Linen Town

High Street, Belfast, 1786 A pen and ink study on tinted paper of Ye High Streete Belfast Anno Dom 1786 features the old Market House in front of which an insurrectionist would be hanged twelve years after; behind the vignette of bustling, fashionable Belfast life a clock is ticking: the political execution will change everything. Heaney uses a depiction announcing the political turbulence leading to the Act of Union of 1801 as a stark appeal to avoid yet another period of strife. His sense, however, that circumstances make recurring violence inevitable in Irish history will prove true: between the submission of the Wintering Out manuscript to Faber for consideration the events of Bloody Friday and Bloody Sunday will once again […]