Genre: History / Biography / Theatre History
Studying Oscar Wilde: History, Criticism, & Myth

Studying Oscar Wilde: History, Criticism, & Myth

22.8 x 15.3 cm. 248 pp. 1880-1920 British Authors Series no. 22

Studying Oscar Wilde: History, Criticism, and Myth takes issue with many assumptions current in Wilde scholarship. It sets an engaging course in exploring Wilde’s literary reputation. In particular, Professors Guy and Small are interested in the tension between Wilde’s enduring popularity with the general reading public as a perennially witty entertainer and his status among academics as a complex, politicised writer attuned to the cultural and philosophical currents associated with modernity. Their argument focuses initially on the prominence of biographical readings of Wilde’s literary works, drawing attention to the contradictions in the ways biographers have described his life and to the problems of seeing his writing as a form of self-disclosure.

Subsequent chapters assess the usefulness of other forms of academic scholarship to understanding works that are not, on the surface, “difficult.” Here a number of commonly held views are challenged. To what extent is De Profundis autobiographical? How sophisticated is the learning exhibited in Intentions? In what ways are the society comedies “about” homosexuality? And how does The Picture of Dorian Gray relate to Wilde’s “mature” style?

The volume also examines some of Wilde’s lesser-known, unfinished works and scenarios, including The Cardinal of Avignon, La Sainte Courtisane, and A Florentine Tragedy (all printed as appendices), arguing that these “failed” works provide important insight into the reasons for Wilde’s popular success.

Since Guy and Small have authored numerous articles and books on Wilde, Studying Oscar Wilde: History, Criticism, and Myth will be a must read for scholars, but it is also written in a jargon-free language that will speak to that wider audience of readers who enjoy Oscar Wilde.

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Strangers to That Land

Strangers to That Land

21.6 x 13.8 cm.      xii, 315 pp.  + 16 pp. with 19 illus.  1994   Ulster Editions & Monographs series (ISSN 0954-3392) volume 5

Strangers to that Land, subtitled ‘British Perceptions of Ireland from the Reformation to the Famine’, is a critical anthology of English, Scottish and Welsh colonists’ and travellers’ accounts of Ireland and the Irish from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries.

It consists exclusively of eyewitness descriptions of Ireland given by writers using the English language who had never been to Ireland before and were seeing the country for the first time. Each extract, where necessary, is set in context and briefly explained. The result is a vivid, continuous record of Ireland as defined and judged by the British over a period of four centuries.

In their general introduction the editors discuss the significance of these changing historical perceptions, as well as the impact upon them of literary conventions which played a part in shaping the emerging texts. It is argued that the relationship between Ireland and England within a British context constitutes a unique case study in the procedures of racial stereotyping and colonial representation, the exploration of cultural conflict and the aesthetics of travel writing.

There are twenty-one contemporary illustrations  in this, the fifth volume in the Ulster Editions and Monographs series.


Andrew Hadfield is lecturer in Medieval and Renaissance Literature at the University of Wales, and John McVeagh is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Ulster at Coleraine.

  ISBN 0-86140350-9     xii, 316pp, 21 illus.        £27.50 net More info →
Lady Gregory, Fifty Years After

Lady Gregory, Fifty Years After


It is now over fifty years since the death of Augusta Gregory, who as a playwright, folklorist, essayist, poet, translator, editor, theatre administrator and nationalist, contributed so much and so uniquely to the realisation of modern Ireland. Yet soon after her death she seemed to be virtually forgotten, and the words on her gravestone – ‘she shall be remembered for ever’ – had a very hollow ring about them.

It has only been in the last twenty-five years that Lady Gregory’s reputation has turned round, beginning with Elizabeth Coxhead’s biography, and the subsequent appearance of the Coole Edition of her works. The publication of Mary Lou Kohfeldt's biography in 1985 and now the appearance of this volume – the first collection of essays to be devoted to her – must surely create a greater awareness of her importance as a cornerstone of the Irish Literary Revival.

Her books and plays, together with her work for the Abbey as manager, playwright, play-reader and fund-raiser, have had an influence on the literary life of Ireland in the first half of this century that has been greatly underestimated.

This collection opens with fragments of memory about Lady Gregory, and then brings together leading critics to write about various aspects of her life, her work, and her friendships with Yeats, W. S. Blunt, Sean O’Casey, John Quinn, and Douglas Hyde. There is also a checklist of her contributions to periodicals (over 180 items so far discovered), and an assessment of the work of her son, Robert Gregory.

