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Noel O'Connell & Irish Literary Society: Displaying Collections: Literature

5 different areas in a collection.

A Selection of Literature

Regina Maria Roche (1764-1845) was born in Waterford to Captain Blundell Dalton of the 40th Regiment and she moved to England in 1794 after her marriage. Her first two novels were published under her maiden name (Dalton). Roche wrote sixteen novels, the majority of which were published by the Minerva Press and William Lane. She returned to Ireland in the 1820s. The Children of the Abbey is about the orphaned children of an Irish soldier who are fraudulently disinherited by a wicked aunt and cousin. There are supernatural surprises in their adventures in an Irish castle and the ‘haunted’ abbey of Dunreath. The Children of the Abbey was first published by Minerva Press in 1796. The Children of the Abbey (3rd ed) is a Cork printing from 1798.

Emily Hickey (1845-1924) was an Irish author, translator and lecturer, teaching at North London Collegiate School for Girls. She contributed to Longman's Magazine, Good Words, The Athenaeum and the Irish Monthly. In 1881 she co-founded the Browning Society with Frederick James Furnivall. In 1901 she converted to Catholicism and disavowed some of her earlier work as the themes of the poetry no longer fit her Catholic beliefs.  Hickey spent more of her later years writing for the Catholic Truth Society. She was awarded a Civil List pension. Hickey's published works include:

  • A Sculptor and Other Poems (1881)
  • Verse Tales, Lyrics, and Translations (1889)
  • Verse-Translations, and other poems (1891)
  • Michael Villiers, Idealist, and other poems (1891)
  • Ancilla Domini (1898)
  • Our Lady of May and other Poems (1902)

 

William O'Brien (1852-1928) was an Irish politician, journalist and MP in the House of Commons. He was associated with campaigns for land reform in Ireland in the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1890 he married Sophie Raffalovich who brought considerable wealth to the marriage enabling O'Brien to act with political independence and providing finances to establish his own newspapers. 

 

Charlotte Grace O'Brien (1845-1909) was an Irish author, philanthropist as well as activist in nationalist causes and protecting female emigrants. Her father was William Smith O'Brien, the Irish nationalist transported to a penal settlement Tasmania in 1849. In 1879 O'Brien who previously had been hard-of-hearing became completely deaf. From 1882 O'Brien exposed in articles and letters to newspapers and reviews the grotesque conditions that existed in Cobh, then known as Queenstown, in the lodging houses there, on board the emigrant ships, and in the dock slums of New York City, where the Irish had to stay upon landing. She also contributed to periodicals like The Nation, United Ireland, Limerick Field Club Journal, Dublin University Review and the Irish Monthly.

Elizabeth Amelia Sharpe (1856-1932) married her cousin William Sharp (1855-1905) was a Scottish writer. William Sharp also wrote under the name 'Fiona McLeod.' Elizabeth Sharpe wrote William Sharpe (1910). Lyra Celtica: An Anthology of Representative Celtic Poetry is an anthology of poetry from all the Celtic nations. It includes ancient Scottish, Irish, Cornish, Manx and Breton poems as well as works by contemporary Scottish and Irish poets including Fiona MacLeod, Katharine Tynan, WB Yeats, Bliss Carman, Villiers de I'Isle-Adam and Arthur Quiller Couch. Elizabeth also wrote:

  • Women's Voices: An Anthology of the Most Characteristic Poems by English, Scotch and Irish Women (1887)
  • Sea-Music: An Anthology of Poems and Passages Descriptive of the Sea (1887)
  • A History of Music in the 19th Century (1902)
  • William Sharpe / Fiona Macleod: A Memoir (1910)
  • a revised and enlarged edition of Lyra Celtica with Jessie Mathay (1924).

Eleanor Hull (1860-1935) was a scholar of old Irish literature and folklore. Hull studied under Pederson, Kuno Meyer and Robin Flower. The Irish Literary Society appointed a provisional sub-committee to consider the feasibility for creating a society for publishing Irish texts. In 1898 Hull co-founded the Irish Texts Society for the publication of early manuscripts and she was honorary secretary of the Society for nearly thirty years. Members of the executive council included Douglas Hyde (president), Frederick York Powell (chairman), Norma Borthwick & Hull (honorary secretaries), RAS Macalister (honorary treasurer) Goddard Orpen, Alfred Nutt, Thomas Flannery, JG O’Keeffe, Daniel Mescal, GA Greene and M O’Sullivan.  In addition Hull was president of the Irish Literary Society and a member of the Council of the Folklore Society.  Hull's published works include:

  • The Cuchulain Saga in Irish Literature (1898)
  • Pagan Ireland
  • Early Christian Ireland
  • A Textbook of Irish Literature, in 2 vols.
  • The Northmen in Britain
  • Folklore of the British Isles and A History of Ireland in 2 vols.

