Series: Ulster Editions and Monographs
Swift’s Irish Pamphlets

Swift’s Irish Pamphlets

£8.99
Edited by Joseph McMinn

This volume collects, for the first time, Jonathan Swift's major writings on Ireland and on Irish affairs, including the Story of an Injured Lady (1707) on Anglo-Irish relations after the union between England and Scotland; a number of the Drapier's Letters, in which he assumed the persona of M.B. Drapier to voice his countrymen's outrage at English insensitivity in dealing with Ireland; and the astonishing Modest Proposal seen here as a satirically logical outcome of the refusal of the authorities to heed his earlier pamphlets or alleviate the desperate straits in which Ireland found itself. Scholars of Irish and Anglo-Irish literature, students of history, and anyone who enjoys a biting, incisive prose style will welcome this collection of the best of Swift's Irish writings.

'This excellent selection shows Swift as a political man of his time, writing with savage eloquence about specific issues of the day... A salutary collection that takes literature into the bustle of the public realm.' The Observer

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Charles Lever: New Evaluations

Charles Lever: New Evaluations

£25.00
21.6 x 13.8 cm.     xvi, 131 pp.  + 16 pp illus.       1991
  Ulster Editions & Monographs series (ISSN 0954-3392)  volume 3

These essays comprise the first extensive re-appraisal of Charles Lever for over fifty years. Once regarded as the equal of Dickens, Thackeray and Trollope, Lever’s public turned their backs upon him when he changed style and genre after making his name with comic military tales. He never recaptured his early popularity, but his later novels in fact manifest a much more serious and crafted approach to fiction, and richly deserve revival.

Lever’s own turbulent and often unhappy life of social and cultural exile in Europe provides the hidden theme of many of his better novels. Continental and Irish settings and preoccupations are juxtaposed, making his contribution to the Anglo-Irish novel per se an unusual and challenging one.

Lever is a shrewd observer of character – particularly of female character; few of his better-remembered contemporaries write with more insight about women; old, young, rich, poor; loving, hating, dominating, subjected. His eye for place is acute; Scott is his model, but Lever’s ability to correlate character with environment is finely developed. His political observations, always well-integrated into the fabric of his plot, are shrewd and balanced.

The current neglect of this accomplished and cosmopolitan Irishman is entirely unwarranted. Though he wrote too much, too hastily, and under pressures sometimes too much dominated by the intransigent necessities of serial publication, the contri­butors to this volume seek to show that Lever deserves a re-appraisal, and a revival of attention to his extensive and often original output. Thus, hopefully, the revival of interest in Charles Lever, commencing with this volume, should attract readers of the novel well beyond the specialist range of Anglo-Irish scholars.

Contents
Introduction: 'The Famous Irish Lever'. Tony Bareham
'Reading Lever'. A. Norman Jeffares
'A Tale of Love and War: Charles O'Malley'. Lorna Reynolds
'Dr Lever at Portstewart'. Bill Rodgers
'Transitional States in Lever'. Richard Haslam
'Lever's Post-Famine Landscape'. Chris Morash
'Charles Lever and the Outsider'. Tony Bareham
Notes
Index
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The Achievement of Brian Friel

The Achievement of Brian Friel

£30.00

21.6 x 13.8 cm.    xx, 267 pp.   1883    Ulster Editions and Monoographs Series (ISSN 0954-3392) volume 4

The reception of Brian Friel's recent Dancing at Lughnasa confirmed his status as Ireland's leading dramatist. The body of work that he produced is outstanding in its breadth of sympathy and interest, its dramaturgical invention and its wide cultural and intellectual purview. At one level, it may be seen as a continuous examination of Irish culture and politics, committed and analytical, but not sectionally propagandist.

His outlook in his drama, however, was not amenable to simplistic categorization, political or otherwise. As this volume demonstrates, linguistically, allusively, and in terms of its broad transcultural analogising, he work ranges widely. He utilised ideas and terminologies drawn from various cultural sources and academic disciplines in a way that exemplified his central, insistent concern with the phenomenon of language and its implications. As an Irish dramatist, however, he made Irish social, political and, notably, family life his focus and built upon a recognised tradition of twentieth century Irish play-writing.

