The Dreyfus affair was the major political scandal of the late 1890s. A Jewish officer in the French army had been unjustly convicted of spying for Germany, yet the French government and army refused to accept his innocence. This is a survey of opinions expressed in the columns of Irish newspapers and magazines on the subject.
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According to author Richard Barrett, “I have had a fascination for the Dreyfus affair since reading about it in Barbara Tuchman’s classic book ‘The Proud Tower’ many years ago. At the time, the controversy divided the people of France and outraged public opinion in the western world, but opinions in Ireland “especially nationalist Ireland” were different.”
The background to the Dreyfus Affair was the unjust conviction of a Jewish officer in the French Army of spying for Germany in the late 1890’s. The refusal of the French government and army to accept his innocence and free him caused an international outcry.
This book examines Irish opinions as they were expressed in the press at that time, and looks for reasons why many opinion formers in Ireland chose to see the issue a little differently.