Using early photographs and prose extracts from writings of the time, this book gives an insight into the attitudes, opinions and habits of the Irish at the beginning of the 20th century, and brings their ordinary concerns and activities back to life. The Ireland that took shape during the 19th century excited a wide range of intense responses. Its extremes of grandeur and ugliness, poverty and wealth, provoked strong reactions from visitors and provided an inexhaustible topic for writers who knew the country well. The selection of illustrations brought together for this book record the contrasts of the era. The pictures show the aristocracy, the professionals, the city-workers, the rural people, and the farmers and laborers whose livelihoods depended on the land. They also offer a glimpse of trends in fashion and entertainment, and recall changing modes of transport and types of work at the end of the 19th century.