This book addresses the variety and complexity of Friel's drama by bringing to bear a range of academic and other professional and creative approaches in order to highlight particular aspects of his work and thought. Hence, contributors include a playwright, poet, theatre-producer, historian and various specialists in relevant literatures. In this way, the book suggests the intellectual richness, humanity, and protean skill and invention of the work. Among the contributors are John Cronin, Neil Corcoran, Desmond Maxwell, Christopher Murray, Thomas Kilroy, Seamus Deane, Robert Welch, Sean Connolly, Joe Dowling, Terence Brown, Fintan O'Toole and Seamus Heaney.

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Strangers to That Land

Strangers to That Land

£33.00
21.6 x 13.8 cm.      xii, 315 pp.  + 16 pp. with 19 illus.  1994   Ulster Editions & Monographs series (ISSN 0954-3392) volume 5

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

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

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

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

 

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

  ISBN 0-86140350-9     xii, 316pp, 21 illus.        £27.50 net More info →
Louis MacNeice and His Influence

Louis MacNeice and His Influence

£32.00

21.6 x 13.8 cm.    xviii, 184 pp.   1998    Ulster Editions & Monographs series (ISSN 0954-3392) volume 6

Louis MacNeice's status as a major 20th Century literary talent and a key figure in the development of modern Irish Literature in English is now established since the acceleration of critical interest and enterprise from the early 1970s to the present.

It is no accident that MacNeice's critical rehabilitation, after some decades of relative neglect, was effected largely by critics with an awareness of the Irish dimension of his make-up as a poet and who could thus appreciate the full complexity of the social, cultural and historical influences working on and through him; and it is similarly the case that the reassessment of MacNeice from the 1970s onward was consequent on the 'renaissance' in Northern Irish poetry in the 1960s.

MacNeice is no longer inadequately categorised as a 'Thirties' also-ran in the shadow of Auden, or as a writer of 'poetry on the surface'.

It is now more possible to see him whole – as a poet of complex, multiple identities and allegiances, as a writer of manifold talents (poet, critic, dramatist, broadcaster) and as a preternaturally alert, lyric recorder of the social and phenomenal world whose vision is conditioned by a profound philosophical scepticism.

The present volume, which brings together a number of experts on MacNeice's work, continues and extends the exploration of the range and depth of his achievement, with essays on various topics, including his influence on writers such as Michael Longley, Derek Mahon, Seamus Heaney and Paul Muldoon.

The essays were mostly given as papers at the conference held at the University of Ulster, Coleraine in September 1994. It was the first to have been exclusively devoted to the poet's work. It will be the seventh volume in the Ulster Editions and Monographs series.

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Modern Irish Writers and the Wars

Modern Irish Writers and the Wars

£35.00
21.6 x 13.8 cm.       Ulster Editions & Monographs series (ISSN 0954-3392) volume 7

In recent years the literature arising out of the Troubles of the last three decades has understandably stimulated widespread and sustained critical comment and debate, but there has been no such intensive examination of the Irish literature of the century’s wars.

The events of 1916, the Anglo-Irish War, the Irish and Spanish Civil Wars and the First and Second World Wars stimulated a literature by Irish writers of cumulative interest and importance. In particular, in its diversity and in the complexities of allegiance, attitude and situation involved, it is in contrast with, for instance, English war writing of this century where the issues are less complex, and where First World War combatant writing with its stress on battlefield experience laid down an influential paradigm for writers of later wars. Much Irish writing relating to the century’s conflicts is the work of non-combatants – most famously Yeats and O’Casey – and the greater variety of types of war experience endured in conflicts of varying degrees of intensity and duration, both on home ground and abroad, gave rise to a war literature that shows a wide spectrum of literary responses. It is precisely this diversity in its various political and social contexts that the present volume seeks to address.

The essays collected here, a number of which were delivered at the first session of the Ulster Symposium at the University of Ulster in 1992, comprise an examination of a range of Irish war-related writing by specialists in various fields. Some attention is given to the literature of the recent Troubles, but the main focus of the book is on the century’s wars in Irish literary experience. 

