Anglo-Irishdrama? Writing for the
stage in Restoration Dublin
Stephen Austin Kelly
The subject of this chapter is the drama written for the Dublin stage in
the reign of Charles II (1660–85).1 Dublin during the Restoration was
a city that enjoyed unprecedented growth and prosperity. It was a hub
of social and cultural activity and had a vibrant literary life. Poetry and
letters circulated in manuscript form and the city’s printers and booksellers supplied literature in print. For those who wished to see literature in
performance, however, the city’s playhouse
From its Nobel laureates to its literary festivals, modern-day Dublin lives up to its role as a literary capital. The question of whether Ireland experienced a cultural and literary Renaissance has received increasing scholarly attention in recent years. This book extends the discussion by engaging with the specific literary culture of its capital city. It begins with an argument for the internationalised literary culture of late medieval Dublin by an analysis of James Yonge's 'Memoriale'. The citizens of Dublin engaged with and actively read texts imported from London, as Dublin's own printing was limited. The book presents case studies that establish Dublin as an emerging city of Renaissance literature by focusing on Edmund Spenser's political and social connections and by examining the literature of complaint emanating from late Elizabethan Dublin. It analyses the constructed authorial personae of Richard Bellings, James Shirley and Henry Burnell residing in Dublin, and discusses the concepts of literary friendship. Sir James Ware's scholarly achievements are analysed and his extensive intellectual community are investigated, revealing an open-minded Dublin community. In addition to being a representative Renaissance activity, translation was harnessed in the country as an 'instrument of state', as shown by translations of Gaelic poetry. The Renaissance literary production in Dublin had a multi-linguistic character with Latin orations taking place in the Trinity College Dublin. The book also addresses the question of whether the English-language drama composed and staged in Restoration Dublin is most accurately described as Anglo-Irish drama or 'English drama written in Ireland'.
Gaelic writing, neo-Latin texts and Anglo-Irishdrama. Eiléan Ní
Chuilleanáin reminds us that ‘Ireland (like many European countries)
38 Andrew Carpenter, ‘Literature in print, 1550–1800’, in Raymond Gillespie and Andrew
Hadfield (eds), The Oxford history of the Irish book: The Irish book in English, 1550 to
1800 (Oxford, 2006), vol. iii, pp. 301–18, at pp. 301, 306.
39 See Coolahan’s chapter in this volume.
40 Gillespie, ‘Reading print, 1550–1770’, p. 142.
GRIBBEN 9781526113245 PRINT.indd 11
is a place where the
Delving into a hitherto unexplored aspect of Irish art history, Painting Dublin,
1886–1949 examines the depiction of Dublin by artists from the late-nineteenth
to the mid-twentieth century. Artists’ representations of the city have long
been markers of civic pride and identity, yet in Ireland, such artworks have
been overlooked in favour of the rural and pastoral, falling outside of the
dominant disciplinary narratives of nationalism or modernism. Framed by the
shift from city of empire to capital of an independent republic, this book
chiefly examines artworks by of Walter Frederick Osborne (1857–1903), Rose Mary
Barton (1856–1929), Jack Butler Yeats (1871–1957), Harry Aaron Kernoff
(1900–74), Estella Frances Solomons (1882–1968), and Flora Hippisley Mitchell
(1890–1973), encompassing a variety of urban views and artistic themes. While
Dublin is renowned for its representation in literature, this book will
demonstrate how the city was also the subject of a range of visual depictions,
including those in painting and print. Focusing on the images created by these
artists as they navigated the city’s streets, this book offers a vivid
visualisation of Dublin and its inhabitants, challenging a reengagement with
Ireland’s art history through the prism of the city and urban life.