Kenneth Hurlstone Jackson (1909-1991) was a linguist and translator specialising in Celtic languages. He was Professor of Celtic at Harvard from 1939 and Chair of Celtic Literature, Edinburgh University from 1949.

Joseph Campbell (1879-1944) was an Irish poet and illustrator. He wrote under the Irish version of his name 'Seosamh Mac Cathmhaoil.' HIs play Judgement (1912) was performed in the Abbey Theatre. One of his illustrated works is Four Irish Songs by Charlotte Milligan Fox. During the Civil War, he was interned for 18 months and following his release he left Ireland and settled in New York. There he lectured at Fordham University and worked in academic Irish Studies. He returned to Ireland in 1939.

Padraic Colum (1881-1972) was an Irish writer and a leading figure in the Irish Literary Revival. Colum was a member of the Gaelic League and the first board of the Abbey Theatre and was friends with Yeats and Lady Gregory.. Colum founded The Irish Review with James Stephens and Thoma MacDonagh. In 1914 he moved with his wife Mary Gunning Magure to America. There he wrote versions of Irish and Hawaiian folklore tales for children. After Mary died in 1957 he divided more of his time between Ireland and America. 

Thomas Cornelius (TC) Murray (1873-1959) was an Irish dramatist. He was born in Macroom, Co. Cork and worked as a school teacher before becoming head of the primary school in Rathduff, Co Cork. Murray co-founded the Little Theatre in Cork with Daniel Corkery, Con O'Leary and Terence MacSwiney. His first play was Wheel of Fortune (1909) which he revised in 1913 as Sovereign Love.  From 1915-1932 he was head of the Model School in Inchicore, Dublin. 

Katharine Tynan (1859-1931) was a prolific Irish writer. Tynan was contemporaneous with James Joyce's mother and they attended the same finishing school in Dublin. Tynan was part of the Irish Literary Revival Circle and was close to Yeats and later Francis Ledwidge. When selecting work for The Wild Harp she chose works striking to her as a reader rather than representative of the period as a whole. 

Susanne Rouviere Day (1876-1964) was an Irish feminist and writer. She grew up in Cork and formed the local Irish Women's Franchise League in Cork for women's suffrage. However she left that in 1911 and founded the non-militant Munster Women's Franchise League. In 1911 this interest in politics led to her win the election of poor-law guardians in Cork and she used her experiences to write her first novel although this remained unpublished. From 1913 to 1917 in collaboration with Geraldine Cummins (1890-1969) she wrote a series of plays for The Abbey Theatre. The most successful of these was Fox & Geese. During World War I she spent time providing aid and relief work to refugees, however after 1918 little is known of her life. 

Daniel Corkery (1878-1964) was a Cork writer, critic and Professor of English at UCC from 1931-1947. Some of his proteges included Sean O Faolain, Frank O'Connor and Seamus Murphy. He was a member of the Gaelic League and founding member of the Cork Dramatic Society with TC Murray and Con O'Leary. He was close with Tomás MacCurtain and Terence MacSwiney, successive Lord Mayors of Cork during Cork's Revolutionary Decade. He was not a native speaker but he was an Irish language enthusiast. His major works include A Munster Twilight (1917) and The Hidden Ireland (1924).

Austin Clarke (1896-1974) was an Irish poet noted for his use of technical devices from classical Irish language poetry when writing in English. He attended UC where he was taught by Douglas Hyde and Thomas MacDonagh. Clarke worked as a university lecturer in UCD, as a journalist in London from 1932-1937, and was a co-founder of the Lyric Theatre Company.

The Books

The Children of the Abbey

James Haly was a printer based at the Kings Arms near the Exchange and was the son-in-law of William Flyn. In addition to printing and stocking books Haly also stocked lottery tickets, stationery, prints and patent medicines. He also printed An Humble Remonstrance, published in 1789, in which the author argues for Catholic participation in the commercial life of Cork. An Irish language catechism, An Teagusg Criesdeegh, 

Michael Harris was also a printer based at 6 Castle Street. He also printed Rambles Through Ireland by a French Emigrant.

John Connor’s bookshop and circulating library established at 17 Castle Street, at the corner of Cornmarket John Connor was the third printer and he was based on Patrick Street.  He also printed the third edition of Smith's The ancient and present state of the county and city of Cork.

