Joyce and Vico and Linguistic Theory
The Irish Book Lover. An Irish Studies Reader

The Irish Book Lover. An Irish Studies Reader

£40.00
With an Introductory Lecture by Nicholas Allen and an Integrated Index by Bruce Stewart.

The Irish Book Lover ranks as the longest-lasting of all twentieth-century Irish literary journals, with a run of 227 issues published under the editorships of John S. Crone (1909-25), Séamus Ó Casaide (1928-1930) and Colm Ó Lochlainn (1930-57). As a bibliographical and reviewing journal rather than a forum for commentary, poetry or fiction, it is less often consulted than literary journals such as the Irish Review or The Bell but nevertheless illustrates with great clarity some of the key changes in modern Irish culture and society between 1909 and 1957.

While offering a unique source of information on older, antiquarian books in Ireland, The Irish Book Lover throws open a window on the attitude of the contemporary intelligentsia to works such as James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist and W. B. Yeats’s Responsibilities, the novels of Liam O’Flaherty and Kate O’Brien or those of less-remembered writers of the day such as Temple Lane and Mrs. Thomas Concannon. Though superseded by a variety of reviewing organs, it gives an inspiring example to Irish book lovers in our own time.

The Princess Grace Irish Library has compiled a sampler of the journal here, together with an index of the entire series. The present volume also contains the introductory lecture given by Dr. Nicholas Allen at the “Irish Book Lover” Symposium held in Monaco to commemorate the journal. The symposium was also afforded a planned opportunity to survey existing resources for Irish literary history in the company of fifteen Irish publishers, librarians, teachers, critics and – last but not least – owners of Irish-studies websites.

The present volume is mirrored on the PGIL EIRData website, giving access to a body of digitised text that embraces a wider selection of the long-running journal together with an electronic index of its pages. This new departure for Irish studies has been conducted by Dr. Bruce Stewart under the terms of a contract between the Ireland Fund of Monaco to the University of Ulster under the aegis of the Princess Grace Irish Library (Monaco).

Bruce Stewart was Lecturer in Irish Literary History and Bibliography at the University of Ulster and Literary Adviser (Conseiller Littèraire) of the Princess Grace Irish Library in Monaco and director of the Library’s Biennial Symposium Series. He has edited three volumes in the Princess Grace Irish Library series and managed the production of several more. His articles and essays have been published in several leading Irish journals including Irish Review and Studies. Born in Dublin and educated at Glenstal Abbey School, Trinity College, Dublin, and the University of California, he has studied, worked and taught in America, the Middle East and England as well as Northern Ireland.

Contents

Editor’s Preface

Nicholas Allen: Introductory Lecture

The Irish Book Lover: An Irish Studies Reader

The Irish Book Lover: An Integrated Index

Bruce Stewart: Afterword

Appendix I: Chronology of Issues

Appendix II: Participants & Programme

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The Celtic Connection

The Celtic Connection

£38.00

The Celtic nations of Brittany, Cornwall, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Scotland and Wales are well known for their literature, mythology, poetry and song. This volume is a study of the linguistic and literary achievements of those nations and provides a much-needed overview of the condition of all the Celtic languages. By emphasising the connection, these studies taken together illuminate the whole Celtic domain.

As the Editor points out, the Celtic identity is not one of race – the genetic links, if they are there at all, just cannot be proved – but it is of a common linguistic and cultural heritage. The Celtic Connection focuses on the similarities and differences in language across the Celtic nations and contributes to the resurgence of interest in the Celtic identity which is increasingly being supported by official bodies, both national and international.

The collection commences with a description of the languages and origins of early Celtic society. Each language is then examined by a leading expert in linguistics and literature. All the contributors have written their contributions keeping in mind the theme of the title – the extent to which links among the Celtic peoples have (or, indeed, have not) been significant.

Contents: The Celtic Languages (Glanville Price) – The Early Celts (Miranda J. Green) – The Irish Language (Máirtín Ó Murchú) – Early Irish Literature (Pádraig Ó Riain) – Post-Norman Irish Literature (Séamus Mac Mathúna) – The Scottish Gaelic Language (John MacInnes) – Scottish Gaelic Literature (Derek S. Thomson) – Manx Language and Literature (Robert L. Thomson) – The Welsh Language, Its History and Structure (David Thorne) – The Welsh Language (Glanville Price) – Welsh Literature (David R. Johnston) – The Breton Language (Humphrey Ll. Humphreys) – Breton Literature (Rita Williams) – Cornish Language and Literature (Glanville Price) – The Celtic Connection Today (Glanville Price). With a Foreword, 'Brittany and Myself', by Prince Louis de Polignac.

