he was elected to Belfast City Council, and chairs its Diversity Working Group. He continues to speak on issues relating to Roger Casement and his global significance, particularly so in the Decade of Centenaries, whose apex is 2016. Much of his recent research has been in relation to Casement's time in Berlin, involving transcription of his German diary and associated documentation, as well as further investigations into his companions and British Intelligence in 1916, and newly emerging aspects of his upbringing.

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