Abraham (Bram) Stoker was and Irish writer, best known as the author of the Gothic horror tale Dracula. He was born in November 8, 1847 in Dublin. His father was a civil servant and his mother was a charity worker and writer. Stoker was a sickly child and spent a lot of time in bed. In 1864 Stoker entered Trinity College Dublin. While attending college he began working as an Irish civil servant. He also worked part time as a freelance journalist and drama critic. In 1876 he met Henry Irving, a famous actor, and they soon became friends. Not long after that, Stoker met and fell in love with an aspiring actress named Florence Balcombe. In 1878 Stoker accepted a job working in London as Irving’s personal secretary. On December that year, Stoker and his new wife moved to England to join Irving. His first book The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland though written while he was still in Dublin, was published in 1879. Turning to fiction late in life, Stoker published his first novel, The Snake’s Pass, a romantic thriller with a bleak western Ireland setting, in 1890. His masterpiece, Dracula, appeared in 1897. While in England Stoker also wrote several novels and short stories. Two years after Stoker’s death, his widow, Florence Stoker, published as part of a posthumous collection of short stories Dracula’s Guest, which, most contemporary scholars believe, text editors had excised from the original Dracula manuscript. Although best known for “Dracula”, Stoker wrote eighteen books before his death in 1912. He died of exhaustion at the age of 64.
Rob Doyle is an Irish writer. He was born in Dublin and holds a first-class honours degree in Philosophy and an MPhil in Psychoanalysis from Trinity College Dublin. His first novel, Here Are the Young Men, was published in 2014 and was chosen as a book of the year by the Irish Times, Independent, Sunday Times and Sunday Business Post, and was shortlisted in the Best Newcomer category for the Bord Gáis Irish Book Awards. Doyle’s second book, This Is the Ritual, was published in January 2016 and was a book of the year in the New Statesman, Sunday Times and Irish Times. His fiction, essays, and criticism have appeared in The Guardian, Observer, Vice, Dublin Review, Irish Times, Sunday Times, Sunday Business Post, Stinging Fly, Gorse, Dalkey Archive’s Best European Fiction 2016 and elsewhere. Rob Doyle is editor of the Dalkey Archive’s Anthology of Irish Literature, due for publication in 2017. He played the lead role in Hit the North, a feature film due for release in 2017. He currently lives in Paris.
Pádraic Ó Conaire is today celebrated as one of the greatest and most prolific writers in the Irish language. Amongst his most famous works is the short story M’asal beag dubh (My little black donkey), and the novel Deoraíocht (Exile). Ó Conaire was born by the docks in Galway in 1882, and had a relatively privileged upbringing despite the fact that he was orphaned by the age of eleven. He spent a period living with his uncle in Garaffin, Ros Muc, Connemara. Although the household was English-speaking, the area was in the Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking area) and Ó Conaire learned to speak Irish fluently. He later attended boarding school in Blackrock College in Dublin. In 1899, Ó Conaire joined the Civil Service in London. He started to write extensively, winning many prizes for his stories and books, but also began to drink heavily. Ó Conaire married Mary McManus and had four children, but returned to Ireland in 1914 leaving his family behind. In Ireland, Ó Conaire joined the Republican movement and, following the establishment of the Irish Free State, set up a branch of the Labour Party in Galway. However, he gradually became disillusioned and his writings became darker and more despairing. His later years were spent in Galway and were characterised by poverty and alcohol abuse. In 1928, at the age of 46, Ó Conaire died alone and penniless in Richmond Hospital, Dublin. He is buried in the New Cemetery in Bohermore, Galway.
Born in Dublin, satirist and clergyman Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) maintained his critical view on the British hegemony in Ireland. In his most familiar work of fiction, Gulliver’s Travels (1726), Swift sends protagonist Lemuel Gulliver “into several remote nations of the world,” to find human folly. In his close-to-home “modest proposal” of 1729, however, Swift suggests that the Irish people should eat their own children in order to improve the economy. “A Modest Proposal” was initially published under a pseudonym in order to keep the author of personal harm.
Irish author James Joyce has written fifteen short stories – which were collected into one volume and titled Dubliners – and defined them as chapters in the history of his hometown’s morality. Joyce, one of the greatest Modernist writers of the early 20th century, is best known for his monumental novel Ulysses (1922), in which he designed and created his own literary style. Joyce was born in Dublin in 1882 and grew up in a Catholic environment. As an adult, he moved to Europe, and over the years lived in Italy, France, and Switzerland. The Catholic Church and the censorship in Ireland banned his works, which Joyce took much trouble to have them published. Finnegans Wake is his last book, published in 1939. Joyce died in Zurich in 1941. Each year, on the 16th of June, Bloomsday is celebrated in Ireland and worldwide, in honor of Joyce. On this day, Joyce fans hold public readings of Ulysses.
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