Genre: Popular Irish Titles
A Man May Fish

A Man May Fish

ISBN : 978-0-86140-451-3
With a foreword by Hugh Falkus and an introduction by Conrad Voss Bark

23.3 x 15.6 cm      xx, 225 pp. diagrams  + colour frontis. and 16 pp. with 28 illus.    enlarged edition 1979 [1st edition published 1960]

A Man May Fish by the late Mr Justice Kingsmill Moore (1893-1979), one of the most respected men in Ireland in the decades before his death, has become a fishing classic since its first publication in 1960. The work covers a lifetime of fishing in Ireland for trout, sea trout (white trout), and salmon. The author was a skilled and long-experienced anger with an enviable command of the English language, and his book is full of information on how to fish. Although it is often reminiscent, there are no idle memories; ever incident teaches something of value, so that A Man May Fish is a really, useful, practical book.

In his Introduction, Conrad Voss Bark writes that Kingsmill Moore ‘uses his subject as a key to open his readers’ minds to wider horizons. He has an astonishing ability too, to create living people.’

It is a book to enchant every angler for salmon and trout, whilst to the angling visitor to Irish waters, it must rate as essential reading.

For this second edition, first published in 1979, the author revised the book, adding two more chapters, on lost Irish fish and on Delphi, and an appendix on the effect of waves and deeply stained water on a fish’s vision of a fly.

In his Sea Trout Fishing (1975), Hugh Falkus (who has also written a Preface for this edition), placed A Man May Fish in his top-twenty best angling books – ‘a great man, a great book’.

Theodore Conyngham Kingsmill Moore was educated at Marlborough College and Trinity College Dublin, where he had a brilliant academic career and was Auditor of the College Historical Society. He served in the Royal Flying Corps 1917-18, and was called to the Irish Bar in 1918, to the Inner Bar in 1934, and became a bencher of King’s Inns in 1941. He was a representative of Dublin University in the Seanad Eireann 1944-47, became a judge of the High Court in 1947, and was a judge of the Supreme Court 1951-65. He was Vice-Chairman of the Irish section of Amnesty International, and of CONCERN. He received an Hon. LL.D. from Dublin University in 1947.

He married Beatrice Macnie in 1926 (she died in 1976) and had a son and daughter, who survive him.

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Visions and Beliefs in the West of Ireland

Visions and Beliefs in the West of Ireland

£8.99 pbk reprinting
General Editors of the Coole Edition: T.R.Henn CBE and Colin Smythe

With an introduction by Elizabeth Coxhead

21.6 x 13.8 cm. ISBN: 978-0-901072-36-8   

Visions & Beliefs in the West of Ireland has been a classic among folklore collections since its first publication in 1920. Lady Gregory started collecting the stories from local people in Clare and West Galway in the 1890s, and in the early years was often accompanied on her trips by W.B.Yeats. Both found the tales a valuable source for their work. Originally intended as a joint project, the two volume collection (here published as a single book) finally appeared under Lady Gregory's name, but Yeats provided notes and two essays, `Witches and Wizards and Irish Folk-Lore' and `Swedenborg, Mediums & the Desolate Places', both of which appear here.

Many aspects of the supernatural are presented, and there are stories about seers, healers, charms, banshees, fairy forts, the evil eye – this is a treasure trove of west Irish folk-beliefs from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Elizabeth Coxhead, who died in 1979, was a journalist, critic, broadcaster and novelist. She was also the author of Lady Gregory, A Literary Portrait (1961, revised 1966), the first book to be published exclusively about Lady Gregory, and Daughters of Erin (1965, republished 1979). which contains biographies of five leading women of the Irish Literary Revival period, Maude Gonne, Constance Markievicz, Sarah Purser, and Sally (Sarah) and Molly Allgood.

