The Oxford Companion to Irish Literature by Bruce StewartThe Oxford Companion to Irish Literature by Bruce Stewart

The Oxford Companion to Irish Literature

byBruce StewartEditorRobert Welch

Hardcover | November 1, 1991

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The literature of Ireland displays an exceptional richness and diversity - whether in Irish or English, by native Irish and Anglo-Irish writers or by outsiders like Edmund Spenser whose works were deeply imbued with the country in which he lived and wrote. In over 2,000 entries, the Companionto Irish Literature surveys the Irish literary landscape across some sixteen centuries, describing its features and landmarks. Entries range from ogam writing, developed in the 4th century, to the fiction, poetry, and drama of the l990s; and from Cu Chulainn to James Joyce. There are accounts of authors as early as Adomnan, 7th century Abbot of Iona, up to contemporary writers such as Roddy Doyle, Brian Friel, SeamusHeaney, and Edna O'Brien. Individual entries are provided for all major works, from Tain Bo Cuailnge - the Ulster saga reflecting the Celtic Iron Age - to Swift's Gulliver's Travels, Edgeworth's Castle Rackrent, O Cadhain's Cre na Cille, and Banville's The Book of Evidence. The Companion also illuminates the historical contexts of these writers, and the events which sometimes directly inspired them - the Famine of 1845-8, which provided a theme for novelists, poets, and memoirists from William Carleton to Patrick Kavanagh and Peadar O Laoghaire; the founding of theAbbey Theatre and its impact on playwrights such as J. M. Synge and Padraic Colum; the Easter Rising that stirred Yeats to the `terrible beauty' of `Easter 1916'. It offers a wealth of information on general topics, ranging from the stage Irishman to Catholicism, Protestantism, the Irish language,and university education in Ireland; and on genres such as annals, bardic poetry, and folksong. The majority of entries include a succinct bibliography, and the volume also provides a chronology and maps.

About The Author

Robert Welch is Professor of English at the University of Ulster, Coleraine. Bruce Stewart is Lecturer in Irish Literary History and Bibliography at the same establishment.
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Details & Specs

Title:The Oxford Companion to Irish LiteratureFormat:HardcoverDimensions:640 pages, 9.06 × 6.1 × 1.65 inPublished:November 1, 1991Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198661584

ISBN - 13:9780198661580

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From Our Editors

By turns sacred or profane, mystical or earthy, scathingly satirical and modern or achingly nostalgic, the literature of Ireland has long entranced and entertained readers the world over. Now Oxford provides a comprehensive and delightfully readable guide to the evolution and achievements of Irish writers and writing across sixteen tumultuous centuries. Over 2,000 entries provide insight into the intimate fusion of history, literature, and culture that distinguishes so much of Ireland's poetry, drama, and fiction

Editorial Reviews

`This book is a treasure chest of knowledge about the well-known and lesser-known writers responsible for Ireland's rich literary heritage. It is a mammoth work ... For anyone really interested in Irish literature it is a must ... a reference book that can be dug out and delved into wheneverthe need arises ... the book is a fine piece of work, and it should be in any serious Irish reader's library.'Pat Byrne, Irish World