Advance Praise

“Extremely able, though self-effacing, Kettle’s significance to Irish political developments of his day has been underestimated since his death in 1916. As a keen observer of his times, as well as a key participant in many of the events that shaped them, his memoir spans the period from the Famine to the United Irish League. Its reissue, richly enhanced by supplementary scholarship, will provide an invaluable source for anyone seeking insights into late-nineteenth-century Ireland. Niamh Reilly is to be warmly congratulated for her meticulous care in bringing this important book to a new readership.”

Dr Carla King, Michael Davitt biographer, formerly Lecturer in Modern History, St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, Dublin City University


“Andrew Kettle was a central figure in the agrarian struggles of the 1870s and 1880s: his memoirs provide an essential account of the politics of the land and national movements of this era. This new edition, enhanced by an excellent additional biographical essay and scholarly endnotes, will introduce a fresh generation of readers to the memoirs and their intensely vivid evocation of Parnell and his circle. For all who are interested in the social and political history of late-nineteenth-century Ireland, Professor Reilly’s edition is both required and deeply compelling reading.”

Alvin Jackson, Richard Lodge Professor of History, University of Edinburgh



“It is great pleasure to revisit the memoirs of Andrew J. Kettle, especially with the new introduction and additional biographical notes and illuminating endnotes provided by the editor, a direct descendant of Kettle’s, whose empathy for her subject adds to the experience. A reading of Kettle’s memoirs provides an important insight to the more nuanced relationship between landlord and tenant in nineteenth-century Ireland, an interpretation which we have now come to expect in Irish historiography. Andrew Kettle is an underappreciated as opposed to an unknown figure in Irish history. His remarkable eyewitness account of a pivotal period reaching from the Famine to the Land War reveals a great deal about the complex social connections of elites who influenced Irish life and politics either side of independence. The son of a respectable North Dublin farmer, Kettle’s memoirs reveal the many paradoxes of the tillage farmer come land agitator. The memoirs are full of nuggets important to the local historian. More broadly, they are a significant primary source that have the capacity to continue to open avenues of future research exploration in the fields of both political and social history.”

Terence Dooley, Professor of History, Maynooth University


“This new edition of Andrew J. Kettle’s memoirs, The Material for Victory, is notable for providing a wealth of information and a much-needed detailed contextualization on an important and neglected protagonist of late-nineteenth-century Irish agrarian and political history. This greatly helps the readers to understand Kettle’s crucial role in Ireland’s Land War – a mass movement for agrarian reform that provided a major model for action to oppressed tenants and farmers across the Euro-American world.”

Enrico Dal Lago, Established Professor of History, University of Galway


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The Material for Victory: The Memoirs of Andrew J. Kettle Copyright © 2023 by Open Press at the University of Galway is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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