Holograph letter to Dr Michael Cox from Fr Gerard Manley Hopkins, in which he comments on the thesis of a book, or pamphlet, lent to him by Dr. Cox. The book in question was 'Arts and Industries in Ireland' by S.A. [Sarah Atkinson] (Dublin: M.H. Gill & Son: 1882), which contains two essays, one of which is ‘Irish Wool and Woollens, passages from the history of the staple trade’. Its thesis was that English interests had secured the suppression of the Irish woollen trade, thus contributing to the poverty of Ireland. Hopkins does not accept this – ‘Irish writers on their own history are naturally led to dwell on what in history is most honourable to Ireland…They are also led to dwell on what in history is most dishonourable to England…the most extensive…Irish woollen industry was frieze…this was never checked by English legislation…’.
Dr Cox, a university colleague of Fr Hopkins, was a distinguished Dublin physician, lecturer in the Medical School of the Catholic University Dublin and Examiner for the Royal University of Ireland.
S.A. was Sarah Atkinson, author of a Life of Mother Mary Aikenhead, Foundress of the Irish Sisters of Charity.
The letter along with another by Fr Hopkins (See J11/7) was presented to the then Editor of 'Studies' Fr Roland Burke Savage SJ by the late Fr Arthur Cox, son of the recipient. Both letters were published in 'Studies', Spring 1970 (Vol. LIX, No. 233) pp.19 - 25, with an explanatory introduction and notes by the then Editor, Fr Peter Troddyn SJ.