The Troubled Life of Richard Castle, Ireland’s Pre-Eminent Early Eighteenth-Century Architect
Richard Castle is widely regarded as one of the most important architects in eighteenth-century Ireland, yet this is the first book devoted to both Castle’s personal history and his professional career. The study builds on a wealth of information concerning his background. It investigates Castle’s Dutch and Sephardic ancestors, his father’s position at the Polish court, the military career of his siblings in the Saxon/Polish army, his wife’s Huguenot family, and his kinship with English economist David Ricardo. Making use of extensive research data, the book refutes commonly held misconceptions about Castle’s name, family, nationality and religion.
This book will be of interest to architectural historians, readers interested in Irish/European cultural studies, and researchers into the Jewish diaspora and into early modern Europe in general.
Barbara Freitag was a lecturer of intercultural studies at Dublin City University, Ireland from 1981 to 2007, and since then has been a full-time researcher. She has published some twenty articles on Irish culture (mainly on literature), six book reviews, translations of Old Irish poems into German, contributed a chapter to a book and coedited a special issue of Die Horen. She is also the author of Keltische Identität als Fiktion (1989), Sheela-na-gigs: Unravelling an Enigma (2004), Hy Brasil: The Metamorphosis of an Island (2013), and A New Interpretation of Irish Round Towers: Their Secular Origin and Function in the Tenth to Twelfth Centuries (2018).
“Based upon an exhaustive investigation of the archival record in archives in a host of countries, Barbara Freitag’s forensic exploration of Castle’s ‘troubled life’ makes for a compelling read as well as a revealing and welcome addition to the literature on a key actor on the Irish architectural stage.”
James Kelly, MRIA
Professor of History, Dublin City University
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