Nightingales: Poems 1985 – 1996

Nightingales: Poems 1985 – 1996


xii, 108pp., 28.5 x 18.7 cm.   1997

To mark the first twenty years as Francis Warner's publisher, years which included our publication of thirteen books by him (as well as a number of books about his work), and to mark his sixtieth birthday Colin Smythe Ltd. published this volume containing poems written since those published in Collected Poems 1960-1984, together with lyrics from his recent plays.

This book, Nightingales: Poems 1985-1996, is designed by Michael Mitchell, set in Lutetia Italic type, and printed in three colours throughout and embellished with real gold-leaf motifs in a limited edition of 500 signed and numbered copies on mould-made Velin Arches rag paper by the Libanus Press, Marlborough. It is bound by Brian Settle of Smith Settle, Otley, in quarter vellum with boards covered by paste paper made by Victoria Hall of Norwich.

The Libanus Press was founded by designer and printer Michael Mitchell thirty years ago. Working together with two highly-skilled journeymen, compositor and printer, the Press reflects all the splendid qualities of such presses as William Morris's Kelmscott Press and St John Hornby's Ashendene Press. It uses three relief presses and has maintained one of the few remaining type foundries in the country allowing it to produce high quality type for each individual work. Its range and knowledge of the world's best handmade papers gives it the broadest experience of print on the most interesting and beautiful materials, and has persevered with nearly lost techniques, such as the printed application of gold leaf used in the present volume. Numbered amongst the books produced by the Press in the past have been a series of dual text publications - a new translation of Plato's Symposium that is now the contemporary benchmark, Voltaire's Candide, The Letters of Pietro Bembo to Lucrezia Borgia and Extracts from War and Peace - Greek, French, Italian and Russian, giving it unparalleled editorial and design expertise with texts.

‘What a triumphant harvest!’ Dr George Rylands, King’s College,Cambridge

‘A sumptuous treat. It is good to have an unashamedly lyric poet of such talent.’ The Bishop of Oxford

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Omnium Gatherum, Essays for Richard Ellmann

Omnium Gatherum, Essays for Richard Ellmann

23.4 x 15.3 cm.   xx, 500 pp. 
ISBN: 978-0-86140-288-5

Omnium Gatherum was conceived by the editors, Susan Dick, Declan Kiberd, Dougald McMillan and Joseph Ronsley, all past students of Richard Ellmann, as a festschrift to mark his retirement, but on his death some months later in May 1987 it became a memorial volume, and now honours his memory.

Containing over forty contributions, this collection begins with a number of personal pieces in prose and verse on Richard Ellmann and his work, and while most of the essays are on various aspects of the twentieth century literary figures that formed the centre of his wide range of literary interests – Joyce, Wilde and Yeats – there are also essays on Isabel Archer, Samuel Beckett, T. S. Eliot, Northrop Frye, Henry James, Denis Johnston, D. H. Lawrence, Edgar Allan Poe, Ezra Pound, Wallace Stevens, Lytton Strachey, Virginia Woolf, and Modern­ism, as well as a Chronology and a Bibliography.

The contributors are Daniel Albright, Alison Armstrong, Christopher Butler, Carol Cantrell, Jonathan Culler, Elizabeth Butler Cullingford, Andonis Decavalles. Rupin Desai, Susan Dick, Terence Diggory, Denis Donoghue, Terry Eagleton, Rosita Fanto, Charles Feidelson, James Flannery, Charles Huttar, Bruce Johnson, John Kelleher, Brendan Kennelly, Frank Kermode, Declan Kiberd, Peter Kuch, James Laughlin, A. Walton Litz, Christie McDonald, Dougald McMillan, Dominic Manganiello, Ellsworth Mason, Vivian Merrier, Seán Ó Mórdha, Mary T. Reynolds, William K. Robertson, Joseph Ronsley, S. P. Rosenbaum, Ann Saddlemyer, Sylvan Schendler, Daniel Schneid­er, Fritz Senn, Jon Stallworthy, Lonnie Weatherby, Thomas Whitaker, and Elaine Yarosky.

