What was life like for Irish Protestants between the mid-17th and the late-18th centuries? How did experiences differ for peers, squires and gentlemen, for soldiers and shopkeepers, for women and servants? Toby Barnard scrutinises social attitudes and structures in every segment of Protestant society during this formative period. His account, drawing on many contemporary sources, focuses on people, their professions, their preoccupations, and their material worlds. The text presents entertaining episodes and memorable characters while reassessing Ireland's place in the British state and empire and comparing it to other European and colonial societies of the time. Barnard examines the period thematically rather than chronologically and analyses how Protestants sought to retain their precarious social and economic ascendancy. His inquiry provides insights not only into this period of Irish history but also into its enduring impact on the shape and complexity of Irish life.