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Selected Plays of Micheál mac Liammóir

Selected Plays of Micheál mac Liammóir

£9.95
Chosen and Introduced by John Barrett

The eleventh volume of the Irish Drama Selections series (ISSN 0260-7962), General Editors: Joseph Ronsley and Ann Saddlemyer.

21.6 x 13.8 cm.   
Hardcopy ISBN: 0-86140-154-9 / 978-0-86140-154-3 £30.00
Paperback ISBN: 0-86140-155-7 / 978-0-86140-155-0 £9.95

Contains: Where Stars Walk, Ill Met by Moonlight, The Mountains Look Different, The Liar, Prelude in Kasbek Street, selected writings on plays and players, bibliographical checklist.

When he died in 1978, Ireland mourned the passing of the most versatile man of the theatre she has ever known. His acting career started early as a child actor in London, but when he was fourteen he read a single passage of Yeats extolling Ireland's heritage and from then on he was to give himself to the Dublin stage, notably the Gate Theatre which he founded with his partner, Hilton Edwards. John Barrett has mapped out the influences and achievements of this extraordinary character in his introduction and selected five of Macliamm¢ir's most memorable works.

John Barrett taught English at University College, Dublin.

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Mrs S.C. Hall: A Literary Biography

Mrs S.C. Hall: A Literary Biography

£36.00
21.6 x 13.8 cm.   xii, 260 pp.  1997   Irish Literary Studies series (ISSN 0140-895X) volume 50

In 1829 Mrs S.C.Hall, an Irishwoman living in England, published a book of sketches set mainly in her native Wexford. Sketches of Irish Life and Character was an immediate success both with literary critics and the general public. A second series of Sketches appeared in 1831 and established Mrs Hall's reputation in  England as an interpreter of Irish character. Her later works on Ireland – Lights and Shadows of Irish Life (1838), Stories of the Irish Peasantry (1840) and The Whiteboy (1845) – reinforced this view, and were very popular with her English and Scottish readers. She collaborated with her husband, the journalist Samuel Carter Hall, in the writing of a three-volume guide to Ireland, Halls' Ireland, its Scenery, Character, etc. (1841-43), and this too was accepted as an informed description of Irish life and character.

In fact, Mrs Hall wrote as an observer imbued with colonial attitudes who believed in the superiority of everything English. Out of a genuine love for Ireland, however, she wished to make the country better known and understood in England, and she hoped through her writings to cure the Irish people of their faults. What makes her work interesting is the fact that it displays a tolerance and a lack of bigotry that was unusual for its time, and that she is openly critical (especially in her novel The Whiteboy) of government mismanagement and misrule.

CONTENTS
1. Ireland – 'The Great Mart of Fiction'; 2. Mrs Hall – Marriage and Markets; 3. Teaching – The Taste of the Times; 4. Sketches of Irish Life – The Voice of the Colonist; 5. Lights and Shadows – a melancholy book; 6. Stories of the Irish Peasantry – Correcting the 'evil habits of poor Pat'; 7. Halls' Ireland – 'Guidance for those who design to visit Ireland; 8. The Whiteboy –' 'A truly national novel'; 9. Three novelists with a common cause; 10. Assessments – then and now; Index.

Maureen Keane was educated at Dominican College, Eccles Street, Dublin, and University College, Dublin. After graduating with an M.A. she worked for a time as a teacher and then took up a career in journalism, first as a freelance and then as an editor. Returning to academic life, she received her Ph.D. from Maynooth College for a study of didacticism in the works of William Carleton, Mrs S.C.Hall and Charles Lever. This is her first book.

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Selected Plays of Lady Gregory

Selected Plays of Lady Gregory

£9.99 pbk
Chosen and Introduced by Mary FitzGerald

The third volume of the Irish Drama Selections series (ISSN 0260-7962), General Editors: Joseph Ronsley and Ann Saddlemyer.

