Mark Empey
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‘A real credit to Ireland, and to Dublin’
The scholarly achievements of Sir James Ware
in Dublin
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This chapter explores Sir James Ware's particular interest in the ecclesiastical, political, administrative and cultural aspects of Dublin's past. It then examines how Ware compiled such an impressive collection of manuscripts. The chapter exposes the existence of a wide scholarly network, thereby demonstrating the extent of social and cultural interaction between ethnic and religious communities. Ware's reputation extends well beyond his enormous contribution to Irish history. Ware's manuscript collection reveals a broad cultural curiosity that was by no means confined to a scholarly elite. On the contrary, it shows that members of multiple religious, social and ethnic backgrounds were eager to engage with manuscripts and books, whether related to matters of national or international interest. The very diversity of Ware's network reveals that seventeenth-century Dublin, and by extension Ireland, was more culturally vibrant than has been previously thought.

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