The history of Irish Nationalism is the subject of Robert Kee's "The Green Flag". In Volume 1, he opens with the question "Who are the Irish?" and ranges from Ireland's earliest beginnings to the Great Famine of 1845, and onward through the abortive 1848 Rising to the genesis of the Fenian movment in the 1860's.
The first ( standaone) volume of Kee's three book history of Irish nationalism, first published in 1971-72, in this PB edition by Quartet Books, 1983. Tanning to page block.