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Gods and Fighting Men: The Story of the Tuatha de Danaan and of the Fianna of Ireland

Gods and Fighting Men: The Story of the Tuatha de Danaan and of the Fianna of Ireland

£8.99 pbk reprinting
General Editors of the Coole Edition: T.R.Henn CBE and Colin Smythe

With a Foreword by Daniel Murphy

ISBN: 978-0-901072-37-5
21.6 x 13.8 cm.      370 pp.  1976  paperback edition of the third volume of the Coole Edition of Lady Gregory's works, published in 1970
A collection of Irish myths and legends collected at the beginning of the century by Lady Gregory. Introduced by W.B. Yeats, this work is of enormous cultural influence. Includes stories of Lugh, Mananaan, the Children of Lir, Tuatha de Danaan, Fin MacCumhal, the Fianna, Oisin, and Diarmuid and Grania.

Gods and Fighting Men was first published in 1904, two years after Cuchulain of Muirthemne, and complements that work. It contains the other mythological histories of early Ireland, the stories of Lugh, of Manannan, the Children of Lir, the coming of the Tuatha de Danaan, as well as those that deal with Oisin, Finn MacCumhal, the Fianna and their exploits, and Diarmuid and Grania.

Lady Gregory collected the stories from many original sources, and in translating them from the early Irish and putting them down in ‘Kiltartanese’ (English with Gaelic syntax), a style called after the townland close to her home Coole Park, where such language was common, she created a unified group of tales that – with Cuchulain of Muirthemne – made a greater impact on people’s appreciation of the wealth and strength of Irish mythology than any other similar work.

Their influence was increased by the Prefaces that the poet W. B. Yeats wrote for each volume, praising their contents. In the Preface to this volume Yeats claimed that when children ‘imagine a country for themselves, it is always a country where one can wander without aim, and where one can never know from one place what another will be like, or know from one day’s adventure what may meet one with tomorrow’s sun. I had wished to become a child again that I might find this book, that not only tells one of such a country, but is fuller than any other book that tells of heroic life, of the childhood that is all folklore, dearer to me than all the books of the western world.’ It is not surprising that Yeats used Lady Gregory’s versions of the tales for many of his plays.

Gods and Fighting Men and Cuchulain of Muirthemne are two of the most important works to have come out of Ireland in the opening years of the twentieth century, not only for their influence on others, but because here, for the first time, readable versions of the Irish myths were made available to the general public. The two books have since then introduced generations of new readers to these great tales.

This edition contains all Lady Gregory’s final corrections for the book, Yeats’s Preface and a foreword by the late Daniel J. Murphy, Professor Emeritus of English Literature, Baruch College, City University of New York.

The cover design is by Jim Fitzpatrick.


Dedication to the Members of the Irish Literary Society of New York. Signed Augusta Gregory
Foreword by Daniel Murphy
Preface. Signed W.B.Yeats
Book I. The Coming of the Tuatha de Danaan
The Fight with the Firbolgs – The Reign of Bres
Book II. Lugh of the Long Hand
The Coming of Lugh – The Sons of Tuireann – The Great Battle of Magh Tuireadh – The Hidden House of Lugh
Book III. The Coming of the Gael
The Landing – The Battle of Tailltin
Book IV. The Ever-Living Living Ones
Bodb Dearg – The Dagda – Angus Og – The Morrigu – Aine – Aoibhell – Midhir and Etain – Manannan – Manannan at Play – His Call to Bran – His Three Calls to Cormac – Cliodhna’s Wave – His Call to Connla –Tadg in Manannan’s Islands – Laegaire in the Happy Plain
Book V. The Fate of The Children of Lir