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Yeats the Initiate. Essays on certain themes in the writings of W.B.Yeats

Yeats the Initiate. Essays on certain themes in the writings of W.B.Yeats


For many years Kathleen Raine has been known as the leading exponent of what she herself calls ‘the learning of the imagination’ in the work of Blake, Yeats and other poets and scholars within (using the word in its broadest sense) the Platonic tradition. Yeats the Initiate contains all Dr Raine’s essays on Yeats, covering many aspects of the traditions and influences that informed his great poetry. Several of her essays in this field are already regarded as definitive evaluations of their subjects and these, with other hitherto uncollected studies and some new papers here printed for the first time, all fully illustrated and annotated, make Yeats the Initiate one of the most important publications of recent years in the field of Yeats studies.

The essays collected in Yeats the Initiate include ‘Hades Wrapped in Cloud’, a study of Yeats and the occult, Dr Raine’s introduction to Yeats’s collections published as Fairy and Folk Tales of Ireland, and three major studies previously published separately – Yeats, the Tarot and the Golden Dawn; From Blake to ‘A Vision’ and ‘Death-in-Life’ and ‘Life-in-Death’. A major paper on ‘Yeats on Kabir’ is printed for the first time, as is a topographical paper on the Sligo area in the West of Ireland. A long essay on Yeats’s debt to Blake has been extensively revised, and other topics discussed include the play Purgatory, Yeats’s contemporary, Æ (G.W.Russell, the visionary), and Kathleen Raine’s own poetic debt to Yeats.

The essays that make up this volume reflect a lifetime’s knowledge presented with the fine perception of a great poet. The many illustrations form a graphic accompaniment to the text. It is essential reading for all students of the life and work of William Butler Yeats.

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Florence Farr, Bernard Shaw’s ‘New Woman’

Florence Farr, Bernard Shaw’s ‘New Woman’

ISBN 978-0-901072-15-3

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

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

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


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

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Collected Poems 1960-1984

Collected Poems 1960-1984

ISBN: 978-0-86140-206-9

This volume, the first full collection of Francis Warner’s poems for more than twenty years, confirmed his position as a master of lyric form, and also made possible a deeper awareness of the consistency of his development, and the range of his poetic achievement.

Collected Poems contains sonnets in every classical form – also sonnets reversed, inside-out, upside-down, ends-to-middle, with centre-rhyme, boot-lace rhyme, in two voices, acrostic, double acrostic. . . . Far from being merely a cascade of virtuosity, they are filled with deep emotion and rich experience, as well as being precisely made: modifications of the form grown from the pressure and directions of the emotions. The ‘dark’ sonnets are here (this time along with more than fifty others), but these now can be seen set in their original context, the sequence Experimental Sonnets – a book about which much has been written, on account of its technical innovations and its range of feeling, but the full text of which had been unavailable for twenty years.

In addition to such longer poems as his classical evocation Perennia, and over one hundred lyrics brought together for the first time, there are songs from ten plays.

‘Some of the most rewarding and individual poetry of the last quarter century.’ Glyn Pursglove in Francis Warner’s Poetry (1988)

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Yeats at Songs and Choruses

Yeats at Songs and Choruses

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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Irish Literature in English, The Romantic Period

Irish Literature in English, The Romantic Period

£30.00 each

Vol 1 ISBN: 0-86140-272-3 / 978-0-901072-272-4 £30.00
Vol 2 ISBN:0-86140-273-1 / 978-0-901072-273-1 £30.00
The Pair ISBN: 0-901072-40-0 / 978-0-901072-40-5 £60.00

Originally advertised as Ireland and Romanticism, Patrick Rafroidi’s work is a revised and updated translation of his much acclaimed L’Irlande et le romantisme (1972). It is now published for the first time in English in two volumes, the first a study of the period and its authors, and the second an important work of reference on all the Irish literary figures of the time.

