Hibernia (personification)

Hibernia (personification)

Hibernia as a national personification representing Ireland appeared in numerous cartoon and drawings, especially in the nineteenth century.

As depicted in frequent cartoons in Punch, a magazine outspokenly hostile to Irish nationalism, Hibernia was shown as "Britannia's younger sister". She is an attractive, vulnerable girl. She is threatened by manifestations of Irish nationalism such as the Fenians or the Irish National Land League, invariably depicted as brutish, ape-like monsters. Unable to defend herself, Hibernia turns to the strong, armoured Britannia for defence. John Tenniel, now mainly remembered as the illustrator of "Alice in Wonderland", produced many such depictions of Hibernia.

At times nationalist publications (such as the Land League and Parnell's "United Ireland" newspaper) did use the image of Hibernia. However, possibly because of the pro-union publications' adoption of the "helpless" image of Hibernia, nationalist publications would later use Erin and Kathleen Ni Houlihan as personifications of Irish nationhood. (Although Irish Nationalists did continue to use the terms "Hibernia" and "Hibernian" in other contexts, such as the Ancient Order of Hibernians).

External links

* [http://projects.vassar.edu/punch/lockwood2.html Punch cartoon of March 3, 1866, and commentary by Harlan Wallach]
* [http://www.cartoonstock.com/vintage/directory/h/hibernia.asp The gentlemanly Gladstone and the brutish Land League as rivals for Hibernia's heart]

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