Book I. Finn, Son of Cumhal
The Coming of Finn – Finn’s Household – Birth of Bran – Oisin’s Mother – The Best Men of the Fianna
Book II. Finn’s Helpers
The Lad of the Skins – Black, Brown, and Grey – The Hound – Red Ridge
Book III. The Battle of the White Strand
The Enemies of Ireland – Cael & Credhe (an earlier version was published in The Green Sheaf, no.5, 1903) – Conn Crither – Glas, Son of Dremen – The Help of the Men of Dea – The March of the Fianna – The First Fighters – The King of Ulster’s Son – The High King’s Son – The King of Lochlann and his Sons – Labran’s Journey – The Great Fight – Credhe’s Lament
Book IV. Huntings and Enchantments
The King of Britain’s Son – The Cave of Ceiscoran – Donn, Son of Midhir – The Hospitality of Cuanna’s House – Cat-Heads and Dog-Heads – Lomna’s Head – Ilbrec of Ess Ruadh – The Cave of the Cruachan – The Wedding at Conn Slieve – The Shadowy One – Finn’s Madness – The Red Woman – Finn and the Phantoms – The Pigs of Angus – The Hunt of Slieve Cuilinn
Book V. Oisin’s Children
Book VI. Diarmuid
Birth of Diarmuid – How Diarmuid got his Love-Spot – The Daughter of King Under-Wave – The Hard Servant – The House of the Quicken Trees
Book VII. Diarmuid and Grania
The Flight of Teamhair – The Pursuit – The Green Champions – The Wood of Dubhros – The Quarrel – The Wanderers – Fighting and Peace – The Boar of Beinn Gulbain
Book VIII. Cnoc-an-Air
Taile, Son of Treon – Meargach’s Wife – Ailne’s Revenge
Book IX. The Wearing Away of the Fianna
The Quarrel with the Sons of Morna – Death of Goll – The Battle of Gabhra
Book X. The End of the Fianna
The Death of Bran – The Call of Oisin – The Last of the Great Men
Book XI. Oisin and Patrick
Oisin’s Story – Oisin in Patrick’s House – The Arguments – Oisin’s Lament
The Apology
The Age and Origin of the Stories of the Fianna
The Authorities
The Pronunciation
The Place Names

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Cuchulain of Muirthemne: The Story of the Men of the Red Branch of Ulster

Cuchulain of Muirthemne: The Story of the Men of the Red Branch of Ulster

£7.99 pbk
General Editors of the Coole Edition: T.R.Henn CBE and Colin Smythe

With a Foreword by Daniel Murphy

ISBN: 978-0-900675-85-0
21.6 x 13.8 cm  

Here are the myths and legends of early Ireland as translated and written down by Lady Gregory, and published in 1902. This volume has a Preface by W.B. Yeats, who described it as `the best book that has ever come out of Ireland', and `the chief part of Ireland's gift of the imagination of the world'. Legends include: the Hound of Cuchulain and the Men of the Red Branch of Ulster.

Dedication of the Irish Edition to the People of Kiltartan
Foreword by Daniel Murphy
Preface. Signed W. B. Yeats, March 1902.
Birth of Cuchulain
Boy Deeds of Cuchulain
The Courting of Emer
Bricriu’s Feast, and the War of the Words of the Women of Ulster
The Championship of Ulster
The High King of Ireland
Fate of the Children of Usnach
The Dream of Angus
The Wedding of Maine Morgor
The War for the Bull of Cuailgne
The Awakening of Ulster
The Two Bulls
The Only Jealousy of Emer
Advice to a Prince
The Sons of Doel Dermai
Battle of Rosnaree
The Only Son of Aoife
Death of Cuchulain
Note by W. B. Yeats on The Conversation of Cuchulain and Emer. (Pages 32-34)

Notes. Signed A.G.

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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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The Prose of J. M. Synge

The Prose of J. M. Synge

Edited by Alan Price

paperback 21.4 cm.

J.M.Synge died in 1909 and The Works of John M. Synge were published in four volumes by Maunsel & Co., Dublin, in 1910. Since that time, with the exception of a few minor verses and one or two fragments of prose, the canon of his work has remained unaltered. Nevertheless, much unpublished material exists, for the most part of great interest and significance for the understanding of Synge's methods of work and development. This material, including early drafts of the plays, notebooks, poems, and fragments of poetic drama, has now been thoroughly explored in order to create this definitive edition, first published by Oxford University Press 1962-68, which not only collects together all that is of significance in his printed and in his unprinted work, but also, by a careful use of worksheets and early drafts, indicates much of the process of creation which occurred before the production of the printed page. The Collected Works is in four volumes, under the general editorship of the late Professor Robin Skelton, of the University of Victoria, British Columbia, who began the series with his edition of the poems and translations.