Hardcover ISBN: 0-86140-099-2 / 978-0-86140-99-7 £25.00
Paperback ISBN: 0-86140-100-X / 978-0-86140-100-0 £9.99
21.6 x 13.8 cm. 379 pp. 1983  

Contains: The Travelling Man, Spreading the News, Kincora, Hyacinth Halvey, The Doctor in Spite of Himself, The Gaol Gate, The Rising of the Moon, Dervorgilla, The Workhouse Ward, Grania, The Golden Apple, The Story Brought by Brigit, Dave, Lady Gregory on playwriting and her plays, bibliographical checklist.

Lady Gregory wrote her first play when she was forty-nine years old. Apart from her collaborations with W. B. Yeats and others, and translated adaptations, she produced thirty-nine plays, while devoting a great deal of time to the management of the Abbey Theatre, and the Lane Pictures.

Described with admiration by Bernard Shaw as the Irish Molière, she contributed plays in every genre – comedies, tragedies, tragic-comedies, wonder and supernatural plays - and for every audience, most effectively in the one act form.

This collection of thirteen plays, and her writings about them, is intended to show the breadth of her playwriting abilities, and her thoughts on the plays and their creation. Chosen, with an introduction, by Mary FitzGerald, this third volume in the Irish Literary Studies series has a bibliographical checklist by Colin Smythe.

Mary FitzGerald gained her PhD from Princeton University for work on Lady Gregory and W. B. Yeats, and taught at Fordham University before taking up her appointment at the University of New Orleans. She was Review Editor of Yeats: An Annual of Critical and Textual Studies.

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The Great Queens: Irish Goddesses from the Morrigan to Cathleen ni Houlihan

The Great Queens: Irish Goddesses from the Morrigan to Cathleen ni Houlihan

£35.00
21.6 x 13.8 cm     x, 277 pp.   1991      Irish Literary Studies series (ISSN 0140-895X) volume 34

Though men dominated early Irish society, women dominated the supernatural. Goddesses of war, fertility, and sovereignty ordered human destiny. Christian monks, in recording the old stories, turned these pagan deities into saints, like St Brigit, or into mortal queens like Medb of Connacht. The Morrigan, the Great Queen, war goddess, remains a figure of awe, but her pagan functions are glossed over. She perches, crow of battle, on the dying warrior CuChulainn’s pillar stone, but her role as his tutelary deity, and as planner and fomentor of the whole tremendous Tain, the war between Ulster and Connacht, is obscured. Unlike the Anglo-Irish authors who in modem times treated the same material in English, the good Irish monks were not shocked by her sexual aggressiveness. They show her coupling with the Dagda, the ‘good god’ of the Tuatha De Danann before the second battle of Mag Tuired, but they conceal that this act – by a goddess of war, fertility and sovereignty – gives the Dagda’s people victory and the possession of Ireland. Or they reduce the sovereignty to allegory – when Niall of the Nine Hostages sleeps with the Hag she is allegorical of the trials of kingship!

With the English invasion and colonisation, the power of the goddesses diminishes further. The Sovereignty has no kingship to bestow. In the aisling poets she becomes unattainable sexually, a vision of Irish independence. She no longer legitimises the king, but dreams of a Jacobite rescue. Yeats’s Cathleen ni Houlihan combines this inaccessible vision-woman with the hag, the Poor Old Woman. She offers only death for a dream, though she has the walk of a queen. The Great Queens juxtaposes early Irish texts – such as Tain Bo Reganina, Togail Bruidne Da Derga, and many others – with Anglo-Irish treatments of the same themes by Standish O’Grady, Lady Gregory, James Stephens, and W. B. Yeats. The book shows the fall in status of the pagan goddesses, first under medieval Christianity and then under Anglo-Irish culture. That this fall shows a loss in the recognition of the roles of women seems evident from the texts. This human loss only begins to be restored when, presiding over the severed heads in Yeats’s The Death of Cuchulain, the Morrigu declares, ‘I arranged the Dance.’