CONTENTS
Introduction. Kathleen Devine
'The Secret Scripture: Irish Poets in the European War'. Bruce Stewart
'1916: the Idea and the Action'. Declan Kiberd
'Yeats and War'. Jacqueline Genet
'Maud Gonne: Romantic Republican'. A.Norman Jeffares
'O'Casey at War'. Christopher Murray
'Sean O'Faolain's Midsummer Night Madness and Other Stories: Contexts for Revisionism'. Patrick Walsh
'Frank O'Connor's ‘War Book’: Guests of the Nation'. Elmer Andrews
'Louis MacNeice and the Second World War'. Terence Brown
'Beckett and World War II'. John Fletcher
'Elizabeth Bowen: the War's ‘Awful Illumination’ in The Heat of the Day'. Josette Leray
'Denis Johnston: Neutrality and Buchenwald'. Terence Boyle
'A Question of Guilt - Francis Stuart's War'. Anne McCartney
'Reading Protestant Writing: representations of the Troubles in the Poetry of Derek Mahon and Glen Patterson's Burning Your Own'. John Goodby
'A Necessary Distance? Mythopoeia and Violence in At the Black Pig's Dyke'.  Alan J. Peacock and Kathleen Devine

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Charles Lever: The Lost Victorian

Charles Lever: The Lost Victorian

£33.00
With a Foreword by Benedict Kiely

21.6 x 13.8 cm.     170 pp.    2000     Ulster Editions & Monographs series (ISSN 0954-3392) volume 8

At the peak of his career, Charles Lever (1806-1872) was one of the most successful novelists in the English language, and the only mid-nineteenth century Irish novelist to vie with Charles Dickens in popularity and earning potential. Yet, within three decades of his death, his works had sunk into uninterrupted obscurity. The light-heartedness of his earliest novels, The Confessions of Harry Lorrequer (1839) and Charles O’Malley - the Irish Dragoon (1841), brought condemnation from Nationalists who championed the serious and didactic purpose of literature in highlighting the desperate plight of Ireland’s indigenous population. It is in Lever’s positive and thoughtful reaction to these criticisms that his profound contribution to Irish literature in English is to be identified, most of all in his sensitive and ultimately pessimistic analysis of the role of the doomed Protestant ascendancy.

In this incisive critical study, Stephen Haddelsey charts the rise and fall of this gifted and much-maligned commentator on Irish affairs, and calls for a reappraisal of his position in the canon of Irish literature.

Using a selection from the thirty novels and five volumes of essays, he argues that Lever’s contribution is unique in its evolution from a Tory and non-separatist stance to the near-overt and despairing advocacy of Home Rule in his final and greatest novel, Lord Kilgobbin (1872).

STEPHEN HADDELSEY is a graduate of the University of Wales. Working as a freelance editor and writer, he has contributed to projects ranging from a study of European ethnology and cultural identity, to historical atlases of Ancient Greece and the American Civil War. He is currently working on a novel and is planning a comparative critical biography of the Victorian novelists, Charles Lever, George Whyte-Melville and Francis Smedley.

CONTENTS:
Foreword by Benedict Kiely
Introduction: Writing on the Margins
1: The Novels of Dr Quicksilver
2: A Year of Growth
3: An Iniquitous Act
4: The Double-Sided Coin
5: The Art of Brevity
6: Lever's Anti-Heroines
7: Last Efforts
Notes
Index

 

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The Cock and Anchor, Being a Chronicle of Old Dublin City

The Cock and Anchor, Being a Chronicle of Old Dublin City

£35.00
Edited by Jan Jędrzejewski

21.6 x 13.8 cm.      xxviii, 489 pp.     Ulster Editions & Monographs series (ISSN 0954-3392) volume 9

First published in 1845, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu's The Cock and Anchor is one of the most interesting historical novels written in Ireland in the nineteenth century. It is many things: a record of the mores and manners of early eighteenth-century Ireland, a story of love struggling against the prejudices of class and religion, a penetrating moral study of crime and punishment, an engaging thriller. But first of all it is a full-bodied, energetic, lively picture of Dublin - its palaces and its inns, its streets, its people, its way of life. Written in the early years of Le Fanu's career as a novelist, it provides an exciting introduction to the work of one the most intriguing novelists of Victorian Ireland.