The second volume, edited by the late Dr Alan Price, of The Queen's University, Belfast, author of Synge and Anglo-Irish Drama, assembles all Synge's prose writings of any merit or interest. Over half of it consists of a reprint of The Aran Islands, and In Wicklow, West Kerry and Connemara, checked and supplemented where necessary by collation with Synge's own manuscripts and proofs. About a quarter consists of articles and reviews not previously collected, and the rest, including most of Part One, was never published before. Thus the prose of Synge can here be seen as a whole and should lead to a deeper understanding of both the writer and the Anglo-Irish literary revival. Thirty-five drawings by Jack B. Yeats are included.

These volumes were published in 1982 by arrangement with Oxford University Press.

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The Comical Celtic Cat

The Comical Celtic Cat

ISBN: 978-0-85105-505-3

The delightful children's story of the cat in the 8th century monastery of Kells, Pangur Ban, who `helped' the scribe of the famous Book of Kells. Since it was first published, this book has proved continuously popular, but we and the author felt it could look even more attractive. Now that the first edition has sold out, we have taken the opportunity of publishing a new version, using another set of illustrations painted by the author, and we are sure that the reader will find this edition even more attractive than the first.

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A Servant of the Queen

A Servant of the Queen

£12.99 paperback
Edited by A. Norman Jeffares and Anna MacBride White

21.6 x 13.8 cm. paperback

Maud Gonne MaeBride is part of Irish history: her foundation of the women's group Inghinidhe na hEireann. the Daughters of Ireland, in 1900, was the key that effectively opened the door of politics in the twentieth century to Irishwomen. Still remembered in Ireland for the fiery, emotive public speeches she made on behalf of the suffering – those evicted from their homes in the West of Ireland, the Treason-Felony prisoners on the Isle of Wight, indeed all those whom she saw as victims of the imperialism she constantly opposed – she is known, too, within and outside Ireland as the woman W. B. Yeats loved and celebrated in his poems.

He wrote poems to and about her after they first met in 18S9, and he continued to do so in his middle age and up to his seventies. when he remembered her ‘straight back and arrogant head’, her gentleness, and her wildness. And something of those extremes in her character becomes clear in her autobiography, A Servant of the Queen, which brings her life up to her marriage to John MaeBride in 1903.

This is no orthodox autobiography: it selects episodes – many of them highly dramatic – in her life rather than providing a more pedestrian progress through all its events. The book conveys her romanticism and suggests how wide a range of activities she pursued as a fervent nationalist, persuasive propagandist, and successful journalist. Her sheer courage emerges clearly but though she held mere convention in contempt she had to exercise some discretion in writing these memoirs. The editors have identified some hitherto unnamed characters and established the identity of persons given other names in earlier editions: they have indicated some of the episodes in Maud Gonne's life – notably her liaison with the French politician Lucien Millevoye – that she was obliged to omit in the first edition (1937). A Servant of the Queen is written in a characteristically dashing conversational style and reveals the complexity of Maud Gonne's character: it is a most readable account of aspects of a vital, exciting life which has maintained its interest to historians and students. In this new edition, the editors, who compiled The Gonne-Yeats Letters 1893-1938, have corrected the order of the chapters so that they are now arranged according to the sequence of events, and have added a chronology, notes on the principal figures, and an index.

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The Easter Proclamation of The Irish Republic 1916

The Easter Proclamation of The Irish Republic 1916

ISBN: 978-0-85105-289-2
18.4 x 13.0 cm      10 pp. set in Uncial type, with reproduction of the original Proclamation, the pivotal document of the Easter Rising More info →
Representative Irish Tales

Representative Irish Tales


With a foreword by Mary Helen Thuente

This anthology of Irish fiction edited by W.B. Yeats was first published in 1891, but despite its significance in his early career, was out of print for nearly eighty years. Representative Irish Tales is a fine selection of Irish fiction – as representative of Yeats himself as it is of Irish novelists. His introductory commentary and his editorial emendations provide an interesting perspective on an influential, but relatively unknown phase of his early work. Novelists represented are: Maria Edgeworth, John & Michael Banim, William Carleton, Samuel Lover, William Maginn, T. Crofton Croker, Gerald Griffin, Charles Lever, Charles Kickham, and Miss Rosa Mulholland.

