The title of this book, Gentlemen of the Presentation, was chosen by the author for two reasons. The first is historical. The phrase was used by Bishop John England of Charleston, USA, then resident in Cork, to describe the Brothers of the Presentation who had opened a school in Cork in 1811. Reverend England did not coin the phrase, however, for it was in use in Waterford and Cork at the time.
The second reason for its use is that there is ample eveidence that gentleness in manner and behavior were ideals consciously cultivated and promoted by the Presentation Brothers during the nineteenth century. The word gentleman is not infrequently used by past students, parents and members of the public to describe many of the Brothers mentioned in this volume.
The brief biographies of twenty-five Brothers, including Blessed Edmund Rice, cover the period 1762 to 1999. Some, like Jerome Kelly, are national figures, while others, like Baptist Quille, who died in 1913 at the age of twenty-five, are known only to their families and confreres. All of them, however, though differing widely in talents and personality, displayed qualities that made them respected and esteemed by pupils, parents and colleagues.