Erskine H. Childers, President of Ireland. A Biography

Erskine H. Childers, President of Ireland. A Biography

£20.00
21.6 x 13.8 cm. with 24 illus.

Hurriedly summoned from his English public school in November 1922, Erskine Childers was permitted by the Free State authorities to make one brief, final visit to his condemned father in the cells of Portobello Barracks, Dublin, at the height of the Civil War. Not surprisingly, such an emotional ordeal had a profound and lasting impact on the sixteen-year-old boy, who had promised his father in the death-cell to shake hands with and forgive every Minister in the Provisional Government who were responsible for his death, and that if he entered Irish politics himself he would never mention the execution in public, and do everything possible to ensure that the Childers name would become a healing memory.

A little over half a century later when that same schoolboy became President of Ireland he was universally regarded as a man of peace. His sudden death after only eighteen months in office brought the largest gathering of monarchs and rulers ever to assemble on Irish soil, to pay tribute to Erskine Childers in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, while people wept openly in the streets outside.

This work tells of the patient determination that nothing and no one would divert Erskine Childers from the exacting task he had promised to undertake, and of the very considerable contributions to Ireland that he was able to make in the process, in the various ministeries that he headed, and finally as the country’s first citizen, the fourth President of the Republic of Ireland.

Mr. Jack Lynch, Ireland’s premier from 1966-73, and 1977-79, has written a foreword for this biography. More info →

The Key to Lockjaw

The Key to Lockjaw

£18.99

W. E. (‘Kits’) van Heyningen has had a many-sided career: born in South Africa, he arrived in England in 1934 to carry out research on bacterial toxins, first at the Sir William Dunn Institute of Biochemistry, Cambridge, and then at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, Oxford. There he joined Sir Howard Florey, and continued his research, on dysentery, tetanus, and cholera, which has taken him to many parts of the world.

Apart from his research work, he has taken an important part in the life of Oxford University, having served on the Hebdomadal Council, and the governing bodies of the Bodleian Library and the Ashmolean Museum, as well as playing a major role in the foundation of St. Cross College, of which he was the first Master.

In 1940 he married Ruth Treverton, a leading researcher on the biochemistry of the eye. They have a son who has followed in his parents’ scientific footsteps, a daughter who is an architect, and four grandchildren.

In The Key to Lockjaw Kits writes with clarity, compassion, and with humour, not only about his life but also his work and the subjects of his research, and, in so doing, sets the record straight on more than one popular misconception.

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Angelica Kauffmann: A Biography

Angelica Kauffmann: A Biography

£30.00
ISBN: 978-0-900675-68-3
23.4 x  15.5 cm.    iv, 192 pp. + 15 colour illus, and  24pp. b/w illus. 

Angelica Kauffmann (1741-1807) was considered by her contemporaries to be one of the greatest and most influential artists of her time, but since then her reputation has fluctuated. With the present revival of interest in the neo-classical era, Angelica is now regaining her true position in the opinions of the critics and art historians. This fact was underlined by the great exhibition of her work at Bregenz in 1968 and by the appearance of several of her works in the 1972 Burlington House exhibition which has the neo-classical as its theme. As one of the foremost writers in the Bregenz catalogue, Anthony M. Clarke, has written to the author of this work, ‘Angelica Kauffmann’s best paintings are of a lasting greatness and value’.

Dorothy Moulton Mayer’s previous biographies of Louise of Savoy and Marie Antoinette have well fitted her to write about this artist. Only a woman can really appreciate the difficulties under which Angelica laboured, in spite of her success, and the author has written a biography which shows her to be in full sympathy with her subject.

Angelica Kauffmann destroyed most of her papers before she died and relatively little is known about her, but Lady Mayer has successfully recreated the atmosphere and background in which Angelica lived. She takes us through the years from Angelica’s birth from her journey to and success in England, her tragic first marriage and her happier second one, her move to Rome, her friendship with Goethe and her experiences during the French revolutionary and Napoleonic wars during which she died in 1807.