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Critical Approaches to Anglo Irish Literature

Critical Approaches to Anglo Irish Literature

£28.00
21.6 x 138. cm.      x, 193 pp.  1989 
Irish Literary Studies series (ISSN 0140-895X) volume 29

Critical Approaches to Anglo-Irish Litera­ture contains a selection of the papers given at the fifth triennial conference of the International Association for the Study of Anglo-Irish Literature held in Belfast in 1985, chaired by Professor John Cronin. It includes essays on Brian Friel, Seamus Heaney, James Joyce, Patrick Kavanagh, J. S. Le Fanu, J. M. Synge, and W. B. Yeats, as well as papers on more general themes, such as the critical condition of Ulster, English political writers on Ireland, national character and national audience, autobiographical im­agination and Irish literary autobiog­raphies. The contributors to this volume, the twenty-ninth in the Irish Literary Studies Series, are Catherine Belsey, Patricia Coughlan, Seamus Deane, Gerald FitzGibbon, Ruth Fleischmann, Margaret Fogarty, John Wilson Foster, Eamonn Hughes, Michael Kenneally, Tom Paulin, Walter T. Rix, and Nicholas Roe. The editors are Michael Allen and Angela Wilcox.

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A Celtic Bibliography
Selected Plays of George Shiels

Selected Plays of George Shiels

£45.00
Chosen and Introduced by Christopher Murray

The fifteenth volume of the Irish Drama Selections series (ISSN 0260-7962), General Editors: Joseph Ronsley and Ann Saddlemyer.

21.6 x 13.8cm.

Contains The Retrievers (hitherto unpublished), Professor Tim, The New Gossoon, The Passing Day, The Rugged Path, and The Summit, bibliographical checklist.

George Shiels (1886-1949) was one of the most prolific and most successful playwrights in the history of the Abbey Theatre. Before his debut at the Abbey, Shiels's early work was staged by the Ulster Literary Theatre in Belfast and later on his work was taken up by the dynamic Group Theatre, also in Belfast. As a Northerner, Shiels embraced the whole island in his work, his use of dialect and his characterisation. Moreover, while his plays were broadly popular and wonderfully well suited to the acting talents of theatre companies North and South, his all-Ireland perspective lent his work a keen critical edge masked by easy realism and hilarious comedy. Nowadays, we turn to the dark comedy of a play like The Passing Day to re-adjust our view of Shiels and to see his plays as seriously concerned with the land question and issues of identity, gender and the law in post-colonial Ireland. From that perspective, The New Gossoon and in particular The Rugged Path (which in 1940 broke all previous box-office receipts at the Abbey, when the production played for an unprecedented twelve weeks, all previous plays having been limited to two) challenge us to look again at Shiels and see him as public commentator as well as consummate entertainer.

The present collection attempts to facilitate this needed redefinition of Shiels's place in the Irish dramatic canon. To that end it includes The Retrievers (1924), his first full-length political play, never before published, together with Professor Tim (1925), The New Gossoon (1930), The Passing Day (1936), The Rugged Path (1940) and its sequel The Summit (1941), together with a Bibliographical Checklist.

Christopher Murray is Professor Emeritus in the School of English and Drama at University College Dublin. He is former editor of Irish University Review and former chair of the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures (IASIL). Among his publications are Twentieth-Century Irish Drama: Mirror up to Nation and Sean O'Casey, Writer at Work: A Biography.

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Theatre of Shadows: Samuel Beckett’s Drama 1956-1976

Theatre of Shadows: Samuel Beckett’s Drama 1956-1976

£12.95

21.6 x 13.8 cm.           pbk edition of Irish Literary Studies Series (ISSN 0140-895X) volume 28

Perhaps nothing is more fascinating to the student of literature than an insight into a writer's creative process, a study of how the published works, from All That Fall to Footfalls, came to be as they are.

Theatre of Shadows both defines and takes as its subject the middle period of Samuel Beckett's dramatic writing. By making a close study of the structure, and of the largely unpublished manus-cript drafts, of the plays written from 1956 to 1976, this book offers considerable insight into Beckett's creative process. A combination of rigorous patterning and a movement away from concrete expression (what Beckett himself called a 'vaguening' of the text) is seen to be his customary working method during this period. Dr Pountney goes on to discuss how the plays work in the theatre, through a detailed analysis of Beckett's stagecraft.

In order to set the middle period in context some discussion of Beckett's early work for the theatre is included, and a final chapter on the late plays shows his dramatic imagination still finding new channels to explore. The book provides the student with as comprehensive an approach as possible to two decades of Beckett's drama. This is a paperback edition of the original 1988 publication.

