Captive Columns: An Underground Prison Press 1865 – 2000

Author Eoghan Mac Cormaic
Condition New
Cover Type Softback

‘Plotting was the natural consequence of the isolation we were detained in,’ wrote John Sarsfield Casey, a Fenian prisoner in Pentonville in 1866, facing deportation. The prisoners established lines of communication to keep connected to each other and to the outside world. Republicans constantly defied and resisted authority. They smuggled; they planned escapes; and they disseminated news and told their stories in a literature which was central to morale and the integrity of the struggle. In ‘Captive Columns’ Eoghan Mac Cormaic looks at the literature of the republican press which saw the production of over sixty prison titles—often handwritten or typed. From the pinpricked sheets of toilet paper in Pentonville to Bobby Sands’ poetry, written on toilet paper and smuggled out to be published, this is an astonishing story which has never been examined in such detail before.