The study is divided into three sections, ‘Prelude to Romanticism’, ‘Nationalist Romanticism’, and ‘The Impact of Irish Romanticism’, with extensive notes and an index. Professor Rafroidi studies the causes of the movement, how it was influenced by political and literary landmarks of the time, and how the authors themselves influenced others, not only in England but also in the United States, in France and in Germany, and their rediscovery and use of Ireland’s early history and myths.

The reference section contains a general bibliography, bio-bibliographies of the Irish authors whose work was published between 1789 and 1850, information as to the performances of their plays in the most important theatres in the British Isles, and a list of the principal Irish periodicals of the time.

This is therefore a most useful work for all those interested in the period, and the bibliographies make it an essential work of reference which all libraries and students of Anglo-Irish Literature will need on their shelves, for continuous referral.

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Irish Influences on Korean Theatre during the 1920s and 1930s

Irish Influences on Korean Theatre during the 1920s and 1930s

21.6 x 13.8 cm.    262 pp. 2003
ISBN: 978-0-86140-453-7

It is well known that through their plays and lecture tours the dramatists of the Irish Literary Revival influenced and inspired those of America and elsewhere to set up their own national theatres and theatre movements, but most students of the Revival are unaware of just how far this influence extended. It would surely have surprised the founders and early playwrights of the Abbey Theatre to learn that their plays were not only being published in Japan (which they knew), but were also influencing translators, playwrights, critics and theatre associations in Korea – though it is hardly surprising that with little knowledge of Irish culture the translators often misinterpreted the plays and gave them political or social slants entirely lacking in the originals.

In the present work, Won-Jae Jang describes the development of Korean theatre societies such as the Theatre Arts Association, the Earth Moon Society, and the Theatre Arts Research Association during the first quarter of the 20th century, how plays by Lady Gregory, J.M. Synge, Lord Dunsany, Sean O’Casey and T.C. Murray were interpreted – or misinterpreted – by Korean translators, and then describes their impact on Korean dramatists, showing in particular how the work of Synge and O’Casey influenced Chi-Jin Yoo (translations of three of whose plays – The Cow, The Mud Hut and The Donkey – are published in a companion volume, ISBN 978-0-86140-452-0), and Murray influenced Se-Deok Ham. This work therefore opens up Irish Drama’s hitherto little-known influences on a region of the Eastern hemisphere.

Won-Jae Jang was born in Seoul, graduated from Korea University (BA), and Goldsmiths College, University of London (MA), and was granted his PhD from Royal Holloway, University of London in 2000. He is now working for Soongsil University as a Junior Professor.

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Medieval and Modern Ireland

Medieval and Modern Ireland

ISBN 978-0-86140-289-2

All the papers in Medieval and Modern Ireland were presented at the eighteenth annual international conference of the Canadian Association for Irish Studies, held at Calgary, Alberta, in February 1985. The conference theme, Medieval and Modern Ireland, was chosen by the organising committee for its intrinsic merits, and as a reasonable extension of the theme of the previous conference which focused on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Readers of this volume will be struck by the pervasiveness of the connections between the medieval and the modern in Ireland and the Irish, artists in particular, and realise why James Joyce could hardly avoid linking the modern Irish artist with the medieval Irish monk, as he does in the bitter musings of Stephen Dedalus, who walks alone into eternity along Sandymount Strand: ‘You were going to do wonders, what? Missionary to Europe after fiery Columbanus.’

The contributors are Hallvard Dahlie, Ann Dooley, John Wilson Foster, Brian John, Toni O’Brien Johnson, Heinz Kosok, F. X. Martin O.S.A., and Wolfgang Zach.