Fragments of memory come from George Moore, The Sunday Herald (Boston), Signe Toksvig, Sean O’Casey, The Rt. Rev. Arnold Harvey, Anne Gregory, W. B. Yeats, Anne Yeats, Maire nic Shiubhlaigh, W. G. Fay, Brinsley MacNamara and Gabriel Fallon.

The contributors are Andrew E. Malone, Mary FitzGerald, Mary Lou Kohfeldt Stevenson, Brian Jenkins, James Pethica, Elizabeth Longford, Daniel J. Murphy, Gareth W. Dunleavy, Maureen Murphy, John Kelly, Richard Allen Cave, Ronald Ayling, Robert Welch, Bernard Shaw, Dan H. Laurence, Lorna D. Young, Ann Saddlemyer, Colin Smythe.

INTRODUCTION. Ann Saddlemyer and Colin Smythe
CHRONOLOGY. Colin Smythe
Pen Portraits: George Moore Sunday Herald (Boston) Signe Toksvig Sean O'Casey
The Chatelaine of Coole: The Rt. Rev. Arnold Harvey, Anne Gregory, W. B. Yeats, Anne Yeats, Sean O'Casey, W. B. Yeats
At the Abbey Theatre: Maire nic Shiubhlaigh W. G. Fay Brinsley MacNamara Gabriel Fallon
LADY GREGORY, 1852–1932. Andrew E. Malone
THE CLOUD OF WITNESSES. Mary Lou Kohfeldt Stevenson
THE MARRIAGE. Brian Jenkins
'A WOMAN'S SONNETS'. Lady Gregory, with a Commentary by James Pethica
'DEAR JOHN QUINN''. Daniel J. Murphy
NOTE ON LADY GREGORY'S PLAYS. Bernard Shaw, edited by Dan H. Laurence
Notes on Contributors

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Poets and Dreamers

Poets and Dreamers

General Editors of the Coole Edition: T. R. Henn CBE and Colin Smythe

With a Foreword by T. R. Henn

ISBN: 978-0-900675-35-5
Studies and Translations from the Irish, including nine plays by Douglas Hyde

22.7 x 13.8 cm.  286 pp.    illus.  1974   Volume 11 of the Coole Edition of Lady Gregory's works In Poets and Dreamers Lady Gregory has gathered together a number of essays and translations she had made from the Irish of Douglas Hyde, An Craoibhin Aoibhinn, ‘the Sweet Little Branch’, who was founder and President of the Gaelic League at the time and later to be the first President of the Republic of Ireland.

Lady Gregory has also written about other poets in this volume, notably Raftery, who was the model for Yeats’s Red Hanrahan, and also writes about West Irish ballads, and those by Jacobite and Boer and that beautiful poem by the expatriate Shemus Cartan, ‘A Sorrowful Lament for Ireland’.

Her other essays are covered by the Dreamers part of the title, ‘Mountain Theology’, ‘Herb Healing’ and ‘Workhouse Dreams’ among them. This edition contains a further five plays by Hyde, translated by Lady Gregory, three of which have not hitherto been published.

The Ap­pendices contain a number of early versions of poems and articles and includes ‘Dreams that have no moral’ by W. B. Yeats. This has been added from his Celtic Twilight (1902) as an Appendix in order to give an example as to how Lady Gregory worked together with him in providing him with material for his volumes. Lady Gregory refers to the story in ‘Workhouse Dreams’.

The Editors have also added a quant­ity of her revisions and an essay, ‘Cures by Charms’, which first appeared in the Westminster Budget with two of the other essays in this volume, but which was not included in the first edition.

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Denis Johnston, A Retrospective

Denis Johnston, A Retrospective


Published to mark Johnston's eightieth birthday, when he was the doyen of Ireland's living playwrights, this volume brings together memories from friends and critical essays on his work and achievement by leading scholars – John Boyd, Curtis Canfield, Richard Allen Cave, Mark Culme-Seymour, Cyril Cusack, Hilton Edwards, Maurice Elliott, Harold Ferrar, Robert Hogan, Thomas Kilroy, Roger McHugh, Micheál mac Liammóir, D.E.S.Maxwell, Vivian Mercier, Christopher Murray, B.L.Reid, Joseph Ronsley and Christine St Peter – together with a checklist of Denis Johnston's writings compiled by the editor of this volume.

Included as an appendix are some recent revisions by Denis Johnston to his A Bride for the Unicorn.

List of Illustrations
THE OLD LADY SAYS `NO!' Micheál MacLiammóir
DEAR DENIS! Cyril Cusack
Notes on Contributors

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Lady Gregory’s  Journals, Books 30-44: 21 February 1925 – 9 May 1932

Lady Gregory’s Journals, Books 30-44: 21 February 1925 – 9 May 1932

General Editors of the Coole Edition: T.R.Henn CBE and Colin Smythe

Edited by Daniel J. Murphy, with an Afterword by Colin Smythe

ISBN: 978-0-900675-92-8
21.4 x 13.8 cm.      frontis.   t.e.g.    

