The most important work in the making of the Emmet legend in this respect was Dr R.
Madden's hagiography epitomises the reason why Emmet became such a legend in a way that Wolfe Tone or Lord Edward Fitzgerald could not.
Such was the power of Madden's interpretation of Devlin's experience that it has become central to every Emmet exhibition and commemoration and Devlin has even been made the subject of a feature film, directed by Pat Murphy in 1984.
She told Madden of how the soldiers had tortured her when they came in search of Emmet, of being taken past the spot of execution and seeing dogs lapping up Emmet's blood, and of her difficult, often solitary confinement in prison (for the next three years).
Although the basic elements of the Emmet legend were in print by mid-century, it required the explosion of cheap print and rapid growth of literacy in the second half of the century for them to take off.
By the centenary of his death in 1903 Robert Emmet was being pronounced as Ireland's most popular hero.
Bold Robert Emmet, the darling of Erin, Bold Robert Emmet will die with a smile; Farewell
The author imagines Emmet having a premonition of his fate as he saw before him St Catherine's Church, the 'Protestant place of worship .
Even so, the lingering references to bodily suffering in the Emmet legend add a very Catholic ring to it (at a time of a Catholicising Irish nationalism).
When the tyrant struck yon down In the springtime of your manhood, In the heart of Dublin town; When she gave the dogs your life-blood, When she mocked your dying moan Did she think the power of Emmet Was for all time overthrown.
After independence, although the best Irish writers were challenging the Emmet legend, the traditional melodrama remained popular.
Dubliners still associate Emmet and Sarah Curran with Rathfarnham, Harold's Cross, St Catherine's Church.
There was a debate about the kind of nationalism which Emmet and his like represented and considerable unease at reminders of the unfinished business of the North.