This new biography, with many pages of illustrations in colour and black and white, is a timely reminder of Angelica Kauffmann’s greatness and her extremely important position in the neo-classical era.

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Yeats and AE: ‘The antagonism that unites dear friends’

Yeats and AE: ‘The antagonism that unites dear friends’

£33.00
21.6 x 13.8 cm.    xiv, 291 pp. + 16 pp. with 33 illus.  

During his life, W.B.Yeats formed only a few literary friendships from which he received as much as he gave. One of the foremost was his association with George William Russell. ‘A.E. was my oldest friend’ he confided to an admirer on Russell’s death in 1935. ‘We began our work together.’

This engaging, carefully researched book charts the history and evaluates the significance of the first twenty-three years of that work. It begins with the early months of 1884 when Yeats and Russell first met at the Arts Schools in Kildare Street, Dublin, and ends with their divisive quarrels in 1907 about the policies of the Abbey Theatre.

Taking as its focal point Yeats’s summary of the association – ‘between us as always there existed that antagonism that unites dear friends’ – the book sensitively gauges the pressures that each man exerted on the other. It also examines the way these pressures both affected their respective imaginative developments and shaped the course of the literary movement.

'What Kuch sets out to do, he does scrupulously and with such attention to detail, minutiae even, that his scholarly apparatus takes up nearly a quarter of the book. It is indeed "carefully researched".' Derek Mahon in The Irish Times

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Sir William Gregory of Coole, a Biography

Sir William Gregory of Coole, a Biography

£40.00
23.6 x 15.6 cm.  

William H. Gregory, to the extent that his name is familiar, is remembered merely as the husband of Lady Gregory, of Abbey Theatre and Irish Literary Revival fame. He contributed to this undeserved obscurity by failing to make the most of his undoubted abilities and by choosing as a bride a woman many years his junior who was to make the most of hers.

Yet in his lifetime he was a figure of sufficient prominence – politician, racing man, dilettante – to be included in the Vanity Fair series of portraits even before he went on to serve with great success as a colonial governor. Moreover, his career throws additional light on the problems of Irish landowners and MPs at a time when Ireland was again a central issue in British politics.

Author of the infamous ‘quarter-acre test' for relief during the famine, he paradox­ically established an enviable reputation as a humane and progressive landlord, only to find himself at the end of his life an alien in his native land.

Professor Brian Jenkins has written a lively and interesting biography, setting his subject in the context of his position at the centre of Victorian life in Britain, and establishing Sir William as very much a personality in his own right.

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The Waves of Tory / Tonnta Thoraí

The Waves of Tory / Tonnta Thoraí

£14.95
The Story of an Atlantic Community / Scéal Pobail Atlantaigh 21.0 x 26.6 cm.    vi, 138 pp.  2006  fully illustrated with  colour photographs and maps  Bilingual English/Irish  text

In a world where everything seems tame and familiar, islands promise wildness and difference. Tory Island, the most remote and exposed of all the inhabited Irish islands, is no exception to this rule. The great seas ranging in from the Atlantic and the strong currents sweeping along its southern coast have isolated the island thus helping in the retention of a way of life that has long since disappeared on the mainland and the survival of Irish as the spoken language.

The Waves of Tory tells the story of this small community in terms of their attachment to the land, their reverence for and awe of the sea, and their well-preserved egalitarian society, where dancers, musicians, storytellers and painters take pride of place. The text, in English and Irish, is interlaced with legends and tales of the supernatural, and illustrated with accounts of island customs and beliefs.

The Tory islanders are a people whose roots go back to prehistoric times; typical is the King of Tory, Patsy Dan Rodgers, whose office is pre-Christian in origin. Links with the past are everywhere in evidence from the Iron Age fort, home to Balor of the Evil Eye, to the impressive remains of the early Celtic Church of St Colmcille. Superimposed on this pattern are the clustered settlements and vast open fields of the ancient Rundale farming system and the piers, boat rests, and kelp-pits, the products of man’s more recent activities on the sea and the shore. These survivals from the past strike deep resonances with those in search of the “real” Ireland.

