The Cold of May Day Monday: An Approach to Irish Literary History

Hardcover | June 22, 2014

byRobert Anthony Welch

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The Cold of May Day Monday offers an indvidual view of the history of Irish literature from its very earliest phases up to the present day, more or less, with discussions of major writers such as Friel, Heaney, Derek Mahon, McGahern, and John Banville. Robert Welch traces the roots of Irishliterature in myth and legend and explores ancient and pre-Celtic deposits and remembrances; saga literature, as well as devotional writing; the bardic heritage and the cycles of tales of early Ireland; the importance and survival of folklore; and the later phases of Irish literature, from theseventeenth century onwards. Welch frames his study around themes and clusters rather than chronology, seeking to retain coherence by means of a sustained attention to the thematic strains. Substantial attention is paid to the figure of the Hag in Irish literary culture. The often deeply troubled relations between Ireland andEngland inevitably call for treatment as well, most notably in chapters examining the Great Famine and its consequences for literature and cultural expression. Yeats is one of the key figures, as are O'Casey and Synge, but the focus is on their literary output, not their political experiences(though these are not overlooked).Robert Welch offers a readable account of one of a fascinating literary history, providing insights into the connections between Irish legend and literature, and accounts of the some of the best Irish writers of the twentieth century.

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The Cold of May Day Monday offers an indvidual view of the history of Irish literature from its very earliest phases up to the present day, more or less, with discussions of major writers such as Friel, Heaney, Derek Mahon, McGahern, and John Banville. Robert Welch traces the roots of Irishliterature in myth and legend and explores anc...

Robert Anthony Welch (1947-2013) was born in Cork and was a scholarship student at the University there. He went on to Leeds where he worked under the Yeatsian, A.N. Jeffares and then became a Lecturer. In 1984 he became Professor of English and Head of Department at University of Ulster and later became Dean. He was Research Professor...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.98 inPublished:June 22, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019968684X

ISBN - 13:9780199686841

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Ancient Things2. Iron Age Martial Arts And Christian Scribes3. Reciting From The Finger Ends: The Bards And Ossian4. The Undoing Of Ireland: Conquest And Reconquest5. The Colony6. Romantic Ireland?7. The Folk Tradition8. Famine9. New Departures10. The West's Awake11. Hearts Of Stone12. Matrix Of Surds13. Astrakhan Ataraxie14. Coda: By The Bog Of Cats15. ConclusionA Bibliography Of Literary Histories And Related WorksA Note On The Author