Lennox Robinson's selection from Lady Gregory's Journals was pub­lished in 1946. It only contained a small fraction of the total material that she typed out (editing as she did so) from her manuscript diaries. In 1964 the bulk of Lady Gregory's archives were bought by the Berg Collection of the New York Public Library, and the typescripts of her diaries, which formed part of the archive, were prepared for publica­tion by the present editor, Daniel Murphy. The first volume of this edition, containing Books 1 to 29, was published in 1978. This second volume, contain­ing Books 30 to 44, not only completes the typed version of her diaries (which ended in November 1930), but also adds the unedited text of the manuscript diary she kept from then until a fortnight before her death.

It describes her continuing efforts to get the Lane Pictures returned to Ireland, the passing of Coole into the hands of the Irish Forestry Depart­ment, Abbey Theatre problems, the row over Sean O'Casey's The Plough and the Stars and the break with him over its refusal of The Silver Tassie, Denis Johnston's connection with the Abbey as producer and playwright (with illu­minating insights into the Abbey's refusal of The Old Lady Says 'No!’), and other controversial matters.

Plagued by rheumatism and twice operated on for cancer, Lady Greg­ory was nevertheless determined not to give in to old age, and she relates the daily battle with her infirmities with objectivity.

Thus, with W. B. Yeats's account of her last hours, ‘The Death of Lady Gregory’, published here for the first time, the reader is given a far more complete picture of the last years of Lady Gregory's life than has hitherto been available.

Appended to this is an Afterword by Colin Smythe which describes the problems relating to the publication of the Journals and Autobiography following Lady Gregory’s death.

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Pictures at the Abbey

Pictures at the Abbey

£10.00 and £5.00
Paperback ISBN: 0-85105-399-8 £5.00

When the Abbey Theatre was opened in 1904 the walls of its foyer were hung with portraits by, as W. B. Yeats put it, ‘a certain Irish artist’, actually his father, John Butler Yeats. Ever since then the theatre's collection of pictures has grown and there are now over sixty pieces by several renowned painters, depicting the members of the company, many of whom have achieved worldwide fame.

In the 1940's Lennox Robinson described the pictures then on view in the old Abbey Theatre in his charming 1946 essay,Pictures in a Theatre. This text is incorporated into Michael O hAodha's description of the collection and its origins. Pictures at the Abbey has sixty-four reproductions, twenty-eight in colour, of works by John Butler Yeats, his son Jack B. Yeats, Sean O'Sullivan, William Rothenstein, Robert Gregory, AE, Augustus John and other artists.

All the works in the collection are annotated in the descriptive list which concludes the book.

Pictures at the Abbey, the first fully documented account of this important body of work, is compiled by Michael Ó hAodha, who was Chairman of the National Theatre Society and who wrote several books on the history of the Irish Theatre.

Published in association with the National Theatre Society Limited. More info →

Lady Gregory’s Journals, Books 1-29: 10 October 1916 – 24 February 1925

Lady Gregory’s Journals, Books 1-29: 10 October 1916 – 24 February 1925

General Editors of the Coole Edition: T.R.Henn CBE and Colin Smythe

Edited and with a Foreword by Daniel J. Murphy

ISBN: 978-0-900675-91-1
21.4. x 13.8 cm.   .  frontis, t.e.g.

Lennox Robinson's selection from Lady Gregory's Journals was first published in 1946 as the culmination of many years' nego­tiations between the Trustees of Lady Gregory's Estate and her London publishers, Putnam & Co., but it was only a fraction of the material that Lady Gregory had expected would be published when she sent the typescripts over to London in 1931.

Since the publication of that small selection (which appeared in the U.S.A. in 1947), no one saw the complete typescripts until they were purchased as part of the Lady Gregory archives by the Berg Collection of the New York Public Library in 1964. After being cata­logued, they were made available to scholars. Now at last, Daniel Murphy's edition is available in two volumes, the first containing Books 1 to 29 and the second Books 30 to 44.

The Journals contain fascinating accounts of Lady Gregory's efforts to get back the Lane Pictures for Ireland, the Troubles, her activities at the Abbey Theatre, her life at Coole and her determination to keep it for her grandson Richard, as well as recording her friendship with W. B. Yeats, one of the most important and influential in English literature: thus the Journals are important for social and political as well as for artistic reasons, and are a prime source for all students of the literature and history of Ireland. They also provide a remarkable insight into the life and work of a woman whom Bernard Shaw called 'one of the most remarkable theatrical talents of our time' and 'the greatest living Irishwoman'.

