Cover image for Voices of Ireland : classic writings of a rich and rare land
Voices of Ireland : classic writings of a rich and rare land
McCourt, Malachy, 1931-
Publication Information:
Philadelphia : Running Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
1126 pages ; 24 cm
Modest proposal / Jonathan Swift -- Castle Rackrent / Maria Edgeworth -- Traits and stories of the Irish peasantry / William Carleton -- Uncle Silas / Joseph Sheridan LeFanu -- Ourselves alone in Ulster / Alice Stopford Green -- Selections from Irish myths and legends / Lady Gregory -- Ballad of reading gaol and other poems / Oscar Wilde -- Early poems / William Butler Yeats -- Playboy of the western world / John Millington Synge -- Dubliners / James Joyce -- Insurrection in Dublin / James Stephens -- Selected works / Michael Collins.
Format :


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Material Type
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PR8835 .V65 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PR8835 .V65 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PR8835 .V65 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PR8835 .V65 2002 Adult Non-Fiction On Display

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This anthology collects fiction, poetry, and essays by several esteemed Irish writers over three centuries that describe the beauty and mystique of Ireland. From Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" to James Joyce's "Dubliners, " these masterpieces form a collective record of the modern Irish experience.

Author Notes

Malachy McCourt was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Limerick, Ireland. He was a pioneer in talk radio and went on to have an illustrious career on stage, screen, and television. He lives in New York City.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Best-selling author (and veteran storyteller) McCourt has compiled a thorough overview of Irish writing that will serve as an accessible introduction to readers unfamiliar with Irish literature and history. Although some of the authors, such as James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, and Jonathan Swift, have been anthologized in countless collections, McCourt also introduces readers to several writers who have enjoyed fame only within their native country. Readers will enjoy discovering Alice Stepford Green, Maria Edgeworth, and James Stephens, all of whom played an important role in the evolution of Irish literature. Each selection is prefaced with an introduction to the author that outlines the author's biography and provides substantial background information about the text. McCourt does an excellent job of tracking the development of Irish literature and placing the works in a historical and sociological context. Clocking in at more than 1,200 pages, this massive tome is a formidable reading task, but readers will be eager to see what it has to offer. --Brendan Dowling

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this excellent primer to modern Irish literature and politics, McCourt (A Monk Swimming) collects and introduces the work of 12 Irish writers. Some of the works are well known, such as Synge's The Playboy of the Western World, Wilde's The Ballad of Reading Gaol, the early poems of Yeats or Joyce's Dubliners and Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal. Another marvelous, albeit more obscure entry, is James Stephens's The Insurrection in Dublin, an eyewitness account of what it was like to be a citizen of Dublin and live through the Easter Rising of 1916. Lady Gregory, best known as co-founder of the Abbey Theatre (with Yeats), is represented here by several selections from her collection Irish Myths and Legends, dealing extensively with the Celtic warrior, Finn. McCourt also includes selections from Maria Edgeworth's "big house novel" Castle Rackrent and William Carleton's Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry. The only contributor here who was not a professional writer is Michael Collins, the inventor of modern guerrilla warfare who negotiated the treaty that led to the Republic of Ireland. The excerpt here outlines Collins's plans for the new Irish nation. Some of McCourt's biographical introductions could be more polished, but the reader will be rewarded many times over by the insights the collection affords into the social, economic and political life of Ireland up to 1922. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This collection contains 13 Irish classics, in whole or in part, by writers from Jonathan Swift to Michael Collins, with works by Maria Edgeworth, Oscar Wilde, and James Joyce. Although McCourt (A Monk Swimming) did select the contents and write the introductions to the volume and to each selection, his name is presented, inexplicably, as though he were the sole author. The rambling, irreverent general introduction fails to explain why these authors were chosen and others omitted, and why no one born in the 20th century is included. The introductory material is poorly written throughout, in terms of both style and accuracy (e.g., Yeats did not outlive James Joyce or James Stephens, as McCourt claims), and the volume does not make clear when selections are excerpted from a larger work. Serious readers will not appreciate McCourt's flippancy or his cavalier approach to facts. Libraries would do better to purchase individual volumes of desired titles. Not recommended.-Denise J. Stankovics, Rockville P.L., Vernon, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 9
Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)p. 21
A Modest Proposalp. 25
Maria Edgeworth (1767-1849)p. 33
Castle Rackrentp. 38
William Carleton (1794-1869)p. 101
Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantryp. 105
Joseph Sheridan LeFanu (1814-1873)p. 275
Uncle Silasp. 279
Alice Stopford Green (1847-1929)p. 645
Ourselves Alone in Ulsterp. 649
Lady Gregory (1852-1932)p. 673
Selections from Irish Myths and Legendsp. 677
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)p. 719
The Ballad of Reading Gaol and Other Poemsp. 723
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)p. 781
Early Poemsp. 785
John Millington Synge (1871-1909)p. 797
The Playboy of the Western Worldp. 802
James Joyce (1882-1941)p. 849
Dublinersp. 853
James Stephens (1882-1950)p. 1003
The Insurrection in Dublinp. 1007
Michael Collins (1890-1922)p. 1051
Selected Worksp. 1055