The Editor has provided notes, notes on the text and appendices which give the major and minor textual variants of the tale, and nearly thirty pages of contemporary reviews published in Ireland, England and Scotland.

Educated at the University of Łódź, Poland, and Worcester College, Oxford, Professor Jan Jędrzejewski is Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Ulster. He wrote Thomas Hardy and the Church (1996), edited a selection of Thomas Hardy's short fiction Outside the Gates of the World (1996), and published numerous papers on Victorian fiction, modern Irish literature, and Anglo-Polish literary relations.

Front cover illustration (continuing onto the front flap): 'A Prospect of the City of Dublin from the Magazine Hill, in his Majesty's Phoenix Park' by Joseph Tudor, issued in 1753.

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The Poetry of Michael Longley

The Poetry of Michael Longley

£33.00
21.6 x 13.8 cm    illus.   Ulster Editions & Monographs Series (ISSN 0954-3392) volume 10

Nuala Ní Dhomhnail included Michael Longley’s ‘Ceasefire’ in her choice of ten representative poems of the 1990s in Irish poetry in the following terms: ‘it made its first electrifying appearance in print in The Irish Times to coincide with the announcement by the IRA of the first Northern Ireland ceasefire. . . its effect was dynamic, and rippled right through the community, both North and South, having a galvanising effect that can only be imagined of some lines of Yeats, perhaps, at the turn of the century’.

This underlines both Longley’s stature and his humane response to the Northern Irish ‘Troubles’; and the Homeric base of ‘Ceasefire’ exemplifies his distinctive ability to find trans-cultural perspectives on localised issues. A creative tension between the general and particular is the hall-mark of his work as love poet, nature poet, and poet of conflict; and the spare, concentrated focus of his lyric practice is at the heart of his ability to image the macrocosm in the microcosm.

His status as a poet resident in Belfast throughout the ‘Troubles’ has been of talismanic importance over the last three decades. Just as significantly for his open outlook, his ‘home from home’ in Carrigskeewaun in the West of Ireland has been the inspiration for a rich and luminous body of lyric poetry where what he sees as his basic themes of love and death are broached via a naturalist’s intimate involvement with the elemental processes of the physical world.

In his latest volume, The Weather in Japan, winner of the 2000 Hawthornden Prize for ‘best work of imaginative literature’, Italy and Japan further extend the geographical and cultural co-ordinates within which his poetry finds its moral and aesthetic realisation. This new collection continues the remarkable resurgence in Longley’s career during the 1990s, marked by the lyric intensities of Gorse Fires (1991) and the more unruly lyric energy of The Ghost Orchid (1995). These volumes consolidate Longley’s position at the forefront of contemporary Irish poetry.

The present volume, the first book devoted entirely to Longley’s work, brings together a number of experts on Longley and Irish poetry in general – Michael Allen, Terence Brown, Neil Corcoran, Douglas Dunn, Elmer Kennedy-Andrews, Peter McDonald, Alan Peacock and Robert Welch. Through a variety of thematic, contextual and technical approaches it examines the whole of his career up to and including The Weather in Japan.

The majority of the essays were given as papers at the 1996 session of the Ulster Symposium at the University of Ulster, Coleraine.

Kathleen Devine lectured in English at the University of Ulster at Coleraine, where Alan Peacock also lectured in Classics and English.

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The Poetry of Derek Mahon

The Poetry of Derek Mahon

£35.00
21.6 x 13.8 cm.   viii, 361 pp.      2002     Ulster Editions and Monographs series (ISSN 0954-3392) Volume 11

As the first major book-length study of the poetry of Derek Mahon, this volume of fourteen essays represents a long overdue account and assessment of one of the foremost living English-language poets not only in Irish poetry but world-wide.

