ROGER CASEMENT

16Lives

By
Angus Mitchell
Roger Casement

A fascinating examination of the extraordinary life of Roger Casement, executed as part of the 1916 rising, fighting the empire that had previously knighted him. Ultimately, he was hanged in Pentonville prison on the 3 August—two years to the day after Britain’s declaration of war in 1914. 

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Paperback:
432 pages
Size:
196x130 mm
ISBN:
9781847172648

Also available as an Electronic Book (ePub)

ISBN:
9781847176080

A fascinating examination of the extraordinary life of Roger Casement, executed as part of the 1916 rising, fighting the empire that had previously knighted him.
Roger Casement was a British consul for two decades. However, his investigation into atrocities in the Congo led Casement to anti-Imperialist views. Ultimately, this led him to side with the Irish Republican movement, leading up to the 1916 rising.
Arrested by the British for gun trafficking, he was incarcerated in the Tower of London and then placed in the dock at the Royal Courts of Justice in an internationally-publicised state trial for high treason. He was hanged in Pentonville prison on the 3 August—two years to the day after Britain’s declaration of war in 1914.

Angus Mitchell was born in Africa and educated in England. From 1987 to 1992 he lived in Spain where he wrote extensively on Spanish culture, food and cinema and published the widely-acclaimed Spain: Interiors, Gardens, Architecture, Landscape (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1992).  From 1992-98 he lived in Brazil where he worked as a film and television correspondent and helped to develop the award-winning historical drama, Carlota Joaquina: Princess of Brazil (1995).

Since 1998, he has lived in Ireland. For over two decades, he has studied the life and legacy of Roger Casement and a group of associated radicals, pacifists, feminists, cosmopolitan nationalists, internationalists and other critics of empire. To date, his published research has focussed largely on Roger Casement’s work in Africa and South America.

In 1997, he edited and annotated The Amazon Journal of Roger Casement (Dublin: Lilliput Press & London: Anaconda Editions). In 2003, there appeared a companion volume Sir Roger Casement’s Heart of Darkness: The 1911 Documents (Dublin: Irish Manuscripts Commission). These editions helped to retrieve Casement into the history of human rights and situated him within a progressive anti-colonial dialogue in pre-First World War Britain. The work also reinvigorated academic interest in Casement and the controversies associated with his life and afterlife.

Much of the early research for this body of work was undertaken while Mitchell was resident in South America, where he travelled widely on the Amazon and revisited the principal locations where Casement stayed when consul general in Brazil.

His work has cast vital new light on Casement’s entanglement with British intelligence and the enduring puzzle over the authenticity of the nefarious Black Diaries, the documents that have largely defined Casement’s myth in the public imagination. Mitchell has long made the argument, along with other reputable historians, that these documents are forgeries.

In 2010, Mitchell initiated and helped to curate, with Professor Laura Izarra at the University of São Paulo, a series of exhibitions on Roger Casement that helped to alert a wider international audience to the importance of Casement as both an intellectual and an activist. The exhibition opened in Manaus on the Amazon in 2010. It then moved to the Centro Maria Antonia in São Paulo, where it was launched by the Irish Ambassador to Brazil. In 2012, it opened in the presence of the Nobel Laureate for Literature, Mario Vargas Llosa, at the prestigious Casa de América in Madrid. The exhibition is currently being revised for an African tour. It will open in Maputo, Mozambique in 2013.

A Spanish edition of The Amazon Journal of Roger Casement (La Coruña: Ediciones del Viento) appeared in 2011. A Portuguese edition will be published by the University of São Paulo in 2014.

Mitchell is currently looking at other individuals involved in the cultural politics of the early twentieth century. These include the historian Alice Stopford Green, the botanist, Augustine Henry, and the evangelical faith missionary and divine, Henry Grattan Guinness, who established the earliest mission stations on the lower Congo.

From 2004- 2009, Mitchell worked as a university lecturer in both the U.S. and Ireland. He now devotes himself full-time to writing, guest lecturing, parenting and gardening. 

Mitchell’s work has appeared in various international, academic and mainstream journals. He sits on the editorial board of History Ireland and is a regular contributor to the on-line Dublin Review of Books. Most recently he annotated two extensive extracts from Casement’s German diaries for Field Day Review 8:2012.

He lives in the mid-west of Ireland.

sympathetic and well-structured study … admirable contribution to a timely series of studies of the sixteen men executed for their part in the rebellion of 1916

‘Brea’ Digital Journal of Irish Studies

excellent … Angus Mitchell, the foremost authority on Casement, has written a superlative book about the humanitarian pioneer and Irish patriot … I heartily recommend this book

irishtimes.com

there is much to admire in this book

Irish Echo

rich … Mitchell weaves Casement’s attuned sense of suffering through the Congo to gunrunning in Howth, the infamous Black Diaries and his death, reminding us that his legacy is of furthering an understanding of human rights

Irish Times

Mitchell steers the reader through the many aspects of Casement’s life and afterlife with a steady hand at the tiller

Books Ireland

this is both a narrative and a sourcebook for understanding Sir Roger Casement

Dublin Review of Books

Angus Mitchell provides a thoroughly developed and detailed map to follow and understand Casement’s footprints in history

Dublin Review of Books

Angus Mitchell … has erected an essential pillar in the pantheon series 16 Lives, which explores sixteen individuals who were executed after the 1916 Easter Rising with an eye on the guideline of the prompt “Who were these people and what drove them to commit themselves to violent revolution?”

Dublin Review of Books

fascinating

Choice Magazine

fascinating

Clare County Express

the latest volume in the superb 16 Lives series

RTE Guide
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