We’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day by sharing some fun facts about 9 authors from Ireland and drinking a large mug of green tea.
Swift is remembered for his satire writing style and works including Gulliver’s Travels. He originally published all of his works under pseudonyms, and his iconic writing style led to the term satire sometimes termed “Swiftian.”
He even wrote his own epitaph:
Here is laid the Body
of Jonathan Swift, Doctor of Sacred Theology,
Dean of this Cathedral Church,
where fierce Indignation
can no longer
injure the Heart.
Go forth, Voyager,
and copy, if you can,
this vigorous (to the best of his ability)
Champion of Liberty.
He died on the 19th Day of the Month of October,
A.D. 1745, in the 78th Year of his Age.
He’s known for his novel, Dracula (1897), but he started his career as a theater critic for the Dublin Evening Mail. He gave a popular review of Hamlet, by Henry Irving and was invited to join him for dinner.
Bram married Florence Balcombe, who was previously dating Oscar Wilde. Stoker was a fan of traveling, but he never made it to Eastern Europe, where Dracula was set.
Let’s start with his full name: Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde.
Wilde was an Irish poet and is best known for writing The Importance of Being Earnest. Wilde wrote many more pieces, went to prison and was baptized right before his death in 1900.
Bowen was a novelist and short story writer remembered for some of the best fiction about life in wartime London.
She grew up in Bowen’s Court and shortly after she was the first woman to inherit the property, her husband passed away. But many famous names visited her residence including Virginia Woolf, Eudora Welty, Carson McCullers, Iris Murdoch, and the historian Veronica Wedgwood.
Her final novel, Eva Trout, won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1969 and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 1970.
Elizabeth is also known for her ghost stories!
British novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian, broadcaster, lecturer, and Christian apologist. He is best known for his works of fiction, especially The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Space Trilogy.
Lewis wrote more than 30 books, became an atheist at the age of 15, lived through both world wars and eventually found his way back to religion to become one of the most influential Christian apologists of his time.
O’Brien’s works often revolve around the inner feelings of women, and their problems in relating to men, and to society as a whole. Her first novel, The Country Girls, is often credited with breaking silence on sexual matters and social issues during a repressive period in Ireland following World War II. The book was banned, burned and denounced from the pulpit.
She has a long list of works and awards, even a memoir published in 2012.
Iris Murdoch was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize several times and also won it in 1978 for The Sea, The Sea.
Murdoch wrote over 25 novels and other works and is best known for her writings on good and evil, sexual relationships, morality, and the power of the unconscious.
Enright received an electronic typewriter for her 21st birthday and has been writing ever since.
Her fourth novel, The Gathering, won the 2007 Man Booker Prize. And, she recently released a book in 2015, The Green Road.
Donoghue is a literary historian, novelist, and screenwriter. She’s most known today for her novel, Room, which was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize and is now a movie.
Her first novel was published in 1994: Stir Fry, a coming of age novel about a young Irish woman discovering her sexuality. It was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award.
I’d like to thank Wikipedia for the history lesson!
Do you have a favorite Irish author? Or, maybe a memorable book set in Ireland?