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Four Plays by The Charabanc Theatre Company: ‘Inventing Women’s Work’

Four Plays by The Charabanc Theatre Company: ‘Inventing Women’s Work’

Chosen, edited and introduced by Claudia Harris

ISBN: 978-0-86140-438-4
21.6 x 13.8 cm.  liv, 258pp. + 8pp. with 16  illus. hardback       November 2005


The Charabanc Theatre Company played a major role in Northern Ireland’s theatrical renaissance during the 1980s. Charabanc was formed by five out-of-work Belfast actresses (Marie Jones, Maureen Macauly, Eleanor Methven, Carol Moore, Brenda Winter) who first collected stories and then collaborated in writing and performing highly original plays for enthusiastic audiences. From 1983 to 1995, the company toured twenty-tour productions extensively throughout Ireland and the world, spreading their own particular brand of exuberant, dark humour.

The four plays in this collection – Now You’re Talking (1985), Gold in the Streets (1986), The Girls in the Big Picture (1986), and Somewhere Over the Balcony (1987) – represent the creative high point of the company. These entertaining plays show the broad range of the company’s work: portraits of urban and rural women; early, mid-, and late twentieth century settings, and various social, religious, historical political, or personal relations.

Marie Jones, Eleanor Methven, and Carol Moore were the remaining company principals during the mid-1980s when these four plays were created and performed. Marie Jones became the main writer for Charabanc and after leaving the company in 1990 has continued to write, notably the award-winning Stones in His Pockets. Eleanor Methven and Carol Moore continued on as artistic directors until they disbanded the company in 1995. Eleanor Methven now lives in Dublin and is a sought-after actress for stage and screen, and her first screenplay is in development with Journeyman Films. Carol Moore obtained an MA from Queen’s University, Belfast, and still acts for stage and film, but is now primarily an accomplished stage and screen director; in May 2005 she received a NESTA (National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts) Fellowship.

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Irish Poetry after Feminism

Irish Poetry after Feminism


These essays are revised versions of lectures given at the Princess Grace Irish Library in Monaco, and address some of the most exciting developments in Irish poetry over the last thirty years, concentrating especially on the work of Derek Mahon, Medbh McGuckian, Vona Groarke and Sinéad Morrissey. Irish Poetry after Feminism also includes forthright debate between the contributors about the relations between ideology and poetics. Gathering some of the finest critics, the volume makes an important contribution to one of the central debates about Irish literature.

'Feminism and Irish poetry are . . . natural allies, not antagonists; to posit them otherwise is to declare the redundancy of art in its capacity to change lives on its own terms. With such an understanding, students of the topic of Irish poetry after feminism are released to seek out its neglected aspect in an investigation of Irish feminism after poetry, in confidence that relations of hospitality and exchange, rather than those of absolutism and hierarchy, can be expected to prevail between the art form and the intellectual, social and political tradition concerned.' Catriona Clutterbuck

Justin Quinn: Introduction
Moynagh Sullivan. Irish Poetry after Feminism: In Search of 'Male Poets'
Peter McDonald. The Touch of a Blind Man: Forms, Origins and 'Hermeneutics' in Poetry
Catriona Clutterbuck. An Unapproved Alliance: Feminism and Form in the Irish Poetry Debate
Derek Mahon: First Principles
Fran Brearton. On Derek Mahon's 'First Principles'
Lucy Collins. Northeast of Nowhere: Vona Groarke, Sinéad Morrissey and Post-Feminist Spaces
Selina Guinness. The Annotated House: Feminism and Form
Leontia Flynn. On the Sofa: Parody & McGuckian
David Wheatley. That They May Be Damned: Samuel Beckett and the Poetry of Misogyny

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Or and Argent

Or and Argent

Hardcover ISBN: 0-905715-24-1 / 978-0-905715-24-7
Limited signed edition, three-quarter leather, ISBN: 0-9-5715-36-5 / 978-0-905715-36-0 £250
24.5 x 18.3 cm.    135 pp.   1994  Van Duren      with 23 pages of colour plates, and numerous b/w illus.

With a Preface by the Duke of Norfolk, KG, GCVO, CB, CBE Earl Marshal of England

As a record of past glories, nothing delights the student as much as heraldry. The information that a coat of arms can give the serious scholar is considerable, and over the past 800 years rules have been evolved to control what can be put in one’s personal arms and how to show one’s descent from other armigerous families.