Representative Irish Tales was first published in 1891 but was soon out of print - until the present edition in 1979. This printing (1991) marks the centenary of the work. Mary Helen Thuente provides a fascinating and useful foreword setting the tales in the context of Yeats's own writing.

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Irish Crochet Lace

Irish Crochet Lace

ISBN: 978-0-85105-514-5

29.7 x 21.2 cm.  64 pp.  with 215 illus. [1985 Dolmen Press]   revised edition 2003

Of all forms of crochet lace, that known as ‘Irish Crochet’ is most sought after and is probably the best known. While the Irish tradition for producing this work dates back to the sixteenth century, when it was known as ‘nuns work’ from the fact that the technique and style was developed in Irish convent communities in imitation of continental lacemaking styles, the manufacture of crochet lace did not become a cottage industry in Ireland until the middle of the nineteenth century, after the devastation caused by the Great Famine of the 1840s, when the development of home crafts was encouraged to create some small income for otherwise destitute families.

Eithne D’Arcy, who died in 1999, came from a family who were buying agents for Irish crochet lace in the area around Clones in County Monaghan. This area was one of the principal centres of the Irish lace industry. A lifelong involvement with the Irish lacemakers inspired Mrs D’Arcy to record her knowledge and to describe the traditional motifs and patterns which were gradually being lost as the old lace makers died out. Irish Crochet Lace is both a pictorial record of one of Ireland’s finest crafts and a practical manual that sets out in order the steps in construction of a wide range of traditional motifs which can be built up into unique and beautiful designs.

John-David Biggs has taken a series of superb photographs which capture each step in the lacemaker’s craft and the construction of each motif.

For this new edition Mrs D’Arcy has clarified her instructions for various motifs: 1. Nine-Looped Flower; 9. Flower; 13. Shamrock Scroll; 14. Wheel; 15. Horse Shoe; 18. Fern; and 28. Mitred Fine Lace Motif.

 Originally published by the Dolmen Press. Designed by Liam Miller

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The Insurrection in Dublin

The Insurrection in Dublin

With sepia reproductions of 24 contemporary postcards of scenes from the Rising.

The Insurrection in Dublin was first published in October 1916, barely six months after the Irish Volunteers’ Easter Rising took place. The text was never revised so that it has retained the sense of immediacy that makes it one of the classic works of the period.

James Stephens is best known as the author of The Crock of Gold and The Demi Gods as well as for his poetry, but as AE wrote in his review of this work: ‘he has the most vivid senses of any Irishman now writing. He kept a journal day by day, writing down what saw with those keen eyes of his. They are the eyes of the poet and storyteller interested a thousand times more in the character of life, in studying behaviour under abnormal circumstances, than in any other aspects of the rising.’ These qualities have kept this book recurrently in print.

John A. Murphy, who was Professor of Irish History at University College Cork, NUI, has contributed an Introduction and Afterword which set the Rising in its historial context, and assess the impact that it had on Ireland at the time and the subsequent events that led up to the foundation of the Irish Free State.

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Tales of the West of Ireland

Tales of the West of Ireland

Edited by Gertrude M. Horgan

21.6 x 13.8 cm.    
Published first by Dolmen Press in 1966

During a period spent in the west of Ireland in 1964-65, Gertrude Horgan discovered the tales which James Berry had contributed to a local paper, The Mayo News, during the last years of his life, and decided to edit the present collection, first published by the Dolmen Press in 1966. In doing this she added an important body of work to 19th century Irish literature and rescued the author from oblivion.

Like William Carleton, James Berry, a native of County Mayo, came from peasant stock. He spent his whole life in the West until his death at the age of seventy-two in 1914. The material of his tales comes from the people of Mayo and Galway, and introduces the smugglers, the packmen and the raparees of the West. Mainly handed down to him by word of mouth, they tell of poor communities living in a bleak and beautiful countryside against a background of secret societies, man-hunts, smuggling, murders, wakes, rebellion and starvation. Some go back hundreds of years, evoking the legendary past of Connemara, while others are Berry’s own tales of the Ireland of his youth when the shadow of the Famine hovered over the West.