Roche, Regina Maria. The Children of the Abbey: A Tale. Cork: J. Haly, M. Harris, and J. Connor, 1798. [Noel O'Connell Collection]

Gems of the Cork Poets: Binding

Gems of the Cork Poets is bound in green blind-stamped cloth, with the title lettered in gilt and with an Irish harp surrounded by shamrocks in gilt on the front panel. It is possible it was published to coincide with The Cork Industrial and Fine Art Exhibition which was held in Cork in 1883 and visited by over 10,000 people.

Stuck onto the front endpapers is this newspaper clipping. 

Gems of the Cork Poets: Comprising the Complete Works of Callanan, Condon, Casey, Fitzgerald, and Cody. Cork: Joseph Barter & Sons, [1883?]. [Noel O'Connell Collection]

Gems of the Cork Poets: Title Page & Table of Contents

The publisher Joseph Barter & Sons were more commonly steamship and forwarding agents operating from 92 Patrick's Street. 

Gems of the Cork Poets: Comprising the Complete Works of Callanan, Condon, Casey, Fitzgerald, and Cody. Cork: Joseph Barter & Sons, [1883?]. [Noel O'Connell Collection]

Poems

Poems by Emily Hickey is bound in light green cloth boards with a gilt title on the spine and front board. The frontispiece illustration by Mary E. Swan. The collection includes three narrative poems, one of which, "The Ballad of Lady Ellen," shows the influence of Yeats. 

Hickey, Emily. Poems. London: Elkin Mathews, 1896. [Irish Literary Society Collection]

A Queen of Men

O'Brien began the novel in 1891 when in jail in Galway and completed it in 1898. A Queen of Men is about the 16th century leader of the O Maille dynasty in west Connaught, Grace O'Malley. However it is not historically factual and then contemporary matters inflect the fictional account:  the distinction between women's ability to hold property in their own right under Gaelic law and English common law doctrine is emphasised by O’Brien in relation to the Married Women’s Property Acts of 1893. 

William O'Brien has signed the end leaves of this the second edition.

O'Brien, William. A Queen of Men. London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1898. [Irish Literary Society Collection]

Charlotte Grace O'Brien

Charlotte Grace O'Brien's nephew, Stephen Gwynn, provided the memoir. He was a noted writer and journalist based in England and in the early 20th century had an interest in the Irish Literary Revival. He was secretary of the Irish Literary Society. He founded the publishing house Maunsel with Joseph Maunsel Hone and George Roberts

Charlotte Grace O'Brien: Selections from her Writings and Correspondence. With a memoir by Stephen Gwynn.  Dublin: Maunsel, 1909.  [Irish Literary Society Collection]

Lyra Celtica

Patrick Geddes (1854-1932) was a sociologist, geographer and a pioneer of town planning. Over 1893-1894 the publishing company Patrick Geddes and Colleagues was formed. William Sharp was made a partner and at one point was managing editor. One of the first publications was the journal The Evergreen: A Northern Seasonal which focused on nature and poetics, offering an alternative to The Yellow Book. Lyra Celtica has a pale green cloth with gilt on the spine.

"The Dead at Clonmacnoise" from the Irish of Angus O'Gillian is the best-known poem by TW Rolleston (1857-1920). Rolleston was a writer and translator and in 1885 founded the Dublin University Review. He was a founding member of the Irish Literary Society. 

Dora Sigerson Shorter (1866-1918) was a poet and friends with Katharine Tynan and Alice Furlong. Shorter was leading figure in the Irish Literary Revival.

Sharp, Elizabeth, ed. Lyra Celtica: An Anthology of Representative Celtic Poetry. Introduction & notes by William Sharp. Edinburgh: Patrick Geddes and colleagues, 1896.  [Noel O'Connell Collection]

The Poem-book of the Gael: Binding

The Poem-book of the Gael is bound in blue cloth with gilt decoration on the front, with gilt titles on the spine and the top page edges are also gilt.

Hull, Eleanor, ed and selected. The Poem-book of the Gael: Translations from Irish Gaelic Poetry into English Prose and Verse. London: Chatto & Windus, 1912, 1913. [Noel O'Connell and Irish Literary Society Collections]

The Poem-book of the Gael: Endleaves

JD Fitzgerald has annotated this copy of The Poem-book of the Gael. On the endpapers of the volume are various signatures. It is possible that 'Laurence Ginnell' is the Irish nationalist politician or that 'Nessa Lyne' is the writer.