One of the most intriguing rules is that one is not allowed to put metal on metal – gold and silver (Or and Argent in heraldic terms) – or next to each other. Similarly one must not put colour on colour. The reasoning behind these rules has long been suspect, however, so Archbishop Heim’s work on the history of, and rules concerning, this subject is most timely. While many authorities maintain that the rules of heraldry forbid such neighbourliness, the author here provides ample evidence that this rule is broken as often as it is adhered to.

As a lifelong heraldist and one whose own arms break this ‘sacred’ rule, Archbishop Heim has always been interested in where and when it was made, so he has researched hundreds of works, some dating from the twelfth century, in an attempt to track down its origins. As a result of his detective work he has painted many examples of arms that break the rule, and also shows how earlier writers have got round such a tricky subject.

Or and Argent  contains twenty-four full colour plates containing over 360 coats of arms, with examples from every European country, and many others in black and white in the text, all of which break this so-called immutable rule, and a bibliography giving the most important authorities.

As well as the standard edition there is an edition limited to 50 numbered copies hand-bound in morocco and vellum, and signed by the author.

Published by VAN DUREN, an imprint of  Colin Smythe Limited   More info →

An Irish Literary Dictionary & Glossary

An Irish Literary Dictionary & Glossary


ISBN: 978-0-86140-442-1

Approximately 800 years have passed since the introduction of the English language to Ireland and 400 since the establishment of an Irish Literature in English. However, for complex socio-political reasons there is, as yet, no comprehensive dictionary of the English of Ireland to which readers of Irish Literature – and indeed, of any aspect of Irish studies – can turn to for assistance when they encounter completely unfamiliar words and phrases, or apparently familiar words used unconventionally by Irish writers.

This work is designed to provide the general reader, as well as the specialist, with direct and easy access to this important but elusive and often-overlooked element of Irish Literature. Quotations from writers ranging from AE to Zozimus (including all four Nobel Laureates in literature: Yeats, Shaw, Beckett and Heaney) are used to illustrate vocabulary and idioms. Also are included are illustrative quotations from English writers, such as Spenser and Thackeray, who wrote about Ireland.

From archaeology (crannog) to zoology (graunogue), almost every aspect of Ireland and Irish life is reflected here in the mirror of art.

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The Romantic Theatre. An International Symposium

The Romantic Theatre. An International Symposium

21.6 x 13.8 cm  

This symposium was first delivered as a series of lectures in Rome arranged under the auspices of the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association and the British Council. The aim was very much to interpret the drama created by the English Romantic poets from the perspective of the modern theatrical tradition.

The four essays included here investigate the relationship between the Romantics and the theatre of their own time, assess the considerable body of dramatic works com­posed by Byron and Shelley, and explore the history of plays by Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley and Byron in performance on the British stage.

All argue that, though the Romantic poets were out of sympathy with the theatre of their day, they wrote forms of drama that to a considerable degree anticipate the theatre of the present century.

As Sir Joseph Cheyne states in his Foreword to this volume: ‘No one realised, when the symposium was planned, what a remarkable impact it would have. The accepted idea of the Romantic theatre was still one of lyric drama, difficult to produce and perform. To hear it described suddenly as modern, psychological drama, as the theatre of the mind, the “theatre of violence”, was so striking that the ripples are still washing the shore’.

This symposium comprises ‘The Romantic Poet and the Stage: A Short, Sad History’ (Professor Timothy Webb), ‘The Dramas of Byron’ (Professor Giorgio Melchiori), ‘The Shelleyan Drama’ (Professor Stuart Curran), ‘Romantic Drama in Performance’ (Dr. Richard Allen Cave), and a select biblio­graphy on the Romantic Drama (Christina Gee and Judith Knight).