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A Dream and its Legacies: The Samuel Beckett Theatre Project, Oxford c. 1967-76

A Dream and its Legacies: The Samuel Beckett Theatre Project, Oxford c. 1967-76

£16.99 pbk
64pp. 25.0 x 22.0 cm illus. in colour and monochrome

This book tells the fascinating history of the plans to build an innovative theatre in Samuel Beckett’s name in Oxford, the site by St Peter’s College, the designs and the problems. It is a narrative which takes in artists such as Francis Bacon and Henry Moore, famed architects Norman Foster and Richard Buckminster Fuller, politicians and royalty including Edward Heath, Richard Kennedy and Prince Charles, as well as a range of playwrights, composers, actors and directors (including Benjamin Britten, Richard Burton, Peter Hall, John Osborne, Harold Pinter, John Piper, Kathleen Raine, Sir Herbert Read, to name a few).

Beckett’s influence upon British theatre and culture is often dispersed, refracted. A Dream and its Legacies reveals a number of surprising, interwoven histories, and shows how such histories also have the power to inform, even drastically change, how we read certain of Beckett’s texts. The book includes a collection of previously unpublished letters by Samuel Beckett.

Stage 1: The Matthews Building
Stage 2: The Nuclear Submarine
Warner's Drama
What do a Henry Moore Sculpture Garden, Lawrence of Arabia's School and a Car-Park all have in Common?
Epilogue: The Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award and Other Repercussions
Appendix: Beckett-Warner Correspondence

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Ireland and the Celtic Connection

Ireland and the Celtic Connection

In his lecture given at the Princess Grace Irish Library, Monaco, in September 1985, Professor Glanville Price surveys relations between Ireland and the other Celtic nations from prehistoric times to the late twentieth century. The lecture is supplemented by an up-to-date bibliography of some 500 items compiled by Morfydd E.Owen that will serve as an introduction to the study of such fields as the archaeology, history and art of the ancient Celts and the history, languages, literature and folklore of the modern Celtic nations (Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man, Wales, Cornwall and Brittany). More info →
Me & Nu, Childhood at Coole

Me & Nu, Childhood at Coole

Illustrated by Joyce Dennys. With a prefatory note by Maurice Collis

ISBN: 978-0-86140-010-2
19.0 x 13.5 cm.   128 pp.  1978 (reduced facsimile of first 1970 hardcover edition)

Lady Gregory was the cornerstone of the Irish Literary Revival in the first quarter of the century. At Coole Park in Co. Galway she was host to many literary figures and painters of the time: W. B. Yeats of course, J. M. Synge, Bernard Shaw, Douglas Hyde, A. E. (George W. Russell), Sean O'Casey, John Masefield, George Moore, and among the painters, J. B. Yeats the elder, Jack B. Yeats and Augustus John.

As well as spending a large part of her time as hostess of Coole, being a prolific author and playwright, a Director of the Abbey Theatre, the chief campaigner for the return of the Lane Pictures to Dublin, and an excellent landlord, she is remembered as a great personality.

This book is written by one of her grandchildren, Anne, who, with her brother and sister, was born and brought up at Coole, and in it she gives a new dimension to what we know of Lady Gregory and her guests.

As Maurice Collis writes in his Prefatory Note, ‘The narrative is Anne Gregory's recollection of what living at Coole with her grandmother was like. Her account is very cleverly constructed. The stature of Lady Gregory is subtly increased. She was a wonderful woman and a wonderful grandmother.’

'One of the most delightful books I have ever read ... a truly lovable book.' Gabriel Fallon in The Evening Press

'A charming book and Joyce Dennys's pictures are a delight.’ The Spectator

‘a MUST for children of ALL ages.' Sunday Independent

‘The book shows us the great through a child's eyes, skilfully, wittily, and sometimes surprisingly.' British Book News

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Beauty for Ashes. Selected Prose and Related Documents

Beauty for Ashes. Selected Prose and Related Documents

Selected Prose & Related Documents 336 pp. 23.4 x 13.5 cm illus. in colour and monochrome