Hull, Eleanor, ed and selected. The Poem-book of the Gael: Translations from Irish Gaelic Poetry into English Prose and Verse. LondonChatto & Windus, 1912,1913. [Irish Literary Society Collection]

The Poem-book of the Gael: Endpapers

On the endleaves Sophie Bryant has placed her bookplate and marked 'S. B. 31'. This notation is also present on the spine of the book. Other items in the Irish Literary Society Collection have similar markings. 

Dr Sophie Bryant (1850-1922) was an Anglo-Irish mathematician and feminist. She received First Class Honours from the University of London in Mental and Moral Sciences, as well as a degree in Mathematics in 1881. In 1884 she was awarded Doctor of Science. In 1882 she was the third woman to be elected to the London Mathematical Society, and was the first active female member publishing in 1884 her first paper with the Society. She taught in North London Collegiate School and from 1895-1918 was headmistress of the school. She was president of the Irish National Literary Society in 1914. Bryant wrote:

In addition she wrote various editions of Euclid's Elements of Geometry for the use in schools. 

Hull, Eleanor, ed and selected. The Poem-book of the Gael: Translations from Irish Gaelic Poetry into English Prose and Verse. LondonChatto & Windus, 1912,1913. [Irish Literary Society Collection]

The Poem-book of the Gael: Title Page

The Poem-book of the Gael has an excerpt from a decorated manuscript. The title page is also illustrated in black and white. Similar black and white Gaelic designs are throughout the text. 

Hull, Eleanor, ed and selected. The Poem-book of the Gael: Translations from Irish Gaelic Poetry into English Prose and Verse. LondonChatto & Windus, 1912, 1913. [Noel O'Connell and Irish Literary Society Collections]

The Poem-book of the Gael: Annotation

The volume is open to show annotation of a poem by Kuno Meyer (1858-1919). Meyer's poem a translation of an anonymous 9th century Old Irish poem. The poem was originally published in Selections from Early Irish Poetry (early 20th century).

Alfred Perceval Graves (1846-1931) was closely associated with the Irish Literary Society Graves' poem "First Winter-Song" was first published in volume 1 of The Shanachie: An Illustrated Irish Miscellany (1906).

Hull, Eleanor, ed and selected. The Poem-book of the Gael: Translations from Irish Gaelic Poetry into English Prose and Verse. LondonChatto & Windus, 1912,1913. [Irish Literary Society Collection]

The Poem-book of the Gael: Insert

At the rear of The Poem-book of the Gael is a grouping of reviews about the book and various obituaries following Eleanor Hull's death. 

Hull, Eleanor, ed and selected. The Poem-book of the Gael: Translations from Irish Gaelic Poetry into English Prose and Verse. LondonChatto & Windus, 1912,1913. [Noel O'Connell Collection]

The Poem-book of the Gael: Insert

At the rear of The Poem-book of the Gael is a grouping of reviews about the book and various obituaries following Eleanor Hull's death. 

Hull, Eleanor, ed and selected. The Poem-book of the Gael: Translations from Irish Gaelic Poetry into English Prose and Verse. LondonChatto & Windus, 1912,1913. [Noel O'Connell Collection]

A Celtic Miscellany

Jackson, Kenneth Jackson. A Celtic Miscellany: Translations from the Celtic Literatures. London: Routledge & Paul, 1951. [Noel O'Connell Collection]

The Rush-light: Binding

The Rush-light was the first poetry collection by Seosamh Mac Cathmhaoil. The Rush-light is bound in cloth boards with a decorative title blocked on the upper cover. Campbell was an important poet for the Maunsel publishing house. 

MacCathmhaoil, Seosamh. The Rush-light. Dublin: Maunsel, 1906. [Noel O'Connell Collection]

The Rush-light: Title page

The title is in red within a decorative border. Throughout the volume the margins of the pages are decorated with woodcut style illustrations.

MacCathmhaoil, Seosamh. The Rush-light. Dublin: Maunsel, 1906. [Noel O'Connell Collection]

Wild Earth: Title page

Wild Earth is dedicated to A.E. and collected many of the poems first published in The United Irishman and was dedicated to Æ. Wild Earth is Colum's first poetry collection and was initially published in 1907 and was published in a new edition in 1909. In the poems Colum describes rural life in Ireland. Colum was an important poet for the Maunsel publishing house. 

Wild Earth is published in quarter cream cloth and brown paper boards, with black lettering to front board.

