Page 5 - The 15th Percy French Festival: French Awakenings
P. 5

French and Parnell
           Dr Pauric Travers,  the former President of St Patrick’s College Drumcondra,
           gave an erudite talk here in "'%& on C. S. Parnell and P. French, noting how
           their upbringings were similar, how their lives paralleled in many ways, and
           how eventu ally their paths crossed with both having o#ces close to each
           other in Middle Abbey Street. Dr Travers began by highlight ing the contexts
           in which they arose, the estates in which they lived, family sizes (both were
           the third child; Parnell of %%; French of (); both privately tutored; both Church
           of Ireland; both enjoyed similarly sized home libraries; and both attended
           Windermere College in the Lake District in England.

                                                       Parnell electioneering in Kilkenny
           Political French
           The Jarvey, was a weekly humourous magazine that relayed the political ‘goings
           on’ of the day, gossip from high society, soirées, balls, race meet ings through
           caricatures, cartoons, commen tar ies, drawings, verses, and stories.  It was
           edited by French through out %**( and %*(', years that coincided with the
           split of the Irish Parlia men tary Party and Parnell’s subsequent political fall. The
           %') editions, each of %+ pages, provides insight to aspects of French’s world -
           view and political outlook. The Jarvey of the title being a Florry Knox type
           !gure, a loveable rogue, reminiscent of The Irish RM of Somerville and Ross.

           The Jarvey proclaims its political neutrality loudly and repeatedly, and immedi -
           ately what comes to mind is Shakespeare’s ‘Methinks he doth protest too much’.
           What might prove a more reliable clue to French’s disposition vis à vis politics
           and politicians was his description of his parents’ attempts to push him into

           PERCY FRENCH FESTIVAL !"!#                                           •"•
   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10