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Renaissance city of literature

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'.

3 Edmund Spenser’s Dublin Andrew Hadfield It has long been accepted that Ireland had a potent effect on the imagination of Edmund Spenser (1552/4–99), the most important non-dramatic poet of the English Renaissance. Often this has been seen in entirely negative terms, especially since C. S. Lewis argued that ‘Spenser was the instrument of a detestable policy in Ireland’, so that by the fifth book of The Faerie Queene ‘the wickedness he had shared begins to corrupt his imagination’.1 That book – at least the allegorical representation of events in Ireland – was

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2 Books, politics and society in Renaissance Dublin Raymond Gillespie On 27 July 1662 James Butler, scion of one of the most prominent AngloIrish families and the newly created first duke of Ormond, arrived in Dublin to take up his post of lord lieutenant of Ireland. Describing that event in 1952, the architectural historian Maurice Craig used what must be one of the most striking phrases in the historical writing about ­seventeenth-century Ireland: ‘The Renaissance, in a word, had arrived in Ireland.’1 In one sense Craig was right. It was only in the late

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7 Translation and collaboration in Renaissance Dublin Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin Translation is an essential activity of a literate age, when that is also an age of multilingual communication. This truth seems especially relevant in Ireland, which like the rest of Europe inherits the polyglot culture of a Christianity inflected by classical learning. In addition, Ireland (like many European countries) is a place where the dominance of a single vernacular has been impossible for almost one thousand years.1 While the Irish middle ages are alive with translation, the

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9 Latin oratory in seventeenth-century Dublin Jason Harris In early 1602, as the lord deputy Charles Blount, Lord Mountjoy, returned victorious from the battle of Kinsale and the cogs of the victors’ propaganda machine began to turn, an unidentified orator in Trinity College Dublin penned an oration that was to be delivered in the lord deputy’s presence upon his arrival in Dublin. There is no evidence as to whether the oration was actually delivered, but it is known that others were commissioned by the city council to welcome the victorious general upon his

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Richard Bellings, James Shirley and Henry Burnell

5 Renaissance Dublin and the construction of literary authorship: Richard Bellings, James Shirley and Henry Burnell Marie-Louise Coolahan That quintessentially Renaissance literary project – the ­humanist ­dialogue translated – was apparently undertaken in Dublin in the early 1580s by the colonial administrator and writer Lodowick Bryskett. Not published until 1606, Bryskett’s A discourse of civill life (adapted from the Italian Giambattista Giraldi Cinthio’s Tre dialoghi della vita civile of 1565) was careful to represent its author at the centre of another

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The scholarly achievements of Sir James Ware

6 ‘A real credit to Ireland, and to Dublin’: the scholarly achievements of Sir James Ware Mark Empey In 1879 the curate of St Werburgh’s Church wrote to the editor of The Irish Builder seeking help to restore the vault of the seventeenth-century antiquary and historian, Sir James Ware, and to solicit subscriptions to erect a mural tablet in his honour. Rev. J. H. McMahon’s intentions were quite explicit: to pay tribute to ‘Ware’s vast merits as a reliable writer of Irish history, and as a real credit to Ireland, and to Dublin, his native city’.1 McMahon

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4 Complaint and reform in late Elizabethan Dublin, 1579–94 David Heffernan In the late spring of 1593, an extensive memorandum concerning the affairs of the kingdom of Ireland was delivered to William Cecil, Lord Burghley and lord high treasurer of England. The fifty-three-page document, entitled ‘A breviat or sumiarie of the causes againste the lord deputye’, had been authored by Robert Legge and outlined in stark and expansive detail the corrupt practices engaged in by the chief governor of Ireland at the time, William Fitzwilliam.1 Legge had sporadically held

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Introduction Kathleen Miller From its Nobel laureates to its literary festivals, modern-day Dublin lives up to its role as a literary capital. But Dublin’s firmly established literary identity raises questions for scholars engaged in the study of another Dublin – that of the medieval and early modern periods. When, in 2010, Dublin was designated a UNESCO City of Literature, a groundbreaking symposium was organised to address the question of whether Dublin was a city of literature during the Renaissance. In September 2012, scholars met, fittingly, in one of the

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Writing for the stage in Restoration Dublin

10 Anglo-Irish drama? 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

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