IMAGES OF INVENTION.
ESSAYS ON IRISH WRITING
A. Norman Jeffares
0-86140-362-2 xii,  352pp. 1996 £35.00

In this collection of twenty-two essays written over the last two decades, Professor Jeffares looks at the work of many of the most famous 17th to 20th century Irish writers - from Swift and Farquhar to Joyce, Yeats, Moore and Somerville & Ross, via Goldsmith, Lady Morgan, Lever, and Maturin as well branching out with essays on Maud Gonne, Wilfrid Scawen Blunt and Sir Robert Richard Torrens.

The titles of the essays are `Swift and the Ireland of his Day', `Swift: The Practical Poet', `Aspects of Swift as a Letter Writer', `Farquhar's Final Comedies', `Goodnatured Goldsmith', `The Vicar of Wakefield', `The Wild Irish Girl', Lady Morgan's O'Donnel', `Maturin the Innovator', `Reading Lever', `Yeats and the Wrong Lever', `Lord Kilgobbin', `Torrens: Irishman in South Australia', `George Moore: Portrait for Radio', `Somerville and Ross: an Introduction', `Yeats's Great Black Ragged Bird', `Memories of Maud Gonne', `The Fortunes of Richard Mahony: An Anglo-Irishman reconsidered', `Blunt: Almost an Honorary Irishman', `Joyce's Precursors', `Joyce's "Done Half by Design"', and `The Realistic Novel in Ireland 1900-1945'.

Together, they provide scholar and general reader alike with an important and stimulating overview of major authors and aspects of Irish literature, some of which deserve much more study than they presently receive.

A. Norman Jeffares is the author of W.B.Yeats: Man and Poet (1949; 1962) and W.B.Yeats: A New Biography (1988), he has edited Yeats's Poems (1989), A Vision (1990) and various other books of Yeats as well as writing a Commentary (1968) and a New Commentary (1984) on Yeats's poems and, with A.S.Knowland, a Commentary on the plays. His co-edited books include The Scientific Background, with M. Bryn Davies, and Irish Childhoods, with Anthony Kamm. In addition to A History of Anglo-Irish Literature and various editions of and writings on English, Irish and American authors, he has edited twenty-four Restoration comedies for the Folio Society. As Derry Jeffares, he has written two books of poems: Brought Up in Dublin and Brought Up to Leave.  His recent work includes The Selected Poems of Swift; The Gonne-Yeats Letters, with Anna MacBride White; Joycechoyce, with Brendan Kennelly; Ireland's Women, with Katie Donovan and Brendan Kennelly. He is co-editing the forthcoming Collins Dictionary of Quotations with Martin Gray.

Irish Literary Studies 46

17/08/2008