The essays demonstrate the variety and complexity of Mahon’s work. It is a poetry of the ‘ironic conscience’, sceptical, sophisticated, urbane; a poetry of transit between centres and margins. It breaks with a nationalist or regionalist thematics yet remains engaged with questions of identity, ‘belonging’, tradition and history. It identifies with outsiders, mavericks, ‘the unreconciled, in their metaphysical pain’. It includes some of the best poems of the Troubles, yet reflects a basically metaphysical, universal frame of reference. It ranges widely in time and space, yet excels in the minute particularising of human experience and the phenomenal world. We are in ‘one place only’ but ‘We might be anywhere’. The poet moves from the formal intensities of the ‘well-made’ poem to experiment with mixed styles and more open, confessional and epistolary-style forms which incorporate more of the detritus of everyday life.

In considering the central issues of Mahon’s poetry – the relation between poetry and politics, the conflicting claims of art and nature, the representation of gender, the importance of place, the poet’s response to violence, despair and decadence, his characteristic techniques of displacement, ambiguity and intertextuality – these essays also represent a variety of critical approaches to the poetry. Some of this criticism is rooted in Mahon’s own critical and aesthetic vocabulary, which is largely reflective of canonical values and the New Critical ideal of the ‘well-made poem’ – an orthodoxy which his recent poetry challenges and enlarges. Other essayists construct their own critical terms and read ‘against the grain’ of the poetry to expose new possibilities of meaning. Thus, the volume includes New Critical ‘close reading’ of individual poems, examination of social, historical and literary contexts, consideration of Mahon as a translator, and the mobilisation of new critical paradigms such as ‘Men’s Studies’ and post-modernism.

The contributors are (in the order of the essays) Elmer Kennedy-Andrews, Edna Longley, Gerald Dawe, Bruce Stewart, Jerzy Jarniewicz, Eamonn Hughes, Michael Allen, Richard York, Hugh Haughton, Frank Sewell, John Goodby, Neil Corcoran, Stan Smith, and Patrick Crotty. A number of these essays were originally delivered as lectures at the fourth Ulster Symposium at the University of Ulster at Coleraine in 1998.

Elmer Kennedy-Andrews is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Ulster at Coleraine. His books include The Poetry of Seamus Heaney: All the Realms of Whisper (1988); (editor) Seamus Heaney: A Collection of Critical Essays (1992); (editor) Contemporary Irish Poetry: A Collection of Critical Essays (1992); The Art of Brian Friel: Neither Dreams nor Reality (1995); The Poetry of Seamus Heaney; Icon Critical Guides (1998), (editor) Irish Fiction Since 1960 (2004),  Fiction and the Northern Ireland Troubles: (De-) Constructing the North (2003), and Writing Home: Poetry and Place in Northern Ireland 1968-2008 (2009).

Front cover photograph: Derek Mahon, by John Minihan, courtesy of the photographer.

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Frank McGuinness and His Theatre of Paradox

Frank McGuinness and His Theatre of Paradox

£38.00
21.6 x 13.8 cm.    xiv, 263 pp. +  12pp. colour  and b/w illus. 
Ulster Editions & Monographs series (ISSN 0954-3392) volume 12

Frank McGuinness and His Theatre of Paradox is a critical study of one of the most important contemporary Irish dramatists. It offers an overview of the McGuinness’s drama from his early plays right up to the recent, Dolly West's Kitchen. The author has chosen to treat the plays thematically, rather than chronologically, which highlights the playwright's major preoccupations in the contexts of modern and contemporary Ireland. She positions McGuinness exactly as a representative of a dynamic creative intelligence fully alive to the various factors, undercurrents, issues, problems, and tensions that are being lived through in present-day Irish society, North and South.

Contents:

1. Folk Memory as Lethal Cultural Weapon: Protestant Ireland vs. Catholic Ireland (Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme, and Carthaginians);
2. Visualising McGuinness’s Verbal Theatre: Interpretation of Caravaggio’s Theatricality (Innocence);
3. ‘An Unhappy Marriage between Ireland and England’: A Post-Colonial Gaze at Ireland’s Past (Mary and Lizzie, Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me, and Mutabilitie);
4. ‘The Voices of the Voiceless’: Representation of Irish Women (The Factory Girls, Baglady, and The Hen House);
5. Families at War: McGuinness’s Irish Bad Comedy of Manners (The Bird Sanctuary, and Dolly West’s Kitchen);
Catalogue of the Tilling Archive of McGuinness material in the the Library at the University of Ulster, Coleraine.

