Brian Jackson
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Henry Fitzsimon, the Irish Jesuits and Catholic identity in the early modern period
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In a short biographical sketch of the distinguished Irish Jesuit Henry Fitzsimon published in Studies in 1943, James Corboy concluded his essay with a bleak assessment of life on the Jesuit mission to Ireland in 1630. Corboy asserted that after a long literary career on the continent, Fitzsimon returned from exile to Dublin where he was so harassed by persecution that he had no opportunity to write. Tropes of exile, persecution and hardships endured by witnesses for the true faith were recurring themes in Irish historical writing. Fitzsimon's writings project a sense of identity that is self-confidently and assertively Catholic. The historical writings of Edmund Hogan, Myles Ronan, Timothy Corcoran, Corboy and Robin Dudley Edwards, although grounded in meticulous archival research, all have a common rhetorical thread: they are faith narratives.

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