Poet of the Second World War and peacetime dramatist, Francis Warner was 75 this year (2012). This, the first selection from his prose, gives readers of his work some indication of the historical and intellectual background from which his poetry has sprung: of 'the giant race before the flood' who lived on to help shape Britain's post-war imagination.
Starting with memories of the Blitz and his poem 'Blitz Requiem', Warner recalls his schooldays at Christ's Hospital, Horsham, recovering from six years of war, and the role played by music.
He writes of his friends: 'Henry Chadwick: Musician', Kathleen Raine as fellow poet, C. S. Lewis and the Psalms, Henry Moore, Francis Bacon, Edmond Blunden, and Samuel Beckett, reproducing the manuscripts off two short plays Beckett discussed with and gave to him. Other subjects include W. B. Yeats, Benjamin Britten and the Japanese Noh plays, Samuel Palmer as poet, and Hugh Wybrew's Liturgical Texts of the Orthodox Church.
The book concludes with 'Francis Warner as Musician in Performance' an illustrative CD with music by Honegger, Vaughan Williams, and Warner's collaborator the composer and organist David Goode: and Stephen Cleobury conducting the Choir of King's College Cambridge singing one of their anthems.

Francis Warner DLitt, Hon. DMus, is Emeritus Fellow of St Peter's College, Oxford, and Honorary Fellow of St Catharine's College, Cambridge.


Armageddon and Faith: a Survivor's Meditation on the Blitz, 1940-45
Blitz Requiem
Remembrance Sunday Sermon, King's College Chapel, Cambridge, 2011
Four War Sonnets
Christ's Hospital Three and Sixty Years Ago
Henry Chadwick: Musician
The Song that is Christmas
A Cambridge Friendship: Kathleen Raine and Francis Warner
C. S. Lewis and the Revision of the Psalter
A Blessing on C. S. Lewis's home in Oxford, The Kilns
Foreword to Hugh Wybrew: Liturgical Texts of the Orthodox Church
The Bones and the Flesh: Henry Moore and Francis Bacon
Samuel Palmer's Poem 'The Sorceress'
James Joyce's Poetry
J. M. Synge's Poetry
Edmund Blunden's Pastoral Poetry
Richard Wall's rondeau cycle In Aliquot Parts
Japanese Noh plays and W. B. Yeats, Benjamin Britten and Samuel Beckett
Manuscript of Beckett's Breath
The Absence of Nationalism in the Work of Samuel Beckett
Manuscript of Beckett's Sans, and covering Letter
A Cup of Coffee in Paris, by Penelope Warner
Francis Warner as a Musician in the1950s, by Bernard Martin
Compact disc: Francis Warner as Musician in Performance
Anthem for Christ the King
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Valentia, A Different Irish Island

Valentia, A Different Irish Island

20.9 x 14.9 cm.       viii,  143 pp.   illustrated with photographs and maps    1992
Published by the Portobello Press, the author's own press.

Valentia is in south west Kerry, next parish America. In the 19th century it was very different from other west coast islands because it had three major industries: fishing, slate-quarrying, and communications. These blended to form a unique social mix. As well as farmers and fishermen, the island had quarrymen, engineers, cable technicians, radio officers, meteorological staff, and a resident landlord, the Knight of Kerry. Valentia, a Different Irish Island is an account of their lives.

Nellie O'Cleirigh is also author of Carrickmacross Lace and, with Veronica Rowe, Limerick Lace, both published by Colin Smythe Ltd.

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The Book of Aran: The Aran Islands, Co. Galway

The Book of Aran: The Aran Islands, Co. Galway

20.6 x 22.1 cm      335 pp.  80 colour and 220 b/w illus.    1994
ISBN: 978-1-873821-03-9

'The Book of Aran is a handsomely produced and generously illustrated update on Aran as seen by the multi-faceted eye of scholarship." Irish Times

'The Book of Aran has managed to convey some of the magic, isolation and cultural richness that island communities often have.' Irish Press

'The book is beautifully produced and the text achieves that happy state of being scholarly while eminently readable. The selection of pictures is superb. At the very least, the book is a minor publishing triumph.  Don't even contemplate going to Aran without it." Evening Press

Over the centuries many people have felt the attraction of the landscape of the Aran Islands, with its impressive monuments that go back thousands of years, its distinctive culture that offers glimpses of a rich and distinctive pattern of life and a people whose island isolation forged a sense of independence and endurance. The Book of Aran is the first publication to deal with all the many different aspects of the three islands of Inis Mór, Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr, including the natural environment, archaeology and history and the cultural heritage of the islands. It is aimed at the general reader who wants to gain a deeper understanding of one of the most intriguing landscapes in Europe.

Contributors: John Feehan, Cilian Roden, Michael O'Connell, Gordon D'Arcy, J.W. O'Connell, John Waddell, Paul Walsh, John de Courcy Ireland, Anne O'Dowd, Dara Ó Conoala, Pádraigín Clancy, Lelia Doolan, James Duran, Anne Korff, Joe McMahon, Patrick F. Sheeran and Pádraig Standún.

