Edited by Declan Kiberd and P. J. Mathews
The Irish Revival of 1891 to 1922 was an extraordinary era of literary achievement and political ferment. This period generated not only a remarkable crop of poets and writers but also a range of innovative political thinkers and activists. The contributors to this period exchanged ideas and opinions about what Ireland was and could become, yet much of this discourse remains out of print, some of these voices almost forgotten. Handbook of the Irish Revival: An Anthology of Irish Cultural and Political Writings 1891–1922 collects for the first time many of the essays, articles, and letters by renowned figures such as James Joyce, Maud Gonne, W. B. Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Sean O’Casey, and J. M. Synge, among others. The anthology also contains pieces by less well-known individuals such as Stopford A. Brooke, Mary Colum, and Helena Molony. Many of the lesser known texts contextualize the social, political, and cultural lives, values, and aspirations of those involved in and on the periphery of the Revivalist movement. The introduction and commentary by Declan Kiberd and P. J. Mathews convey the ideas of a brilliant generation that, in spite of difficulty and demoralization, audaciously shaped a modern Ireland. Divided into sixteen sections covering issues as diverse as literature, religion, drama, education, women’s rights, and the 1916 Rising, this is the ultimate reference book for anyone with an interest in Irish literature and history.
“My hope is that in reading these pieces readers will be encouraged to go on to engage with the writers involved in more depth. What the editors have done is to have saved for us the evidence of some of the most sensitive, idealistic, often combative people of an extraordinary set of decades that ended a century of devastation and began a new century that presented both a promise and a set of conflicts whose consequences would endure into our own times.” — Michael D. Higgins, The President of Ireland, from the book
“This book is indispensable for an understanding of the cultural revolution that preceded and in key ways helped shape the political revolution in twentieth-century Ireland. For anyone interested in Irish culture, history, literature, and art, I can think of no better place to start than here. Highly recommended.” — Christopher B. Fox, professor of English and director of the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, University of Notre Dame
“For the generous range of material the Handbook gathers and for the fresh eye it brings to the period, Declan Kiberd and PJ Matthews are to be congratulated.” — Dublin Review of Books
Foreword Reviews’ 2016 INDIES Book of the Year Award, Bronze, ReferenceShortlisted for the Best Irish Published Book of the Year, Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards 2015