Gertrude Horgan was, until her retirement, Professor of English at Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

‘When I left down the book, I had a deeper understanding of rural Ireland in the 19th century than I ever had before, because in Berry’s tales it comes to meet the reader, open-eyed and unembarrassed.’  Augustine Martin in The Irish Press

‘A marvellous book, readable, amusing and educative.’ Etienne Rynne in Hibernia

‘A book I would wholeheartedly recommend.’ Eileen O’Brien in The Irish Times

‘A notable addition to Celtic lore. ’ Choice More info →

The Voyage of St. Brendan

The Voyage of St. Brendan


Written in about AD800, Navigato Sancti Brendani Abbatis is one of the most famous and enduring stories of western Christendom. While the question whether Saint Brendan reached America remains a subject of controversy, the tale itself is of great interest – a strongly integrated text which derives from several centuries of Irish literary tradition. The text is illustrated by the relevant woodcuts from a German version of the tale which was printed in Augsburg in 1476.

John J. O’Meara has here translated one of the most famous and enduring stories of western Christendom, the Navigatio Sancti Brendani Abbatis, written in Ireland perhaps as early as the year 800. While the routes of Saint Brendan’s journeys remain a subject of controversy, the tale itself is of great interest – a strongly integrated text which derives from several centuries of Irish literary tradition.

The Voyage of Saint Brendan presents Professor O’Meara’s translation of the only scientific edition of the original Latin text, with his introduction, and is illustrated by the relevant woodcuts from a German version of the tale, Sankt Brandans Seefahrt,  printed in Augsburg in 1476. When this version was published By the Dolmen Press in 1975 it was acclaimed by critics on both sides of the Atlantic:

‘It’s a fascinating book’ (Quidnunc, The Irish Times); ‘has the  simplicity, the joyous naiveté, the suspension of reality which captivate the most sceptical reader of the Franciscan Fioretti and the same pervasive innocence  and fiery spirituality’ (The Irish Independent); ‘valuable both as scholarship and literature’ (The Malahat Review); ‘A worthwhile book in every respect‘ (Choice, U.S.A.).

It was designed by Liam Miller.

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ISBN: 978-0-85105-904-4
21.6 x 13.8 cm.     127 pp.  
First published 1985 (Dolmen Press hardcover)  first paperback (Colin Smythe) 1995
Drawings by Raymond Mullan

In Elsewhere Belemus Duck, aged thirteen, a boy of normal appearance, describes a series of unexpected adventures he had when he was still twelve years old. He doesn't quite know how or why they they happened to him, but he is very glad they did, and sets them out here so other people can have a go at them. His excursions into the places of Elsewhere show him mystery, trickery, oddness, a bit of old-fashioned cavalry charging, and a good measure of peril and danger. On the way he meets a pleasant skull, a sad king, the atrocious Mister Creek, the strangely admirable Top Harry, and other characters, desirable and undesirable. Belemus weathers his adventures and reaches thirteen, only to find he misses them very much indeed. But here they are now for the reader as he or she wishes to try them.

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Limerick Lace: A Social History and a Maker’s Manual

Limerick Lace: A Social History and a Maker’s Manual

ISBN: 978-0-86140-368-4

29.6 x 21.0 cm.   91 pp.  with 115 illus.   

Limerick is probably the most famous of all Irish laces. When President Kennedy came to Limerick in 1963 the Lord Mayor presented him with a Christening robe of the lace, and other important visitors have been delighted to receive gifts of this prestigious material.

The making of this form of lace became possible when machine-made net became readily available, as it is a form of embroidery on net, being either chain-stitch (tambour) or darned net (also called run-lace), or a combination of both techniques.

This volume is produced in the same format as Carrickmacross Lace and Mountmellick Work, and is in three sections. The first deals with the invention of Limerick lace and its history, the second with Mrs Florence Vere O'Brien and her contribution to Limerick and its lace-workers, while the third deals with the techniques used in making Limerick Lace, the materials and designs, preparation and sewing, and filling and embroidery stitches.

The book contains many illustrations of fine piece of lacework from the authors' collections, as well as pictures of prizewinning examples from photos in the possession of the Royal Dublin Society.