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Dialogues in the Margin: A Study of the Dublin University Magazine

Dialogues in the Margin: A Study of the Dublin University Magazine

x, 252pp. 21.6cm

For decades, commentators on nineteenth-century Irish literature or history have routinely mentioned the significance of the Dublin University Magazine. Published monthly from January 1833 to December 1877, the DUM attracted as its contributors – and in several cases its editors – nearly every major Irish writer from this period. Prior to the publication of this work, however, there has been no systematic, book-length discussion of the magazine’s entire career.

In this study, Wayne Hall traces the dual nature of the magazine, its attention to both England and Ireland, which helps us to understand the sometimes guilty and reluctant, sometimes celebratory and passionate, union of these different cultural traditions and values. The DUM expressed a complex brand of Irish national identity that defines itself partly in cultural and partly in political terms.

In seeking its own balance between excluding and including, between culture and politics, the DUM developed one main pattern in its pages: the magazine’s political commentary stakes out the ideological ground with varying degrees of rigidity and exclusivity, while its literary contributions expand the magazine’s total scope to embrace a much wider and more generous vision of ‘Irishness’.

Within the terms and tensions of the journalistic dialogue, then, readers can see the political and the literary values jostling against each other. The magazine serves as a detailed and thorough record of conservative political thought in the nineteenth century, and also shows that Irish political events have drawn much of their shape from the literature, even as that literature was being shaped in turn by politics.

Wayne E. Hall is an associate dean at the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Cincinnati, as well as a faculty member of the Department of English and Comparative Literature. His previous book was Shadowy Heroes: Irish Literature in the 1890s.

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Women of Ireland, A Biographic Dictionary

Women of Ireland, A Biographic Dictionary

19.0 x 15.5 cm.    

Women of Ireland, the first comprehensive biographic dictionary of its kind, documents the rich and varied contributions woomen have made to the shaping of Irish history and culture. The book includes biographies of Irish women from earliest times up to the present, many of them ignored by historians until now. With its wealth of information, its accessible style and the attractive selection of illustrations, this reference work will serve general readers as well as students, particuarly those interested in history and women's studies.

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Paths to a Settlement in Northern Ireland

Paths to a Settlement in Northern Ireland

21.6 x 13.8 cm.    x, 252 pp.   2000
ISBN: 978-0-86140-413-1

For generations in Northern Ireland, unionist and nationalist communities have been frozen in isolation from one another, preferring demonstrations of communal solidarity to negotiation and cooperation. This absorbing book was published in 2000, and therefore reflects the situation at that time, and examines the many attempts to resolve the conflict in Northern Ireland, beginning with the civil rights movement and Prime Minister Terence O'Neill's reform efforts in the mid-1960s, continuing up to the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. It finds that early attempts at peacemaking suggested only mechanical political solutions, which only deepened the antagonistic pattern of relationships. It was not until these existing relationships were challenged, most crucially through the Anglo-Irish agreement of 1985 and subsequent initiatives jointly determined by the British and Irish governments, that the main parties began to participate in efforts to create a democratic peace. The authors contended that a political and cultural process was now in motion that gave peace its first real chance in Northern Ireland's history.  Fifteen years on, we can see how much the situation in Northern Ireland has changed and what problems still remain.

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Rambles and Studies in Greece

Rambles and Studies in Greece

The First Edition of 1876, with an Introduction and Commentary by Brian Arkins

From the mid-eighteenth century onwards, people from Britain and Ireland began to visit Greece, mainly with a view to investigating the material remains of the ancient Greek past. Long before he gained eminence as Provost of Trinity College Dublin, and as a Classicist, John Pentland Mahaffy had been hired to accompany a Cambridge undergraduate, William Goulding, around Greece and his account of those travels was published as Rambles and Studies in Greece in 1876.

In it Mahaffy describes a world wildly different from that which greets the modern visitor – at least in the methods of transport and ease (or lack of it) of getting from one place to another and the questions of where to stay. It was almost as alien to visitors from the British Isles then as it would be for visitors of this century visiting the Ireland of the nineteenth.

Ancient Greece was the same as now: the beauty of the landscape endures, but then rivalries between local museums ensured that there were inadequate records of the country’s antiquities, and no central record of what had actually been discovered, so travellers were often embarking on a journey of discovery, finding unrecorded inscriptions, and more importantly entire buildings, while occasional meetings with local brigands in certain parts of the country added a sense of danger and adventure.

Mahaffy’s work was therefore an eye-opener for the armchair traveller, and in Britain it went through five editions by 1907, each enlarged and revised, as well as being published in the USA in 1892, and in 1913 Macmillan New York published what they described as the seventh edition. The first American edition, published by Henry Coates in 1900, contained a number of contemporary photographs that had not appeared in earlier editions, and a number of these are reproduced here, with engravings that appeared in the first edition.