Richard Allen Cave, Emeritus Professor of Drama and Theatre Arts at Royal Holloway in the University of London, has published extensively in the fields of renaissance drama (Jonson, Webster, Brome), modern English and Irish theatre (Wilde, Yeats, Pinter, Beckett, Friel, Mc Guinness), dance (Ninette de Valois, Robert Helpmann), stage design (Charles Ricketts, Robert Gregory) and direction (Terence Gray). Most recently, he devised and was General Editor of an AHRC-funded project to create an online edition of The Collected Plays of Richard Brome (2010), and published the monograph, Collaborations: Ninette de Valois and William Butler Yeats (2011). The Collected Brome is soon to be published in a more traditional book-format by Oxford University Press (2020). He has also edited the plays of Wilde, Yeats and T.C. Murray; and the manuscript versions of Yeats’s The King of the Great Clock Tower and A Full Moon in March. Professor Cave is a trained Feldenkrais practitioner who works on vocal techniques with professional actors and on extending movement skills with performers in physical theatre.

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The Letters of Saint Oliver Plunkett 1625-1681

The Letters of Saint Oliver Plunkett 1625-1681

Edited by Mgr John Hanly

ISBN: 978-0-85105-344-8
27.2 x 18.0 cm. 
The illustrated endpapers reproduce a map of Rome published in 1676

In March 1670 St. Oliver Plun­kett, his long exile over, stepped ashore at Ringsend to the wel­come of friends and relatives. For twenty-two years he had lived in Rome as clerical student and pro­fessor of theology. It was an ex­citing if also a sad time. Oliver Plunkett stepped into Restoration Ireland as Archbishop of Armagh and Primate. For ten years, until his arrest in December 1679, he applied himself to the task of rebuilding and repairing, knowing that the storm was by no means over. In the early years he was a man in a hurry, taking full advan­tage of a period of relative toler­ation and peace. In 1674 he was for many months a fugitive, deter­mined not to forsake his flock until ‘they drag us to the ship with the rope around our necks’. The last few years of his life, including eighteen months in prison, were the years of the infamous Popish Plot of Titus Oates, of which he was the final victim, the last of the martyrs of Tyburn.

For the first time a complete chronological edition of Saint Oliver’s letters enables us to follow the story, as it evolves in his own words, of his work as Archbishop in Ulster, where the Plantation was barely two generations old. He emerges as a man of immense courage, deep conviction and priestly zeal with the sometimes all too human side of one who grew into sainthood; and in the final documents the magnificent calm with which he faced his cruel death stands out.

The Letters of Saint Oliver Plunkett give many interesting insights into various events and characters of his time. His pen ran freely, his policy was to be well informed, and to give a clear picture of all matters touching the Church in Ireland. There are many light-hearted passages too, as when he tells us that the farmer in whose barn he was hiding, and on whom he depended for his food, sometimes came back a little too merry from town, and his guest had to fast. . . .

The letters are printed in their original language, almost always Italian, with translation and com­mentary. The book is edited by Monsignor John Hanly who first worked on these letters for a doc­toral thesis at the Gregorian Uni­versity from 1959 to 1961, and who was Postulator of the Cause of Saint Oliver from 1968 until the canonisation in 1975.

Designed by Liam Miller.

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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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Armorial Bruno B. Heim

Armorial Bruno B. Heim

Edited and Introduced by Peter Bander van Duren
Preface by The Earl Marshal of England Major General His Grace the Duke of Norfolk CB, CBE, MC

Blazons for the 'Liber Amicorum et Illustrorum Hospitum' by John George, Garioch Pursuivant

21.5 x  15.5 cm.      224pp. with reproductions in b/w of 143 pages + 18 colour illus  Van Duren  1981

This is by any standard the most unusual armorial ever to have been published. In his Preface the Earl Marshal, His Grace the Duke of Norfolk, says: ‘What makes the Liber Amicorum an unusual armorial is that it extends beyond national insularity and embraces heraldry varying in origin and authority, but whatever the source, the creative and imaginative style which Archbishop Heim has developed, makes every shield and crest and device which he treats, a spectacular example of heraldic art. Here the heraldry of Europe is repre­sented side by side with British armorial bearings, and while different heraldic tastes and practices are catered for, by Archbishop Heim’s artistic skills all are brought into colourful harmony. No more fitting tribute could be paid to Archbishop Heim than the first publication of this important and unique work of art.’