About the authors

Nellie O Cléirigh was born in Clonmel, County Tipperary, and is a graduate of University College Dublin, in History and Irish, but she also attended embroidery classes at the Dublin School of Art. She formed a collection of old Irish lace which has been exhibited in Ireland and abroad, and this led to her study of the history of lace making in Ireland and of the people who contributed to it development. Publication of her Carrickmacross Lace in 1985 has led to lectures, publications and broadcasts in Ireland and abroad.  She worked as a civil servant in Dublin until her marriage to Cormac, when she established a handicraft business in Dublin, and later a craft shop in Knightstown, Valentia Island, Co.Kerry. Her Valentia, A Different Irish Island was published in 1992.

Veronica Rowe (née Hardy) grew up at Walterstown, Crusheen, Co. Clare, not far from the home of her maternal grandmother, Florence Vere O'Brien (whose work for the Limerick lace industry is told in Section Two of this book). She trained as a textile designer in Scotland and worked with several handweaving firms in Ireland. She gained an Arts Council scholarship to France and Italy, and a Diploma in the History of European Painting. She is a past chairman of the Irish Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers, and was its representative on the Crafts Council of Ireland. She is a member of the Arts Committee of the Royal Dublin Society, of its Crafts Sub-committee, and of the committee that in 1988 organised an important lace exhibition in Dublin (later displayed in Lisburn Museum, Co.Down), at which her collection of Florence Vere O'Brien's lace was shown. She organised an exhibition of Clare Embroidery in County Clare and County Down, and has written articles and a booklet on the subject.

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The Prophecies of St. Malachy & St. Columbkille

The Prophecies of St. Malachy & St. Columbkille

19.5 x 13.6 cm.      6th edition 2005 illustrated with papal coasts of arms from 1198 - Pope Innocent III to Pope Benedict XVI (1st edition 1969)

This has been and still is one of the most popular books with which Peter Bander has been associated. It has gone through six editions and over a dozen printings, has been published in the USA and Europe, and since its first publication in 1969, extracts have appeared in many magazines, newspapers and journals.  The present edition takes the reader up to the election of Pope Benedict XVI, 'gloriae olivae'. in 2005, the last pontiff to be given an epithet by St Malachy before 'Petrus Romanus'.  So who will occupy the papal throne after the present pope and before Peter the Roman?

His Excellency, the late Archbishop H.E. Cardinale, who was Apostolic Nuncio to Belgium, Luxembourg and the Common Market, following his term as Apostolic Delegate to Great Britain, wrote in his foreword to the Malachy Prophecies: "Here is a fascinating study which provides the curious reader with much profit and pleasure", quoting the Italian proverb "Se non è vero, è ben trovato" - If it isn't true, it's well thought out!


Thomas A. Nelson, a leading Catholic writer introduced the American edition with a lengthy preface, in which he wrote : "The overriding value of this volume is twofold: these prophecies are extremely accurate. Mr Bander has compiled here an inestimably valuable tract in the field of prophecy because the prophecies of Malachy fit beautifully into a pattern woven from the various saintly prognostications, the sibylline oracles, quasi-secular and folk predictions, and Biblical prophecies of Malachy, at the same time further develops and enlarges the picture we gain from other sources about the times we live in and the events, it would seem, we are about to witness".  Illustrated with all the papal coats of arms, including Pope Benedict's.

The illustrations on the front cover are taken from Sebastiano Borghi's Cronologia Ecclesiastica la quale contiene le Vita de' Pontefici (Bologna, c. 1670).

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Carrickmacross Lace. Irish Embroidered Net Lace

Carrickmacross Lace. Irish Embroidered Net Lace


29.5 x 21.0 cm.     64 pp.    with 84 illus, incl. 32 patterns   1985 (Dolmen Press)  1990 by Colin Smythe Ltd

Carrickmacross lace was originally inspired by some Italian appliqué‚ lace which Mrs Grey Porter, wife of the Rector of Donaghmoyne, a small village northeast of Carrickmacross in County Monaghan, brought back from her continental honeymoon in 1816. Her interest in this lace led to an  exploration of the craft with her sewing maid, and by the following decade she had evolved an individual style and established a cottage industry in her home parish, training young women as lacemakers. These in turn spread the craft to other areas in the northern counties of Ireland. In the 1840s a school of lacemakers was established to create gainful work for women after the Great Famine, but overproduction and economic depression led to a decline in the lace industry. The survival of Carrickmacross lace into the twentieth century is due to the nuns of the St Louis order who established a convent in the town and set up a lace-making class in 1897, which still continues the tradition.

