Fighting like the Devil for the sake of God

Protestants, Catholics and the origins of violence in Victorian Belfast

By Mark Doyle

Fighting like the Devil for the sake of God


  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-7953-5
  • Pages: 320
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £18.99
  • Published Date: April 2009
  • BIC Category: POLITICAL SCIENCE / Terrorism, RELIGION / Christian Life / Social Issues, Northern Ireland, Humanities / History, History, History, Christian life & practice, RELIGION / Religion, Politics & State, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Violence in Society, HISTORY / Europe / Ireland, HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain / Victorian Era (1837-1901)


This fascinating book about Belfast in the middle of the nineteenth century looks at how and why Ireland's most prosperous and industrialized town began to tear itself apart. This study provides a vivid example of how a society can come apart at the seams - and how it can stay that way for generations. Through a series of steadily escalating riots, working-class Protestants and Catholics forged a tradition of violence that profoundly shaped their own identities and that of the city itself, setting the stage for the bitter conflicts of the next century.

Fighting like the Devil for the Sake of God describes that foundational moment, offering a new analysis of Belfast's violence that is rooted in the social lives of those who constructed this bitter rivalry and those who were forced to endure it.

This book will be of interest to scholars in the fields of Irish and Modern History.


List of maps and illustrations
List of abbreviations
1. Defending the faith: evangelicalism and anti-Catholicism
2. Belfast Catholics: 'a mere incohesive heap'
3. An unenviable notoriety: the 1857 riots
4. Local government and Catholic alienation
5. The idea of order: Dublin Castle and Belfast Protestants
6. The city erupts: August 1864
7. Glasgow: sectarian détente
8. Memories of violence, 1864-1886
Appendix: 1864 riot ballads


Mark Doyle is an Assistant Professor at Middle Tennessee State University

Fighting like the Devil for the sake of God

By Mark Doyle

Paperback £18.99 / $27.95

Hardcover £80.00 / $120.00

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