Rosemary Pountney, whose first training was in theatre, performed the Irish premières of Not I (Mouth) and Footfalls (May) at the Dublin Theatre Festival in 1978. She combines her Lectureship in English at Jesus College, Oxford, with touring (most recently in Eastern Europe and New Zealand), lecturing on Beckett's work in the theatre, and performing Rockaby and other one-woman plays.

'a marvellous contribution to Beckett criticism....  painstakingly scholarly, meticulous in its observations, and illuminating in its detail' Review of English Studies, 1990

'If you want the best book on the background to Beckett's plays (without jargon) this is it. It is also the most useful for the actor.' Barry McGovern

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W.J.Turner, Poet and Music Critic

W.J.Turner, Poet and Music Critic

£30.00
21.6 x 13.8 cm.        xx,  257 pp.  index      1990

Born in Melbourne, Australia, in October 1884, W.J.Turner left his home city in March 1907, determined to create a career for himself as a writer in London. By 1946, when he died, he had contributed to the literary and musical life of England in ways that establish him as a unique and fascinating figure. A man of independent mind and provocative originality, he was perhaps the most outspoken critic of his time and, in Arnold Bennett's judgement, the only one of his generation whom it was a `pleasure to read for the sake of reading', as well as being a poet whose `majestic song' left Yeats, in his own words, `lost in admiration and astonishment'.

Wayne McKenna's work provides an overview of Turner's life and work, discussing his plays, novels, short stories, poetry drama criticism and literary editing, and well as commenting on the more important literary friend ships in his life, such as those with Yeats, Siegfried Sassoon, and Lady Ottoline Morrell.

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Selected Plays of Denis Johnston

Selected Plays of Denis Johnston

£9.95 pbk
Chosen and Introduced by Joseph Ronsley

The second volume of the Irish Drama Selections series (ISSN 0260-7962), General Editors: Joseph Ronsley and Ann Saddlemyer.

Hardcover ISBN: 0-86140-123-9 / 978-0-86140-123-9 £30.00
Paperback ISBN: 0-86140-086-0 / 978-0-86140-086-7 £9.95

21.6 x 13.8 cm. 

Contains: The Old Lady Says 'No! (with Curtis Canfield's list of titles and authors of poems used in its Prologue)', The Moon in the Yellow River, The Golden Cuckoo, The Dreaming Dust, The Scythe and the Sunset, bibliographical checklist.

Denis Johnston's first play, The Old Lady Says 'No!', was produced in 1929, and immediately made his reputation as a very talented, innovative and deeply thoughtful playwright. This description was confirmed by his later plays, four of which, The Moon in the Yellow River, The Golden Cuckoo, The Dreaming Dust, and The Scythe and the Sunset, with The Old Lady, are printed in this volume. Written in widely varying styles, Johnston's work presents his audience with issues that initially seem clear-cut, but by the end of each play there have been thought through to such an extent that basic assumptions have been thoroughly reorganised and transformed.

At the time of publication of this selection in 1983 Denis Johnston (1901-84) was justly considered to be the doyen of Ireland's dramatists. Chosen and introduced by Joseph Ronsley, this selection is the ideal introduction to Johnston's work, for use by classes and performers alike.

Joseph Ronsley taught at McGill University, Montreal. He is author of Yeats's Autobiography: Life as Symbolic Pattern, and has edited Myth and Reality in Irish Literature, and Denis Johnston, a Retrospective. He is co-general editor of the Irish Drama Selections series, and has been a President of the Canadian Association for Irish Studies.

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Rural Ireland, Real Ireland?

Rural Ireland, Real Ireland?

£33.00

21.6 x 13.8 cm.   245pp.   1996

The aim of the present collection, which is edited by Jacqueline Genet, is to draw a picture of rural Ireland through Irish literature, from the 18th century, through the numerous rich productions of the nineteenth century, up to the present time. Starting with studies of the background to the subject by Catherine Maignant and Paul Brennan, the remaining essays, by Bernard Escarbelt, Claude Fierobe, Jean Brihault, Colin Meir, Godeleine Carpentier, Caroline MacDonogh, Declan Kiberd, Jacqueline Genet, Rene Agostini, Martin Croghan, the late Augustine Martin, Colbert Kearney, Maurice Harmon, and Danielle Jacquin, cover aspects of rural Ireland in the work of William Chaigneau, Maria Edgeworth, Lady Morgan, William Carleton, Charles J. Kickham, Lady Gregory, Douglas Hyde, W.B. Yeats, J.M. Synge, Tomas O’Crohan, Daniel Corkery, Seamus O’Kelly, Patrick Kavanagh and Flann O’Brien.