There are two varieties of Carrickmacross lace - appliqué, where fine cotton is applied to a machine net base, the design outlined with a thick thread and the unworked cotton outside the area of the design motif cut away, and guipure, in which there is no net base and the outlined design motifs are joined by `bars' or `brides' worked out in needlepoint stitches. Both varieties of work are sometimes found together in more elaborate examples of this beautiful and distinctive lace. In Carrickmacross Lace, Mrs Ó Cleirigh tells the story behind the craft and outlines its historical development. Fine examples of the work are illustrated and the book also has a practical section which explains the stitches and procedures used in the craft. There is also a selection of full-size patterns drawn from historic examples in Irish collections.

Nellie Ó Cleirigh was born in Clonmel, County Tipperary. At the Ursuline convent school in Waterford she was encouraged to further her artistic studies. Embroidery classes at the Dublin School of Art were part of her training. She worked as a civil servant in Dublin until her marriage, when she established a handicraft business which she still continues. She also formed a collection of old Irish lace which has been exhibited several times in and outside Ireland, and which led to her study of the history of lace-making in Ireland and of the people who contributed to its development. Carrickmacross Lace is her first book and was originally published by the Dolmen Press in 1985.

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The Middle Kingdom: The Faerie World of Ireland

The Middle Kingdom: The Faerie World of Ireland

ISBN: 978.0.900675.82.9

21.6 x 13.0 cm.     191 pp. + 8 pp. illus.

"[Among the books I read at the Beaconsfield Public Library] I remember being impressed by Dermot MacManus' The Middle Kingdom, which had a great effect on me, and is probably one of the most influential books I've ever read", Terry Pratchett (in his 1999 talk to the Folklore Society)

'No matter what one doubts,' wrote W.B.Yeats, 'one never doubts the faeries for . . . they stand to reason.' The author, an intimate friend of Yeats and a friend too of the great folklorist Douglas Hyde and the myriad-minded mystic G.W.Russell ('A.E.'), was a staunch believer in 'the ancient and continuing spirit life of the countryside'.

Writing not as a folklorist but as a historian, Diarmuid MacManus records in factual detail many manifestations of the Irish faery world early in the twentieth century. He tells how the Thornhill fairy appeared to two sisters in their room, and the Mount Leinster fairy to a young woman as she was taking the cows home, and a young girl tried to pat the Wicklow pooka as it walked beside her, but her hand went right through it.

This is a strikingly persuasive book, tackling in a serious and intelligent manner a subject that has a strong romantic appeal. The author set out to write the book with certain principles in mind: first, that a central character in each incident was still alive at the time the book was first published (in 1959); second, that he could vouch for their reliability; and third, that each agreed to stand up, if asked, and vouch for the truth of the experience. Except in a few instances, those telling the stories had been friends of the author for many years.

Since its publication forty years ago it has retained its uniqueness as the only collection of true Irish fairy tales.

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The Importance of Being Oscar

The Importance of Being Oscar

An Entertainment on the Life and Works of Oscar Wilde
21.6 x 13.8 cm.     71pp.    1995
Facsimile of the 1978 2nd Dolmen edition
ISBN: 978-0-85105-510-7
Originally created by the author as a one man show that was first produced at the Gate Theatre in Dublin in 1960 to rapturous reviews, and over the next fifteen years performed by him all over the world,  the most recent production was performed by Simon Callow at the Savoy Theatre in 1998. Originally published by the Dolmen Press in 1963, critics acclaimed the text as 'an outstandingly skilful and memorable tribute from one Irish artist to another' (Micheal O hAodha, The Irish Press), and 'every bit as Wildeanly witty as Oscar at his best' (Quidnunc in The Irish Times). The present printing uses the designs mac Liammóir produced for the record sleeves for his recording of the work. More info →