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   Tales of Old Ireland
 

Tales of Old Ireland

Author: O'Mara, Michael Set In . . .
 Europe, Northern Ireland, Ireland
Genre: Reference
Time Frame: 20th Century
Published: 1998
Description: "Tales of Old Ireland" gathers together stories of an Ireland which has all but disappeared. This is Ireland before the automobile and the tourist. It is a country of long-suffering peasants, priests struggling with their consciences and eccentric Irish gentry. These latter are celebrated most famously in the stories of Somerville and Ross. The "Holy Island" is from their best-known work "Some Experiences of an Irish RM". W.B. Yeats's short stories are, as one would expect from a great poet and the leader of the Irish Renaissance, poetic celebrations of Irish legends and the spirit of old Ireland. No anthology designed to evoke Ireland before the onset of the modern industrial age would be complete without "The Dead", James Joyce's portrait of the Misses Morkan's annual dance and a woman's sudden yearning for her long dead lover. "Tales of Old Ireland" also takes the opportunity of reprinting stories by authors whose work was once highly prized but is now neglected. George Moore, for instance, is now mainly remembered for his novel "Esther Waters" but his short stories are sensitive and memorable. "Homesickness" is a moving study on a perennial theme, the Irish American's nostalgia for "the old country". Two other writers, William Carleton and Daniel Corkery, stand out as powerful story-tellers whose work needs to be read by anyone interested in the great tradition of Irish literature. "Tales of Old Ireland" is a unique anthology which evokes the Ireland that existed a century ago. It reveals a strong tradition of Irish story-telling and provides a vivid portrait of Ireland's past.
  
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