CONTENTS

The Background
Catherine Maignant: "Rural Ireland in the 19th Century and the advent of the modern world"
Paul Brennan: "Ireland's Rural Population"

Rural Ireland in Literature
Bernard Escarbelt: "William Chaigneau's Jack Connor: a literary image of the Irish peasant"
Claude Fierobe: "The peasantry in the Irish novels of Maria Edgeworth"
Jean Brihault: "Lady Morgan: Deep Furrows"
Colin Meir: "Status and style in Carleton's Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry"
Godeline Carpentier: "The peasantry in Kickham's tales and novels: an epitome mof the writer's realism, idealism and ideology"
Caroline MacDonogh: "Augusta Gregory: A Portrait of a Lady"
Declan Kiberd: " Decolonizing the mind: Douglas Hyde and Irish Ireland"
Jacqueline Genet: "Yeats and the myth of rural Ireland"
Ren‚ Agostini: "J.M.Synge's 'celestial peasants'"
Martin Craghan: "'...the great and good... the worthless and insignificant'. A case study of Tomas O'Crohan: The Island Man"
Augustine Martin: "The Past and the peasant in the stories of Seumas O'Kelly"
Colbert Kearney: "Daniel Corkery: a priest and his people"
Maurice Harmon: "Kavanagh's Old Peasant"
Danielle Jacquin: "'Cerveaux lucides is good begob': Flann O'Brien and the world of peasants"

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Yeats at Songs and Choruses

Yeats at Songs and Choruses

£40.00
23.3 x 15. 8 cm.    xxiv, 283 pp.    with over 50 illustrations

A critical work about one of the leading figures in modern poetry, this book shows how Yeats perfected great songs – “Crazy Jane on the Day of Judgment”, “Three Things”, “After Long Silence”, “Her Triumph” – and great choruses – “Colonus’ Praise”, “From ‘Œdipus at Colonus’” and “From the ‘Antigone’”. The author follows the manuscript development of each poem to discover its full context in life and culture, to illuminate obscurities in the finished text, or simply to witness in amazement the emergence of a true poem from a tangle of abstractions. As a result, the reader is given original and interesting interpretations of the songs and choruses as final works of art.

“When I prepared ‘Œdipus at Colonus’ . . . wrote Yeats, “I saw that the wood of the Furies . . . was any Irish haunted wood.” Clark shows that Yeats re­membered Greece when he wrote songs for Crazy Jane. Greek myth appears in the songs, and Greek choruses appear in the “Irish” song cycles. The last word in “A Man Young and Old” is spoken of Œdipus and the last word in “A Woman Young and Old” of Antigone. Classical figures rub elbows with Huddon and Duddon and Daniel O’Leary. In “Her Triumph” the woman sees herself and her lover as Perseus and Andromeda.

Paintings, often of mythological subjects, were part of the context for Yeats’s poems. Yeats was an art student and the son and brother of well-known painters. The manuscripts show exactly what paintings – by Bellini, Carpaccio, Titian – were in Yeats’s thought when he wrote “Her Triumph” and Clark concludes that one of Burne-Jones’s Perseus series was the chief model for the poem’s imagery. Other poems, too, were written in the context of Yeats’s knowledge of art. Relevant illus­trations are included. Manu­scripts too are photographically reproduced.

Among the many comments on Clark’s skill as an interpreter of Yeats are: “Clark varies his approach to fit the materials at hand: with one poem he will emphasize the visual sources, for example, whereas with another lyric he will concern himself with biographical matters . . . Clark’s scholarship is quite sound, and he is working at the frontiers of Yeats scholarship.” – Richard J. Finneran, editor, Anglo-Irish Literature, A Review of Research

“Clark’s intricate analysis of Yeats’s ‘After Long Silence’ is a jewel of scholarship, moving and illuminating: in his analysis of the poem, and of the manuscripts out of which it emerged, Clark seems to have moved for a moment into Yeats’s mind.” - Robert O’Driscoll, The University of Toronto Quarterly.

