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James Lyttleton

The Image of Irelande, with a Discoverie of Woodkarne was published by John Derricke in 1581, following his time in Ireland in the employ of Sir Henry Sidney, the then lord deputy of Ireland. The book defends Sidney’s record and details the military victories he achieved over the native Irish. Included in the publication were twelve double-page woodcuts which Derricke stated were ‘Made and devised by him’. These depict various scenes of life in late Tudor Ireland, some of which Derricke may have witnessed himself. Two of these illustrate Sidney in Dublin, one a scene in which the lord deputy emerges through the main gate of Dublin Castle in a procession of horse-mounted troops. Notwithstanding certain licence on Derricke’s part, this image of Dublin Castle and its environs still provides a valuable commentary on the nature of the built environment in late sixteenth-century Dublin, the nature of which is only partially understood from documentary sources and archaeological remains. This chapter discusses the value of Derricke’s Image for archaeologists and architectural historians in reconstructing certain aspects of architecture in late Tudor Dublin.

in John Derricke’s The Image of Irelande: with a Discoverie of Woodkarne
Print culture, multimodality, and visual design in Derricke’s Image of Irelande
Andie Silva

One of the most detailed visual accounts of Irish customs and culture, the twelve illustrations in The Image of Ireland (1581) represent an impressive achievement in visual design and textual navigation. Part diagram, part graphic novel, each image features small letters connecting its actions to the narrative poem below. A look at other printed illustrations from the period (particularly those produced by Dutch woodcutters) demonstrates that John Derricke’s work carefully responded to contemporary themes and popular visual protocols. Further, the twelve illustrations offered a unique combination of form, design, and functionality not unlike modern hypertexts. Taking into consideration the early print marketplace in general and the demands from Day’s workroom in particular, this chapter suggests that The Image of Ireland’s illustrations were designed to be printed and circulated separately from Derricke’s poem. Derricke’s illustrations can be understood within the context of increasingly multimodal and dynamic reading practices among middle-class readers and are evidence of Day’s incredibly diverse market of book-buyers.

in John Derricke’s The Image of Irelande: with a Discoverie of Woodkarne
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Thomas Herron
Denna J. Iammarino
, and
Maryclaire Moroney

The Introduction to the book offers a historical and literary contextualization of the Image. The editors address the text’s rich historical connections; the little-known background of the author, John Derricke; the brief, but impactful reception of the work; the immediate and contemporary reaches of the Image. Lastly, the editors summarize the collection’s chapters, linking many of the ideas contained in the work. In general, the Introduction seeks to present information about the work, its characters, and its sordid history, ultimately arguing for its early modern significance to a variety of disciplines.

in John Derricke’s The Image of Irelande: with a Discoverie of Woodkarne
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Derricke, Dürer, and Foxe
Thomas Herron

This chapter explores the thematic connections between two English works rife with pro-Protestant Reformation-era politics and religious polemic, John Derricke's Image of Irelande, with a Discoverie of Woodkarne (1581) and John Foxe's Actes and Monuments (1560s) (also known as the Book of Martyrs). Both works were published by John Day in London. This chapter highlights Derricke’s apocalyptic rhetoric as well as similarities between his sophisticated visual program of woodcuts, Foxe’s title page, and the religious prints of Albrecht Dürer. Derricke's visual scheme of twelve woodcuts is bifurcated in style between the ‘damned’ Irish and the civilized English who conquered them. Sir Henry Sidney, Derricke's hero against the rebel Irish, is portrayed as more of a Christ-like judge than previously understood.

in John Derricke’s The Image of Irelande: with a Discoverie of Woodkarne
William O’Neil

John Derricke’s The Image of Irelande and Edmund Spenser’s Book Five of The Faerie Queene participate in an ongoing Tudor debate about how best to bring Ireland into a secure British polity. With a simplifying imagery, advocates for military conquest recommended ‘the sword’, and advocates for peaceful civil reform called for ‘the white wand’. This chapter reviews the ceremonial meanings of the white wand in Tudor England – in portraits, law, broadsheets, state papers, literature, and letters – and then shows how writers appropriated those meanings to advance their preferred policy in Ireland. In The Image John Derricke reverses the traditional associations with the white wand as he celebrates Sir Henry Sidney’s policies as the Lord Deputy. In Book Five Edmund Spenser follows this same rhetorical strategy to advocate for conquest of Ireland and only then civil reform.

in John Derricke’s The Image of Irelande: with a Discoverie of Woodkarne
Essays on text and context