The Waves of Tory comes at a time when Ireland’s Atlantic heritage is under threat as it has never been before. Important changes have taken place on Tory in recent times, which have threatened the very existence of the island community; the demise of farming and the cessation of fishing have encouraged persistent rumours of evacuation. It would be a tragedy if this little island, which has given so much to Irish music, song, dance, art and storytelling, were to be evacuated like many other Atlantic communities during the twentieth century. This book will help to alert a wider audience to the vibrant culture that still pertains in this very special place on the uttermost edge of Europe and to the need to conserve it for the benefit of generations yet to come,

The King of Tory is tireless in his efforts to save his island home from evacuation. In his own words “May God in Heaven help us if we don’t win. No matter where you are, the place where you are born and reared is the place you love best. We have every right to stay here. We want to remain here and hand it on to the future generations”.

 

Jim Hunter has a deep interest in Irish culture and traditions of the countryside. He has travelled throughout Ireland collecting myths and folklore, which he uses to enliven his writings. He has broadcast regularly on radio and television and has written a series of books on local history. He first visited Tory in 1957 and over the years has done much to promote the island through the organisation of guided tours and primitive art seminars. He has also mounted exhibitions of Tory art and arranged cultural events to highlight island music and dance throughout Northern Ireland.

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Lady Gregory’s Diaries 1892-1902

Lady Gregory’s Diaries 1892-1902

£35.00
Edited by James Pethica

ISBN: 978-0-86140-306-6

22.3 x 15.5 cm.    with 16 pp. with 36 illus. 

These diaries, covering the decade or so following the death of her husband in 1892 until they peter out in 1902, chart the course of Lady Gregory's gradual but remarkable remaking of her life. Widowed at thirty-nine, with a London social circle composed mainly of her husband's friends, broadly Unionist in her political views, and with only a few minor publications to her name, she was by her fiftieth year an influential Nationalist, close friend of the major figures of the Irish literary movement, widely acknowledged as the hostess of a `workshop of genius' at Coole Park, and on the threshold of lasting literary prominence in her own right.

The rich account these pages give of Lady Gregory's life in the 1890s and of her deepening friendship with and patronage of W.B.Yeats radically changes the existing image of her evolution as an Irish writer and Nationalist. As the only contemporary diary kept by a major figure in the Irish literary movement during these years, their day-to-day record of the summer visits of Synge, George Moore, AE, Hyde and others to Coole, of the early years of the Irish Literary Theatre, and of the swiftly changing allegiances and tensions in her extensive literary circle, provides a revealing and frequently corrective counterweight to the narratives of these years written long afterwards (in the light of later autobiographical imperatives) by Yeats, Moore, Lady Gregory herself and others.

James Pethica was born in England and educated at Oxford, and is currently Assistant Professor of English at the University of Richmond, Virginia. He has published a number of articles on Yeats and Lady Gregory, and is at present completing a book on their literary partnership and creative collaborations. His edition of Yeats's Last Poems was published in the Cornell Yeats series in 1997.

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Rediscovering Herbert Horne: Poet, Architect, Typographer, Art Historian

Rediscovering Herbert Horne: Poet, Architect, Typographer, Art Historian

£25.00
22.5 x 14.8 cm.

Herbert Horne (1864-1916) was a figure of alarming versatility: poet, architect, editor, essayist, typographer, designer of books, and the first scientific historian of art from the British Isles. His great book on Botticelli has been called by John Pope-Hennessy "the best monograph in English on an Italian painter." Horne's splendid editorship of the Century Guild Hobby Horse led Bernard Berenson and others to hail him as the successor of William Morris. Horne the connoisseur also gathered a choice selection of drawings and paintings which await closer appreciation. They are housed in his residence, now the Museo Horne, Florence, Italy.

In spite of his achievements he passes unmentioned in the Dictionary of National Biography, and aside from distinguished but brief discussions of his art activities by Fritz Sax and Frank Kermode, no book-length study has been devoted to him: until now.