In his introduction, the Editor presents a profusely illustrated biographical chapter on Archbishop Bruno B. Heim, the Holy See’s Authority on heraldic matters and the man to whom heraldry in the Catholic Church owes the high standards today.

This is not just an armorial but a unique historic record of one of the most exciting periods in the history of the Catholic Church. Archbishop Bruno B. Heim, the Apostolic Delegate to Great Britain, has done more than any other man towards the creation of harmony and unity be­tween the Holy See and Great Britain, whose relations had been strained for over four hundred years. Historians and heraldists of the future will find this armorial an invaluable source of information because many of the armigers in this volume have a share in the joyful development of those relations between the Holy See and Great Britain.

  Some words by Peter Bander-van Duren

Archbishop Heim's ARMORIAL or Liber Amicorum, his guest book for special friends, was published in 1981 to celebrate his seventieth birthday and the centenary of the birth of Pope John XXIII. Apart from having been Pope John's Secretary when the Pontiff was still Archbishop Angelo Roncalli, Apostolic Nuncio to France, none of Pope John's biographies had made mention of his contribution to heraldry. The appointment of Mons. Bruno Heim to his first diplomatic post under Archbishop Roncalli was the beginning of a close cooperation between two outstanding heraldic artists.

'Although I was able to include several facsimile letters from Archbishop Roncalli and other high dignitaries who consulted him on heraldic matters, unfortunately too late for inclusion in the book was a manuscript thesis by Pope John XXIII, written four weeks before his death, explaining the meaning of his personal coat of arms.

'Mons. Heim continued to add armorial bearings of friends and of illustrious guests who paid him a visit, especially when he himself had been consecrated Archbishop and appointed Apostolic Delegate and later Nuncio. During Mons. Heim's appointment to the Court of St. James (1973-1982 as Apostolic Delegate and from 1982 - 1985 as Nuncio) he entertained kings, queens, princes as well as prime ministers and leading figures in literature and the arts, not to mention Pope John Paul II and many eminent men of the Church.

'He had started his work as an heraldic painter at the age of sixteen, and by the time he arrived in the United Kingdom, Archbishop Heim was a well known and highly respected ecclesiastical heraldic artist.

'Medieval simplicity in his heraldic representations was his hallmark, but he was adventurous and never hesitated to give a "rebus" (a heraldic emblem) to those visitors who were not armigerous. Two of them were published all over the world: that of Dame Agatha Christie, the author, and that of The Rt. Hon. Margaret Thatcher, MP, PC, (later Prime Minister and then Baroness Thatcher, Dame of the Noble Order of the Garter). Lady Thatcher is now armigerous; her heraldic banner hangs in St. George's Chapel, Windsor.

'Archbishop Heim designed the coats of arms for Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul I and Pope John Paul II as well as the armorial bearings for countless cardinals, patriarchs, archbishops and high prelates in the Catholic Church. His book HERALDRY IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH became the standard reference work in ecclesiastical heraldry. After his retirement from the Holy See's diplomatic service in 1985 it took him more than ten years to complete his last heraldic work Or and Argent, which was originally planned for publication in 1983 but eventually appeared in 1994.

'On occasion Archbishop Heim gave reign to a wicked sense of humour. When a prelate asked him to design for him a coat of arms appropriate to his high social status, he proposed a donkey's head.

Archbishop Heim was later to issue a reproduction of the Liber Amicorum in full colour, with the limitation notice: 'Only thirty copies of this privately produced and augmented coloured edition of my "Liber Amicorum" were made. They are not for sale.  This is number [30]"

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A Dictionary and Glossary for the Irish Literary Revival

A Dictionary and Glossary for the Irish Literary Revival


ISBN: 978-0-86140-359-2

This work is intended to provide the general reader, as well as the specialist, with access to an important but neglected element of Irish literature in English: its vocabulary and idioms.