'A pleasure to read....a book for anyone interested in Yeats or the creative process, a real contribution to Yeats studies.' Books Ireland'A pleasure to read....a book for anyone interested in Yeats or the creative process, a real contribution to Yeats studies.' Books Ireland

Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, David Clark was the author of Lyric Resonance: Glosses on Some Poems by Yeats, Frost, Crane, Cummings and Others and of Dry Tree: Poems. He has also either edited or co­edited a number of works on modern literature and on Irish culture.

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W.B. Yeats and the Tribes of Danu. Three Visions of Ireland’s Fairies

W.B. Yeats and the Tribes of Danu. Three Visions of Ireland’s Fairies

£33.00
21.6 x 13.8 cm    350 pp.    1987  
  Irish Literary Studies series (ISSN 0140-895X) volume 27

W. B. Yeats and the Tribes of Danu is a study of the Irish fairy faith in its ancient and traditional forms, and of Yeats’s response to that faith.

The first part concerns the ancient beliefs, chiefly as they are expressed in mythology, and describes the origins and characteristics of the Tuatha De Danann. Peter Alderson Smith shows how they are a folk memory of an ancient people who have to some degree acquired divine and ghostly characteristics.

Part two describes the fairies of modern folklore, the various types, their charac­teristics, and differences from ghosts, in being a separate and supernatural race of people, homogeneous but unpredictable and notorious for their capriciousness.

Part three finds in Yeats's work between the writing of The Countess Cathleen (1891-92) and the poems of Responsibilities (1914) a desire to know more about the Otherworld that resulted in a relationship that fluctuated between the poles of frustration and despair on the one hand, and morbid enthusiasm on the other. That the process was ultimately therapeutic is shown by Yeats’s move away from the Celtic Twilight to the poems of his maturity.

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Irish Fiction Since the 1960s

Irish Fiction Since the 1960s

£40.00

This collection of fourteen substantial essays has been designed to map the landscape of Irish fiction since 1960, and to assess the extraordinary literary achievement of Irish novelists and short story writers, North and South of the border, over the last forty years.

As this volume demonstrates, Irish novelists and short story writers since 1960 have both continued and challenged conventional notions of Irish fiction; and they have contributed, in stimulating and inventive style, to the continuous examination of Irish identity, culture and politics, while making their fiction resonate with wide cultural, intellectual and human interest.

The book includes essays which focus on major individual writers - Samuel Beckett, Brian Moore, Jennifer Johnston, Maurice Leitch, John McGahern, Patrick McGinley and John Banville. There are also general essays of a more explicitly comparative and thematic nature covering such topics as the impact of modernisation on Irish fiction, the contemporary ‘Big House’ novel, the Protstant imagination, the ‘Troubles’ Novel, the importance of the past, childhood and women’s narratives, constructions of masculinity, and women short story writers. By closely analysing key texts, exploring the relationships between texts, and also between texts and their social, cultural and political contexts, and by examining significant themes and preoccupations, these essays offer valuable insights into the variety and complexity of modern Irish fiction from a range of viewpoints.

Contents

Introduction: The New Humanism. Elmer Kennedy-Andrews

Part 1: Thematic and Comparative Studies
‘Something important had changed’: Modernisation and Irish Fiction since 1960. Patrick Walsh
Ivy over Imperial Ireland: The Irish Big House Novel since 1960. Robin Marsh
‘Fabled by the Daughters of Memory’: History as Nightmare in Contemporary Irish Fiction. Robert Garratt
Shadows of the Gunmen: The Troubles Novel. Elmer Kennedy-Andrews
How I Achieved this Trick’: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary Irish Fiction. Eamonn Hughes
To Say ‘I’: Female Identity in The Maid’s Tale and The Wig my Father Wore. Heidi Hansson

Part 2: Individual Author studies
Beckett after 1960: A Post-Humanist Context. Paul Davies
The Art of Science: Banville’s Doctor Copernicus. Declan Kiberd
‘A Shocking Libel on the People of Donegal’? The Novels of Patrick McGinley. John Goodby and Jo Furber
Form, Theme and Genre: The Importance of Catholics in Brian Moore’s Work. Kathleen Devine
The Remains of Protestantism in Maurice Leitch’s Fiction. Barry Sloan
Jennifer Johnston: Tremors of Memory. Richard York
‘All Toppers’: Children in the Fiction of John McGahern. Patrick Crotty

