6 AUGUST 1870, Page 21

The Student's Manual of Irish History. By M. F. Cusack.

(Longmans.) —We mast know what object the " student " has before him before we can recommend this " manual " to him. If he wants to get a sketch of Irish history from an exclusively Irish point of view, this is the book for him. And such a sketch has doubtless its use, though only to students far more advanced and better informed than those into whose hands manuals commonly come. But for a calm, comprehensive, im- partial view of the relation between the two contending races in Ireland, he will look in vain. We give one instance of the defects of the book. There is not a syllable about the massacre of 1641. Now, there are few things in Irish history more important than this. Probably Mr. Cusack thinks that it was a just reprisal ; it is possible that he may deny that it ever took place. But anyhow, all England believes in it, and nothing did so much to turn the hearts of the people from King Charles than the suspicion that his policy had something to do with bringing it about. "A new insurrection was formed in Ireland," says Mr. Cusack. But it was the report, whether true or false, not of an insurrection, but of a massacre, that stirred the hearts of Englishmen. To teach Irish history in this fashion is ludicrous. What English historian would think of ignoring the treacherous massacre of the Danes by Ethelred?