Colum, Padraic. Wild Earth: A Book of Verse. Dublin: Maunsel, 1907.  [Noel O'Connell Collection]

Wild Earth: The Terrible Robber Men and The Moon Cradle

Colum, Padraic. Wild Earth: A Book of Verse. Dublin: Maunsel, 1907.  [Noel O'Connell Collection]

Birthright

Birthright is set in Co. Cork and is a modern retelling of the biblical story of Esau and Jacob with characters Hugh and Shane Morrisey. Birthright was performed in the Abbey Theatre in 1910 and established Murray as a writer of force. Birthright is one of Maunsel's Irish Plays - Abbey Theatre series and cost one shilling.

Murray, TC. Birthright: A Play in Two Acts. Dublin: Maunsel, 1911. [Noel O'Connell Collection]

The Wild Harp: Binding

Tynan takes the title of the anthology from a line in TW Rolleston's poem "The Song of Finn in Praise of May." 

"Through the wild harp of the wood

Making music roars the gale -

Now it settles without motion,

On the ocean sleeps the sail."  

Rolleston used Kuno Meyer's prose translation in Eriu (1904) as the basis for his poetic translation. The entirety of the poem is available on pp.114-115 of The High Deeds of Finn: and Other Bardic Romances of Ancient Ireland.

The Wild Harp contains works by nearly forty Irish poets, including James Clarence Mangan, Samuel Ferguson, Thomas Moore, Douglas Hyde, WB Yeats, Dion Boucicault, Dora Sigerson Shorter, Alice Milligan, Emily Lawless, Moira O'Neill, A.E., Joseph Campell, Stephen Gwynn and Padraic Colum.

Tynan, Katharine. The Wild Harp: A Selection from Irish Poetry. With decorations by CM Watts. London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1913.  [Noel O'Connell Collection]

The Wild Harp: Title page

CM Watts provided the decorations throughout The Wild HarpThe Wild Harp is bound in a buff colour cloth with black Celtic decorations on the front cover and spine. The title page and facing page have Celtic decoration in red, purple and green. All pages of text have a border of grey Celtic decoration.

Caroline Marsh Watts (1868-1919) was a British painter and illustrator. She provided illustrations for the publisher Alfred Nutts and for the suffragette movement including the Artists' Suffrage League's 'Bugler Girl' for the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies in 1908.

Tynan, Katharine. The Wild Harp: A Selection from Irish Poetry. With decorations by CM Watts.  London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1913.  [Noel O'Connell Collection]

The Wild Harp: James Stephens and Eva Gore-Booth

The Wild Harp was published in London by Sidgwick & Jackson in 1913. In her introduction, Tynan claimed her anthology “is not intended to be at all representative of Irish poetry generally. Its intention is to capture for English ears, sensitive to a wild music, just such strains as might be sounded by the strings of a harp – something thin, strange, forlorn, something a little unearthly and exquisite, else there would be no reason to garner it.”

James Stephens (1880-1950) was an Irish poet and novelist. He was friends with Thomas MacDonagh and Patrick Pearse. "The Tinker's Brat" was first published in The Hill of Vision (1912).

Eva Gore-Booth (1870-1926) was an Irish poet, suffragist and social activtist. She lived and worked with her partner Esther Roper in Manchester. "The Little Waves of Breffny" was first published in The One and the Many (1904).

Tynan, Katharine. The Wild Harp: A Selection from Irish Poetry. With decorations by CM Watts.  London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1913.  [Noel O'Connell Collection]

Fox and Geese

Fox and Geese was produced by The Abbey.

Day, Susanne and GD Cummins. Fox and Geese: A Comedy in Three Acts. Dublin; London: Maunsel, 1917. [Irish Literary Society Collection]

i Bhreasail: Title Page

The title i Bhreasail refers to the mysterious mythical island 'Hy-Brazil' off the west coast of Ireland which was cloaked in mist every day except one and on that day still remained inaccessible. Corkery's use of the term describes a changing Ireland.

Corkery, Daniel. I Bhreasail: A Book of Lyrics. Dublin: Talbot Press, 1921.  [Noel O'Connell Collection]

i Bhreasail: From Victor Hugo

i Bhreasail is dedicated to Prof. and Mrs Stockley. William Stockley (1859-1943) was Professor of History & English Literature at UCC from 1905-1931. Corkery succeeded Stockley as Professor of English at UCC.

Corkery, Daniel. I Bhreasail: A Book of Lyrics. Dublin: Talbot Press, 1921.  [Noel O'Connell Collection]

Poetry in Modern Ireland

Clarke, Austin. Poetry in Modern Ireland. Illustrations by Louis Le Brocquy. Dublin: Published for the Cultural Relations Committee of Ireland by C. O'Lochlainn, 1961.  [Noel O'Connell Collection]