Hiroko Mikami is Professor of English at Waseda University, Tokyo. She was a visiting research fellow at the Centre for Irish Literature and Bibliography, University of Ulster and obtained her Ph.D. on Frank McGuinness from University of Ulster where some of his typescripts and secondary materials are located in the Tilling Archive. She has translated many contemporary Irish plays into Japanese: Tom Murphy's Bailegangaire, A Thief of Christmas; Brian Friel's Freedom of the City, Making History; Thomas Kilroy's Double Cross, and Frank McGuinness's Innocence and Mutabilitie.

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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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Paul Muldoon: Poetry, Prose, & Drama. A Collection of Critical Essays

Paul Muldoon: Poetry, Prose, & Drama. A Collection of Critical Essays

£35.00
21.6 x 13.8 cm.     viii, 291 pp.  2006    
   Ulster Editions & Monographs Series (ISSN 0954-3392) volume 14

Ever since his student efforts thrilled Seamus Heaney in the early 1970s, Paul Muldoon has written poetry acclaimed for its brilliance and originality, its mischievousness, wit and complex artifice. Today, Muldoon is widely considered to be the greatest poet of his generation, not just in Ireland, but throughout the English-speaking world.

The twelve essays collected here chart the development of this unpredictable, innovative and challenging talent over the last thirty years. They offer a kaleidoscopic examination of Muldoon’s writings in the three genres of poetry, prose and drama, from a variety of perspectives, and without any polemical intention beyond that of celebrating his achievement.

Taken together, these essays attempt to map the continuity of Muldoon’s diverse and substantial oeuvre, but also to highlight its constant experimentalism; they demonstrate how difficult it is for us to know how seriously we should take anything Muldoon says, but alert us to the ways in which the playfulness and cleverness contribute to a profound ethical seriousness; they explore his complexly deconstructive technique to show how it represents a constant renewal of the self and of form; they show how the momentum for escape from the past is always contained within the recognition of the impossibility of escape; they examine the work as a means of both evasive self-protection from the world and self-expression of an intense emotional life; they calculate the ratios of scepticism and passion, unknowing and knowingness, which give the work its uniquely compelling power; they orientate the reader towards the Muldoonian home as always being located where it is not; they help us to see the way the writing folds back or feeds upon itself, and upon others’ writings, yet yearns for freedom and transcendence. They are confirmation of the validity of Heaney’s comment of nearly thirty years ago, when he said that Muldoon was the kind of writer who doesn’t offer us answers, but keep us alive in the middle of the question.

The contributors are (in order of the essays) Peter Denman, Richard York, Kathleen McCracken, Tim Kendall, Tim Hancock, Elmer Kennedy-Andrews, Stan Smith, Ivan Phillips, Clair Wills, Heather O’Donoghue, Guinn Batten, and Jerzy Jarniewicz. A number of these essays were originally delivered as lectures at the fifth Ulster Symposium at the University of Ulster at Coleraine in 2000. Also included is a transcript of the symposium interview that Neil Corcoran conducted with the poet.

Elmer Kennedy-Andrews is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Ulster at Coleraine. His books include The Poetry of Seamus Heaney: All the Realms of Whisper (1988); (editor) Seamus Heaney: A Collection of Critical Essays (1992); (editor) Contemporary Irish Poetry: A Collection of Critical Essays (1992); The Art of Brian Friel: Neither Dreams nor Reality (1995); The Poetry of Seamus Heaney; Icon Critical Guides (1998), (editor) Irish Fiction Since 1960 (2004),  Fiction and the Northern Ireland Troubles: (De-) Constructing the North (2003), and Writing Home: Poetry and Place in Northern Ireland 1968-2008 (2009).

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Renegotiating and Resisting Nationalism in 20th-Century Irish Drama

Renegotiating and Resisting Nationalism in 20th-Century Irish Drama

£38.00
21.6 x 13.8 cm      xiv, 211 pp.  2009    Ulster Editions & Monographs series (ISSN 0954-3392)  volume 15

The essays in this collection seek to refine our understanding of the often polyvalent and conflicted engagement that Irish dramatists have entered into with nationalism, a cultural and political movement that they have often attempted to simultaneously resist and renegotiate.