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The Poetry of Austin Clarke

The Poetry of Austin Clarke

£30.00

Late in his career, the Irish poet Austin Clarke was asked by Robert Frost what kind of poetry he wrote. ‘I load myself with chains,’ Clarke replied, ‘and try to get out of them.’ ‘Good Lord!’ Frost said. ‘You can’t have many readers.’ Despite a distinguished career spanning almost sixty years, Austin Clarke has not had many readers outside Ireland. Inside Ireland, many critics ranked Clarke as the most important Irish poet writing after Yeats, but his work has not received extensive critical attention — partly because it is often difficult and complex, and partly because Clarke was committed to writing not just about the Irish, but also for the Irish.

In The Poetry of Austin Clarke, the first published book-length study of Clarke’s poetry, Gregory Schirmer argues against seeing Clarke as a provincial writer. Rather, he sees Clarke’s large and varied canon as informed by a broad humanistic vision that enables it to transcend Clarke's commitment to the local.

Clarke once said that in reading Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man he had difficulty distinguishing between Stephen Dedalus and himself. Like Joyce, Clarke (1896-1974) came to see Irish Catholicism as a powerful and complex threat to his freedom and artistic vocation. In The Poetry of Austin Clarke, Schirmer asserts that almost all of Clarke’s poetry moves between two poles: his view of Irish Catholicism as a repressive, life-denying force, and his humanistic faith in man’s inherent goodness and right to moral, intellectual, and spiritual freedom.

This argument is advanced through a detailed reading of Clarke’s poetry, beginning with the early narrative poems, which are based on the same pre-Christian Irish legends that inspired Yeats and the Irish Literary Revival, and then turning to Pilgrimage (1929) and Night and Morning (1938), two volumes of lyrics that are central to understanding Clarke’s poetry as a whole. In these books, Clarke sets forth the terms that govern all his art – the struggle between humanism and religion, flesh and spirit, reason and faith. Clarke’s satirical poems and epigrams of the 1950s and 1960s are then examined in terms of this tension. Finally the book discusses Clarke’s later poetry, including the long, semi-autobiographical Mnemosene Lay in Dust (1966), the late erotic poetry, and Clarke’s free translations of Gaelic verse.

Throughout all this varied writing, Schirmer argues, Clarke is celebrating the human in the face of the forces that he sees ranged against it. It is this vision that makes Clarke’s poetry an important part, not just of Irish literature, but of all literature attempting to express man’s condition in the twentieth century.

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Flann O’Brien: Myles From Dublin

Flann O’Brien: Myles From Dublin

£5.99
and BERNARD SHAW AND THE COMEDY OF APPROVAL
ISBN: 978-0-86140-329-5
21.0 x 14.8 cm.  48 pp.  1991    Princess Grace Irish Library Lectures Series (ISSN 0950-5121) volume 7 More info →
Selected Plays of Hugh Leonard

Selected Plays of Hugh Leonard

£9.99 paperback
Chosen and Introduced by S.F.Gallagher

The ninth volume of the Irish Drama Selections series (ISSN 0260-7962), General Editors: Joseph Ronsley and Ann Saddlemyer.

Hardcover ISBN: 0-86140-140-9 / 978-0-86140-140-6 £35.00
Papercover ISBN: 00-86140-141-7 / 978-0-86140-141-3 £9.95
21.6 x 13.8 cm.   

Contains: The Au Pair Man, The Patrick Pearse Motel, Da, Summer, A Life, Kill, Bibliographical Checklist.

`Hugh Leonard' is the pen-name of John Keyes Byrne. He is, as Christopher Fitz-Simon has written, `the most prolific and most technically assured of modern Irish playwrights', and his cosmopolitanism is shown by the range of his work, twenty-five plays (eighteen of which have been published), and seven adaptations of others' work for stage, something like thirty individual plays for television, work for over forty TV series totalling well in excess of 120 original episodes, and over 100 episodes for serials based on others' works (Emily Bronte, Dickens, Dostoevsky, Flaubert, Somerville & Ross, for example), as well as over a dozen film scripts. The output is truly phenomenal.

Although a constant contributor to television, it is for the theatre that he has produced his finest work. This selection amply illustrates Leonard's cosmopolitan talent and his constant ability to entertain his audience.

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