As the editor of the present edition, Professor Brian Arkins, notes: ‘This new edition of Mahaffy’s Rambles and Studies in Greece reprints the text of the first edition of 1876, in which the author states that ‘It is to me a cherished object to make English-speaking people intimate with the life of the old Greeks’. Mahaffy achieves that object with great éclat, so that his book functioned at the time – and still functions – as an excellent introduction to the history, archaeology, landscape, literature, visual art and music of ancient Greece. So although Mahaffy’s book went into seven editions … the first edition of 1876 has a freshness and vividness that the material added in later editions serves only to obscure; for that reason, the first edition is here reprinted, and provided with a full Commentary.’ It is as interesting now to the modern reader as it was to those reading it over 130 years ago.

Brian Arkins is Professor Emeritus of Classics at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and one of the Directors of the Irish Institute of Hellenic Studies in Athens. He was educated at Clongowes Wood College and at University College Dublin, where he obtained an MA in Classics and a PhD in Latin. He is the author of eleven books of criticism, including three on Latin poetry and four on Greek and Roman themes in modern Irish Literature. His most recent book is What Shakespeare Stole from Rome (2012).

List of Illustrations
Mahaffy: Classicist and Philhellene. By Brian Arkins
I. Introduction – First Impressions of the Coast
II. General Impressions of Athens and Attica
III. Athens – The Museums – The Tombs
IV. The Acropolis of Athens
V. Excursions in Attica – Phalerum – Laurium
VI. Excursions in Attica – Sunium – Marathon – Eleusis
VII. From Athens to Thebes – The Passes of Mount Cithaeron, Eleutherae, Plataea
VIII. The Plain of Orchomenos, Lebadea, Chaeronea
IX. Arachova – Delphi – The Bay of Cirrha
X. Corinth, Mycenae, Tiryns
XI. Argos, Nauplia, and Coast of Argolis
XII. Greek Music and Painting
Commentary. By Brian Arkins

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Heraldry in the Vatican

Heraldry in the Vatican

Edited and Introduced by Peter Bander van Duren

A historical walk with the Prefect of the Pontifical Household through the treasures of papal heraldry
ISBN: 978-0-905715-25-4

24.8 x 18.8 cm.      285 pp.   + nearly 400 b/w illus. with the text and 24 pp. with 54 colour illus. Captions to all illustrations are in English, Italian and German

In the late 1960s Cardinal Martin conceived the idea of having an authoritative heraldic guide for the Vatican where hundreds of coats of arms date back to Pope Eugene IV (1431-1447) the earliest armorial bearings of popes who resided in the Vatican. When Pope Paul VI had consecrated him Bishop of Neapolis in Palaestina during the papal visit to the Holy Land in 1964 and appointed him the first Prefect of the Pontifical Court, Monsignor Martin spent his free time writing profusely illustrated articles for the Holy See's Sunday newspaper L'Osservatore della Domenica on heraldry in the Vatican.

At that time he already had lived in the Vatican for over thirty years. When Pope John Paul II ascended the See of St. Peter in 1978 and, like his immediate predecessor, John Paul I, appointed him Prefect of the Papal Household and the Pontifical Court, Monsignor Martin had himself become a unique figure in the history of heraldry. He was the first Prelate of the Roman Church who was able to impale his personal coat of arms with that of the three Popes under whom he had served as Prefect of the Pontifical Court.

When Mons. Martin approached me in 1983 about the possibility of producing a book on heraldry in the Vatican, he had lived over fifty years in the Vatican. His knowledge about the Vatican and the people who had lived there was phenomenal. After the book had been published, several prominent members of the Roman Curia suggested that the book's title was in many respects a misnomer. All the Popes and other famous residents of the Apostolic Palace were profusely represented with their armorial bearings, but Monsignor Martin, who personally had served six Popes, added countless anecdotes and curiosities about people and places inside the Vatican. The book reminds one of the succinct and sometimes hilarious accounts in Aubrey's Brief Lives. For example, he recalls his first years in the Vatican when he worked in the Papal Secretariat of State of Pope Pius XI, under whom the present Vatican City State came into existence. Pope Pius XI checked the signatures of all the members in his Secretariat, and anybody whose signature he considered illegible was dismissed from service in the Secretariat of State.

The idiosyncrasies of many popes and cardinals resident in the Vatican during the last 550 years were often expressed in heraldic ornaments, on ceilings, walls and fountains. Bernini placed statues of 140 Popes, Cardinals and Bishops who had lived in the Vatican on his colonnades of St. Peter's Square. Monsignor Martin knew who everyone was, their life stories and why Bernini had chosen them to be immortalised.