Over seventy years have elapsed since the establishment of an independent Irish state, but for complex socio-political reasons there is, as yet, no dictionary of Irish-English to which readers can turn for assistance when they encounter unfamiliar words and phrases or apparently familiar words usedunconventionally by Irish writers.

The focus of this work is the writers of the Irish Literary Revival, but their use of Irish-English is so extensive that it is relevant to the entirefield of Irish literature in English from its beginnings in the seventeenth century to the present.

Almost all aspects of Ireland and Irish life over the past 400 years are mirrored here: agricultural, economic, educational, linguistic, military, political, religious and social history as well as animals, emigration, drink, food, folklore, geography, music, mythology, plants, sports and even the mercurial Irish weather.

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An International Companion to the Poems of W. B. Yeats

An International Companion to the Poems of W. B. Yeats

ISBN: 978-0-86140-193-2
21.6 x 13.8 cm   255 pp.  1989

W.B.Yeats is one of the most important and widely-read poets of the twentieth century, occupying a central position in literature courses throughout the world. Yet he is often presented in critical works as a ‘difficult’ poet who can only be understood by reference to other writings that must be used as keys to unlock the mysteries of his work. It is the belief of the authors of this book that the poetry must be approached on its own terms, and its meanings established in as simple a way as possible before these texts can be enriched by knowledge of the biographical, historical, philosophical or aesthetic contexts.

This book is an essential companion to the poetry of Yeats for students in every country where his work is known. It sets out to meet the demands both of those whose first language is English, and of those for whom it is their second. Consequently the core of this volume is a detailed study of some ninety poems which cover all phases of Yeats’s poetic development. Each poem is provided with a summary, glossary and commentary, based on the primary meaning. The poems are also set in both the immediate context of the collections in which they were first published, and the wider context of the evolution of Yeats’s art and philosophy.

The Companion has a general commentary section dealing with Yeats’s style, his symbolism, his vision, the people and places that appear in his works, and the role of magic, myth, legend, history, civilization, nationalism and politics in the poems. There is also a useful list of recommended works, and basic texts.

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The Harvest Festival

The Harvest Festival

Series: Selected Titles
Genre: Drama
Tag: Harvest Festival
ISBN: 978-0-86140-045-4
22.9 x 14.5 cm.      xvi, 91 pp.  1979

The Harvest Festival is Sean O’Casey’s earliest extant play. Written in about 1918 or 1919, it was the second play that O’Casey offered the Abbey Theatre. It was turned down, but he kept the manu­script and it now forms part of the extensive O’Casey archive in the Berg Collection of the New York Public Library. It has never been performed, and this is its first pub­lication in the U.K. and Ireland, following on its U.S. publication by only a few months.

The plot focuses on the turmoil of an outside world of strikes and riots converging on a Dublin city church in the midst of its preparations for a harvest festival. Set in 1913, it deals with Irish workers’ battles against economic oppression and religious hypocrisy, with that vital combina­tion of passion, humour and pathos that distinguishes O’Casey’s later plays. It is a rich melodrama of class struggle, with ironically pointed clashes involving representatives of Church, Employers and Labour.

An incomplete revision of the first act, which O’Casey kept with the original manuscript, is included as an Appendix to show the direction the playwright might have gone had he chosen to revise the entire play: as it is, students of drama will see in The Harvest Festival the seeds of O’Casey’s later works, and the lineal descendants of its characters appear in Red Roses for Me, The Drums of Father Ned, and The Bishop’s Bonfire. Eileen O’Casey has contributed a foreword entitled ‘Clench Your Teeth’, and John O’Riordan has written an Introduction.

A three-quarter leather edition with wood veneer panels, marbled endpapers, top edges gilt, intended to be limited to 50 copies, ISBN 0-86140-052-6, signed by the writers of the Foreword and Introduction, Eileen O'Casey and John O'Riordan, was also published, but of the 50 copies only 30 were actually bound.

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