Rediscovering Herbert Horne is Ian Fletcher's last book. Well known in the United States and Europe for his highly original scholarship, Fletcher provides an engaging account of the work of one of the more fascinating though elusive personages of the time. In his foreword, Peter Stansky says "Ian Fletcher has now presented us with a rich picture of Horne, in all the multiplicity of his talents and accomplishments."

Reproductions of Horne's designs and typography assist in effecting the re-emergence of this intriguing 1880-1920 figure.

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George Gissing at Work: A Study of His Notebook ‘Extracts from my Reading’

George Gissing at Work: A Study of His Notebook ‘Extracts from my Reading’

£25.00

This volume sheds new light on Gissing's intellectual process and methods of work. Over 160 quotations which he recorded in his notebook reveal themes and passions which profoundly interested him. His novels are increasingly valued for their candour about nineteenth century social problems such as the status of women and the condition of the working class.

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An Edwardian’s View of Dickens and His Illustrators: Harry Furniss’s ‘A Sketch of Boz’

An Edwardian’s View of Dickens and His Illustrators: Harry Furniss’s ‘A Sketch of Boz’

£25.00
25.5 x 17.8 cm.  xii, 116 pp.  2005  with 69 illus.

Harry Furniss (1854–1925) was a well-known if somewhat abrasive figure in English literary, artistic and political circles during the half century either side of 1900. In March 1905, at the invitation of the Dickens Fellowship, he delivered in London’s Memorial Hall a platform lecture on Dickens and his illustrators, “A Sketch of Boz,” illuminated by some sixty magic lantern slides. Over the next two years Furniss toured the provinces with an enlarged version of this lecture. An Edwardian’s View of Dickens and His Illustrators is an edited and annotated transcription of the unpublished manuscript of this engaging lecture, together with the original illustrations, some of which are Furniss’s own.

Few complete texts of oral lectures have survived and, coming from the pen (and pencil) of a professional book illustrator and keen Dickensian, “A Sketch of Boz” is an important document in the culture of Edwardian England.

Professor Cordery’s substantial introduction discusses how the lecture sheds light on a number of fields: Dickens’s reputation and that of his illustrators in the early twentieth century; the cultural significance of the platform lecture; the changing style of illustration and caricature; the commercial and ideological exploitation of Dickens at the turn of the century. He summarises the main illustrators surveyed by Furniss and includes more than 170 annotations. The book thus engages a variety of readers interested in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century British literature and culture.

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Florence Farr, Bernard Shaw’s ‘New Woman’

Florence Farr, Bernard Shaw’s ‘New Woman’

£25.00
ISBN 978-0-901072-15-3

Florence Farr: Bernard Shaw's 'New Woman' is the first biography of an unjustly neglected figure. Florence Farr was a member of the occult Order of the Golden Dawn, and was closely connected with Bernard Shaw and W.B.Yeats; to the first she was a mistress and companion, in the second it was probably a spiritual relationship only. For years the unrevealed facts of her life have in part caused a void in both their biographies. She sought spiritual as well as physical independence, and she achieved intellectual recognition when it was unfashionable for women to do so.

She was a mystic, and author, and a valiant although not superior actress in the years when it was not absolutely necessary to be the prototype of Ibsen's new woman. It is not so much her sentiments for Yeats and Shaw that appeal to us now, years after their deaths, but theirs for Florence Farr.

This timely book fills a gap in the literary history of the turn of the century, and the author has been fortunate in being able to use hitherto unpublished correspondence and manuscripts by her subject.

Contents

1. William Farr, 1807-1883
2. The Beginning of a New Woman: Queen's College and Edward Emery
3. Hammersmith and Bedford Park, 1889-1890
4. Bernard Shaw and Florence Farr: The New Drama, 1891-1897
5. The Golden Dawn and Other Mysteries, 1890-1904
6. The Music of Speech, 1890-1906
7. Florence and John Quinn, 1907
8. The New Woman as Journalist, 1907-1908
9. 'Second always , . . yet this is you', 1907-1912
10. Ceylon, 1912-1917
Index

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