These nine essays construct a genealogy of dissent, of loyal opposition, revealing the apprehension and dissatisfaction with which the twentieth century’s most influential playwrights have sometimes viewed the Irish state, from its emergence in the early 1900s to its maturity at the century’s end. The articles on W.B. Yeats, Augusta Gregory, J.M. Synge, and Sean O’Casey reveal the early Abbey Theatre’s struggle to critique the failures of and influence the development of the early state and its proscriptive brand of nationalist Irishness. The essays exploring the later plays of Samuel Beckett, Brian Friel, Frank McGuinness, Anne Devlin, Christina Reid, Marie Jones, and Marina Carr expose both the conceptual and political failures of mainstream Irishness in the second half of the twentieth century to satisfy the material or political aspirations of people on either side of the Irish border. While many of this collection’s essays share a common postcolonial interpretive strategy, individual articles also employ the strategies of ecocriticism, social anthropology, structuralism, feminism, and nationalist theory. The fifteenth volume in the Ulster Editions and Monographs series

CONTENTS

Scott Boltwood. Introduction

Colonialism and the Free State:
Hyangsoon Yi. The Traveller in Irish Drama and the Works of J.M.Synge and Seamus O’Kelly
Barbara Suess. Individualism and the Acceptance of Other: Yeats and Where There is Nothing
Scott Boltwood. ‘I keep silence for good or evil’: Lady Gregory’s Cloon plays and Home Rule
Paul Cantor. O’Casey’s Juno and the Paycock and the Problematic Freedom of the Irish Free State

The Republic and the North
Paul Davies. Earthing the Void: Beckett, Bio-regionalism, and Eco-poetics
Shaun Richards. Brian Friel: Seizing the Moment of Flux – Ros Dixon. Chekhov Bogged Down? Tom Kilroy’s version of The Seagull
Susan Cannon Harris. Her Blood and Her Brother: Gender and Sacrifice in Frank McGuinness’s Carthaginians
Rebecca Pelan. Two’s Company, Three’s a Community: Women’s Drama from Northern Ireland
Maria-Elena Doyle. ‘What Sort of Monsters Must We Have Been’: Irishness and the Gothic in McDonagh, Carr and McPherson

Notes – Bibliography – Contributors – Index

Front cover illustration. The Irish Academy of Letters' Gregory Medal, designed by Maurice Lambert (1901-1964) who called it 'Aengus and the Birds', although Yeats preferred the title 'Inspiration'. About seventeen copies were cast in bronze in 1934, and the mould destroyed.  As originator of the project, W. B. Yeats was given one copy by Lambert. Yeats later presented one to Patrick McCartan, the major contributor to its cost, one was bought by the Royal Mint, and fifteen were for presentation by the Academy. These were lodged in a box in the Bank of Ireland, College Green. The actual recipients of the Medal were W. B. Yeats, George W. Russell ('AE'), and Bernard Shaw (all of whom were awarded it in 1935), Douglas Hyde (1937), E. Å’. Somerville (1941), Eoin MacNeill (1944), Stephen Gwynn (1949), Padraic Colum (1953), Seumas O'Sullivan (1957), Micheál mac Liammóir(1960), Austin Clarke (1968), Mary Lavin (1974), Arland Ussher (1975), and John Hewitt (1984). Yeats's intention was that once the medals had all been used, the Academy would commission a new design for future presentations of the Medal. The Academy unanimously agreed on 11 July 1974 that Peadar O'Donnell and Mary Lavin should both be awarded the Medal, but there is no record that O'Donnell ever received it. It is possible that he refused the honour. After Sean J. White removed the medal for Hewitt from the Academy's box at the Bank in 1984, he noted that only one remained. The Academy's archives are now in the National Library of Ireland (MSS 33,745-33,746).

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Rambles and Studies in Greece

Rambles and Studies in Greece

£45.00
The First Edition of 1876, with an Introduction and Commentary by Brian Arkins

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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