Today I published The Cavalier Duke by Professor J.C. Beckett.
James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormond, was a prominent member of an ancient, and illustrious Anglo-Irish family, to whose annals, he contributed some of their brightest pages.
Greatest of all the Cavaliers he earned the distinction of being specially exempted in Cromwell’s Act for the Settlement of Ireland, from pardon of life or estate.
An ardent supporter of the ill-fated House of Stuart, he lived an honourable life, earning the respect of all parties and creeds.
This history of his life by one of the finest exponents of Modern Irish History, shows Ormond as a model of behaviour in word and deed, for the Irishman of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
The renowned Irish historian and writer James Camlin Beckett was the first professor of Irish history at Queen’s University, Belfast, from 1958 to 1975. Educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution and Queen’s, where he turned from studying English to history, Beckett became a teacher of history at the Royal Belfast Academy on the Cavehill Road. After the second world war, Beckett was offered a post at Queen’s and began his writing career.
At the forefront of the ‘new history’ pioneered by TW Moody, Beckett was instrumental in raising standards of historical research in Queen’s and throughout Northern Ireland. Originally a scholar of the eighteenth century, Beckett broadened his research, culminating in the publication of his defining masterpiece, The Making of Modern Ireland in 1966. Described as the ‘safest and fairest guide through the Irish political jungle’, The Making of Modern Ireland is to this day a required text for all students of Irish history. It has avoided the usual denunciations that have marred other works primarily due to Beckett’s fair minded accuracy.