Eleanor Knott

1886-1975 [Philippa Marie Eleanor Knott; pseuds. “EK,”, “PMEK”, “Finnéigeas]”; b. 18 Nov., Sallymount, Co. Dublin; dg. of John Freeman Knott, a physician, and his Cornish wife Philippa [nee Balcombe]; ed. Abercorn Inst., Harcourt St., Dublin, and School of Irish Learning (under R. I. Best); contrib. to Sinn Fein and Nationalist; joined RIA Dictionary of Irish Language and the Simplification of Irish Spelling projects. appt. lect. in Irish, TCD, 1928; MA, 1932; PhD, 1938; Prof. of Irish [personal chair], 1939; joint ed. Eriu; Irish Classical Poetry, Commonly Called Bardic Poetry (Dublin: Three Candles Press 1957; 2nd edn. 1960); ‘an Irish Seventeenth-century translation of the Rule of St. Claire’, in Ériu 15 (1948), pp.1-187; also ed. Tadhg Dall Ó hUiginn; elected MRIA, 1949-55 - the first woman-member; sufffered blindness and spent later years in Molyneux Home for the Blind; d. 4 Jan. 1975; bur. Mount St. Jerome Cem., Dublin; obit. in Irish Times, 6 Jan. 1975; her papers are held in TCD Library; her corresp. is at the RIA.

[ There is an extensive article on Eleanor Knott in Wikipedia - online; accessed 20.02.2024.
The entry in Dictionary of Irish Biography (RIA 2009) is by Eoghan Ó Raghallaigh - online. ]

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Studies & Editions
  • Foclóir d’Eisirt (1910), and Do. (Baile Atha Cliath: Brún agus ÓO; Nuallán 1919), 56pp. [eBook available at WordCat - online].
  • ed., ‘Flight of the Earls, 1607’, in Ériu, Vol. 8 (RIA 1916), pp.191-94 [available in JSTOR - online]. .
  • ed. & trans., A Bhfuil Aguinn Dár Chum Tadhg Dall O’Huiginn (1550-1591): Idir Mholadh agus Marbhnadh Aoir agus Ábhacht Iomarbháigh agus Iomchasaoid do chuir i n-eagar agus d’aistrig go béarla Saxan [The Bardic Poems of Tadhg Dall O Huiginn] (1922, 1926).
  • Togail Bruidne Da Derga [Yellow Book of Lecan version] (1936, 1963).
  • with Gerard Murphy, Early Irish Literature, introduced by James Carney (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul 1966), vii, 205pp.
  • An Introduction to Irish Syllabic Poetry of the Period 1200-1600 With Selections, Notes, and Glossary (Cork UP [NUI] 1928, 2nd edn. 1934; reps. DIAS 1957, 1994, 2005), xii + 135pp.
  • ed., A Seventeenth Century Irish Translation of the Rule of St. Clare by an tAthair Aodh Ó Raghailligh, an tAthair Sémus Ó Síaghail and an Dubháltach Mhac Fir Bhisigh; with notes and glossarial index (1950).
  • Irish Classical Poetry, Commonly Called Bardic Poetry (Published for the Cultural Relations Committee of Ireland by Colm Ó Lochlainn, Dublin, 19571957, 1960, 1978), 82pp.

Ed. & trans. works of by An t-Athair Peadar Ua Laoghaire (1839-1920) - viz., An Cleasaidhe: Do Sgriobh o’n Seana Sgeal “Echtra in Chetharnaig Chaoilriabaig nó Chetharnaig Uí Dhomnaill” [(1915); Táin Bó Cuailgne: ’na Dhráma (1915 ); Lughaidh Mac Con An t-Athair Pea[d]ar Ua Laoghaire […] do sgríobh o’n seana-sgeal “Cath Muige Mucrime” [by MUCRAMA] (1915, 1917).

Miscellaneous incls. obituaries

    • ‘Ernest Windisch, 1844-1918’, in Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review (June 1919), 264-67.
    • ‘Maud Joynt’, in Eigse 2 (1940), pp.226-29
    • ‘Osborn Bergin, 1873-1950’ in Ériu 16 (1952), 1-3.
    • ‘Thomas Francis O’Rahilly’, in Ériu 17 (1955)
    • ‘Obituary Eamonn Ó Tuathail’, in Éigse 8 (1956), 263-267.
    • Richard Irvine Best’ in Ériu 19 (1962), 123-125.

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D. A. Binchy, ‘Eleanor Knott (1886–1975)’, in Ériu, xxvi (1975), 182–85; ‘Eleanor Knott’, in Kit & Cyril Ó Céirín, Women of Ireland: A Biographic Dictionary (‎Tir Eolas 1996), q.pp. ; Eoin Mac Cárthaigh, ‘Eleanor Knott’, in  Léachtaí Cholm Cille, xxxv (2005), pp.40–68.

See also: Gerry Smyth, Decolonisation and Criticism: The Construction of Irish Literature (London: Pluto Press 1998), pp.185f. [extract]; see also W. B. Stanford, Ireland and the Classical Tradition (IAP 1976, 1984).

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Gerry Smyth, Decolonisation and Criticism: The Construction of Irish Literature (London: Pluto Press 1998), writes: ‘An authentic tradition, linked to an authentic identity, underpins contemporary specialised research; yet, in spite of the “general reader” invoked in the prefatory note, the discourse disdains contemporary sanction by the inheritors of that tradition and that identity. Significiance sitll turns on highly esoteric distinctions - style, tone, meter [sic], rhyme, genre, grammar, allusion and a great wealth of secondary scholarship. An unbridgeable gap which is “identified” at a conceptual level (between classical and popular poetic traditions) is confirmed and reconstituted by the contemporary critical discourse.’ (p.185.) Smyth quotes Knott: ‘In any case it remains for us a treasury of idiom, of poetic style, of legendary history and tradition, however pathetic as a quasi-political enterprise it may now appear.’ (Knott, p.98; Smyth, p.186.)

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Kith & kin? (1): Mary John Knott, Two Months in Tralee [1836] (Ennis: Clasp Press 1997), 255pp., facs. of travel guide.

Kith & kin? (2): Eleanor Knott, author of &145;Nationalism and Belonging’, in Nations and Nationalism (April 2017) and political studies of Crimea and Moldovia.

Oxford Companion to Irish Literature, ed. Robert Welch (OUP 1996) lacks an entry for Eleanor Knott.

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