This collection of sixteen essays, the first devoted to John Derricke’s work, offers new readings of, and new sources behind, The Image of Irelande: With a Discoverie of Woodkarne (1581), all to better explicate facets of this difficult and complex book. While prior scholarship on Derricke was largely confined to commentary on the illustrations, the essays in this volume encompass a broad range of approaches to the Image of Irelande in its entirety. Although on the face of it, The Image is blatantly pro-Sidney and anti-Irish propaganda, and has always been so received, the essays in this collection combine to suggest that Derricke’s book is in fact far more culturally and politically daring than has been assumed, with a highly sophisticated textual and visual presentation only now brought into focus. In addition to scrutinizing Derricke’s poetic and iconographic practices, the essays include insights from architecture and archaeology, print history and reading practices, studies of civic display and colonial ideologies. The collection, divided into five sections (Ideologies, Archaeologies, Print and publication, Influences, and Interpretations), establishes a basis on which to build future analyses of Derricke’s enigmatic book.

Sir Henry Sidney’s return to Dublin as depicted in Derricke’s Image of Irelande
Bríd McGrath

In addition to depicting Henry Sidney’s continued state building and reform of Irish political and administrative systems, this chapter argues that the Image also represents Sidney’s desire to promote the ceremonial aspects of the viceroy’s role, especially the newly established herald’s office. In such depictions, Derricke presents Sidney as the embodiment of vice-regal power in stark contrast to his depictions of the uncivilised Irish. And he does so especially in the various visualisations of the woodcuts, which illustrate civic imagery, civic iconography and state regalia. This chapter thoroughly analyses Plates 10 and 11 for these civic images, highlighting the role of heralds and aldermen in Sidney’s military and diplomatic achievements. Moreover, this chapter considers the distinction and overlap between English and Irish symbols in these plates.

in John Derricke’s The Image of Irelande: with a Discoverie of Woodkarne
Derricke’s rebel poems
Elisabeth Chaghafi

The final sections of John Derricke's Image of Irelande, containing the contrasting tales of Rory Oge O’More and O’Neale, contain a shift of focus, metre and rhyme scheme. When the narrative perspective changes to that of Rory, Derricke drops into a ballad form of sorts. Both this form and the format of the condemned criminal lamenting his wicked life echo a popular early modern genre: criminal biography. Yet while there are similarities of format, there are also important differences between ‘biographical’ pamphlets and broadsheets and Derricke's rebel biographies – most notably that he contrasts the tale of an unrepentant rebel with that of a repentant one. This chapter compares the final section of The Image of Irelande to early modern criminal biography and proposes that Derricke adapted the popular genre to serve his main purpose of glorifying Sir Henry Sidney, who is a central character in the accounts of both rebels’ lives.

in John Derricke’s The Image of Irelande: with a Discoverie of Woodkarne
Scott, Small, and the Edinburgh Edition
Willy Maley
Alasdair Thanisch

This chapter builds on the ‘lives and legacies’ strand of John Derricke scholarship by examining the Scottish contexts and reception of The Image of Irelande, specifically through Sir Walter Scott’s inclusion of Derricke as part of his editing of Lord Somers’s tracts (1809–15) and the historical contexts for both Scott’s work and the 1883 edition (with Scott’s notes) by Edinburgh University librarian John Small. The richness of Derricke’s Scottish afterlife has yet to be fully explored, from the copy owned by William Drummond through the Advocate’s Library copy consulted by Scott, to Small’s landmark edition. How far did Scott’s and Small’s interventions influence Scottish opinion on Ireland? They certainly serve to remind readers that Derricke’s perspective is archipelagic rather than merely English. Given the extent to which Scott and Small shaped the modern reception of The Image of Irelande, it could be argued that it has come down to us as a distinctly Scottish image. The purpose of this chapter is to track some of the ways in which The Image of Irelande offers, through Ulster and Edinburgh, an image of Scotland.

in John Derricke’s The Image of Irelande: with a Discoverie of Woodkarne
John Derricke versus Edmund Spenser
Brian C. Lockey

Early Modern English perspectives on the conquest of Ireland reflected broad humanist ideals about just conquest and colonialism that were emerging within debates between continental humanists and traditional Spanish scholastics concerning the Spanish conquest of the New World. For example, the focus on Irish behaviour in works by John Derricke and Edmund Spenser, in particular their characterisation of the Irish as nomadic brigands, were influenced to some extent by early sixteenth-century humanist accounts of the Amerindians. This chapter considers Derricke’s Image of Irelande (1581) within the context of religious and humanist debates on the conquest and settlement of the New World and the contemporary representation of New World inhabitants. Ultimately, it shows that the terms of the debates concerning the reform of ‘unnatural’ New World polities were reproduced, albeit in modified form, within the Irish context, allowing writers such as Derricke and Spenser to condemn native Irish barbarism from the perspective of natural law while also identifying a clear path to reform.

in John Derricke’s The Image of Irelande: with a Discoverie of Woodkarne