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Peasant Marriage in Ireland: its Structure and Development since the Famine1


  • 1

    This paper, originally two public lectures delivered in Queen's University, is largely based on material collected by the Irish Folklore Commission. I am greatly indebted to Prof. J. H. Delargy, Honorary Director of the Commission, to its staff and collectors. Prof. Delargy gave me access to the Commission's archives and arranged for the circulation of some forty collectors with a questionnaire on marriage that elicited information hardly obtainable otherwise. Dr Thomas Wall drew my attention to little-known sources. Mr Sean O'Sullivan advised me in drafting the questionnaire, translated material from the Irish and let me draw, time after time, on his unrivalled knowledge of Irish peasant life. I hope elsewhere to make a fuller and more fully documented examination of the subject-matter of this paper: quotations unattributed here come from material collected by the Folklore Commission.