We worked on his book for four years. I have never ceased to be amazed by Cardinal Martin's phenomenal memory. As Prefect of the Pontifical Household, he was always at the Pope's side. Sometimes I was privileged to be present when he introduced visitors to the Pope; he had this charming way of briefing the Holy Father not only on who the person was, but always with personal information about the visitor. Everybody was astonished at the ease with which the Pope walked among the many visitors and seemed to know everybody personally. Few realised that the Pope's Prefect was that walking encyclopedia on which not only the Pope but countless Cardinals and members of the Curia could rely to provide accurate and detailed information. As far as the Vatican Palaces were concerned, he knew of rooms and entire suites nobody but he had entered since the days of Pope Pius IX (1846-1878). He found heraldic curiosities nobody had seen for hundreds of years. Cardinal Martin, more than any prelate who had lived in the Vatican has enriched the wealth of human knowledge of heraldry in the Vatican.

Without fear of contradiction I can say that Cardinal Jacques Martin was one of the most loved men in the Vatican, and the warmth of his love and care for others permeated the Apostolic palace for many decades. Cardinal Martin's love and devotion to the successors of St. Peter was unparalleled. His sense of humour was infectious, and he could speak about the follies of some illustrious residents over the last 550 years without malice. Coats of Arms came to life and spoke to those who were fortunate to be guided by him.

HERALDRY IN THE VATICAN is in a manner of speaking a legacy Cardinal Martin left behind when he died in 1992. It is far more than a guide to the hundreds of heraldic emblems in the Vatican or a history of their bearers. It brings alive 500 years of one of the most fascinating places on earth. The author himself had become part of the rich tapestry of the Vatican.

This is not just a book for any serious scholar of heraldry or Vatican history; it is an indispensable companion for anybody fortunate enough to visit Rome and the Vatican, and it will compensate those who cannot do so.

Peter Bander van Duren More info →
A History of Chalfont St Peter and Gerrards Cross, and A History of Bulstrode

A History of Chalfont St Peter and Gerrards Cross, and A History of Bulstrode

ISBN: 978-0-86140-319-6
23.4 x 15.5 cm.    189 pp. incl. over 100 illus. 

This book contains Revd Geoffrey Edmonds’ work, last published by this company in 1968, and Dr Audrey Baker’s hitherto unpublished history of Bulstrode, past home of Judge Jeffreys, the Dukes of Portland and then the Dukes of Somerset.

While Chalfont St Peter dates back to before the Norman Conquest, and Bulstrode to the time of the Knights Templar, the parish of Gerrards Cross is a newly formed entity, being carved out of five neighbouring parishes, and greatly expanded following the 1906 opening of the London to High Wycombe Great Western & Great Central Joint Railway line which passed through the village.

Through their separate histories both Dr Baker and the Revd Edmonds chart the history of the locality through the centuries, showing how it has evolved from Anglo-Saxon and medieval times, through the Reformation, the Cromwellian period and Restoration, the Hanoverian and Victorian eras to the 20th century, and how the great families who came to live here gained or lost power, rose, fell or moved on, as well as the creation of Gerrards Cross over the past century.

In addition to the hundred or so illustrations within the book (including a number showing the construction of the railway through Gerrards Cross), the cover reproduces a watercolour of Chalfont Park by J.M.W.Turner, that was unknown until 2002.

The index features every person, place and house mentioned by the authors so residents can see what parts of the book relate to their home or the part of the villages in which they live

The Revd Geoffrey Edmonds (1902-75) was born in Rochester, Kent. He obtained an MA degree at Pembroke College, Cambridge, before studying Divinity at Mansfield College, Oxford. He was Congregational Minister at Oxted, Surrey, and in 1950 moved to Gerrards Cross, where he was Minister until his retirement in 1972, and where he continued to live until his death. Apart from being a keen chess player, and a keen historian, he was very interested in the activities of the village, being a Trustee of the Gerrards Cross Memorial Centre, a Governor of the local school and a Rotarian.

After reading Modern History at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, Audrey Baker studied History of Art at the Courtauld Institute and received her doctorate from the University of London. She specialised in medieval art, and published a number of long and detailed articles in major periodicals such Archaeologia, and the Archaeological Journal. She sometimes collaborated with Dr E. Clive Rouse. In the last years of her life she concentrated on local history and published various articles in The Records of Buckinghamshire, the journal of the Buckinghamshire Archaeological Society. Dr Baker and the Revd Geoffrey Edmonds were co-founders of the Chalfont St Peter and Gerrards Cross Local History Society. More info →