This small, green covered book with a small gilt, engraved Irish harp on its cover was first published in 1844 by James Duffy. It contains works originally published in the ‘Nation’ Newspaper.
This paper was founded in 1842 by three members, Charles Gavan Duffy, Thomas Davis and John Blake Dillon, of O’Connell’s Repeal Association later to become the Young Ireland movement. It became the voice for Irish nationalism and was suppressed in 1848.
It revived and continued to be published until 1900. A second edition of The Spirit of the Nation contained 2 sections of political songs and ballads.