An Irish Literature Reader: Poetry, Prose,Drama

Author: Maureen O’Rourke Murphy and James MacKillop
Publisher: Syracuse University Press
Published: 2006 (first edition 1987)

Synopsis: In a volume that has become a standard text in Irish studies and serves as a course-friendly alternative to the Field Day anthology, editors Maureen O’Rourke Murphy and James MacKillop survey thirteen centuries of Irish literature, including Old Irish epic and lyric poetry, Irish folksongs, and drama.  For each author the editors provide a biographical sketch, a brief discussion of how his or her selections relate to a larger body of work, and a selected bibliography.  In addition, this new volume includes a larger sampling of women writers.

Review: I can’t say more about the contents of this volume than was already said in the synopsis so I’m not going to, instead I’m going to talk about what I thought if the volume.

I think that this is a must read book for anyone interested in Irish literature of any kind.  It will give the reader a look at all the important authors and poets of Irish history and some of their works to wet the apetite.

I found myself reading all kinds of poetry and enjoying it all, not to mention the familiar myths and some stories that I’ve never heard of too.

I didn’t want to put it down once I started and it was a joy and pleasure to read (or devour which ever works best).


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