Frank O’Connor, The Backward Look: A Survey of Irish Literature (1967), 264pp. [incl. index.]

CONTENTS
Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. Early Ireland; 2. The beginning of Poetry; 3. Early Irish Story-telling; 4. Primary Literature; 5. Sagas and Pseudo-sagas; 6. The Norse and After; 7. Romanesque and Gothic; 8. The Renaissance in Ireland; 9. Anglo-Irish Literature; 10. Eighteenth-century Literature in English; 11. The Background of Modern Irish Literature; 12. The Beginning of Modern Literature; 13. Death and Transfiguration; 14. William Butler Yeats (I); 15. William Butler Yeats (II); 16/ All the Olympians; 17. Antithesis (I); 18. Antithesis (II); 19. Transition; 20. And now that our story …’; APPENDIX: Early Irish Story-telling [pp.231-256]; Selected Bibliography [257-60]. [TEXT 1-256]

A Publisher’s Note refers to ‘new thoughts on the interpretation of the texts discussed in the chapters on early Irish story-telling [which he had hoped to incorporate in the present volume but his death, on 10 March 1966, prevented this … Fortunately, these fresh ideas were expressed in lectures at Trinity College dublin, and at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, a few week before his death. These lectures are so significant and illuminating that, despite some repetition of material in the early chapters they are printed in their entirety as an appenedix to this volume.’ The volume is dedicated: ‘For my children /look back to look forward’.

INDEX
Abbey Theatre, 168, i69-70, 178-9, 180, 193; Absentee, The (Edgeworth), 123; Adomnán, St., 56, 236, 243; ‘Adventures of Nera, The’, 237; Aed mac Ainmire, 57; Aedagán, Abbot of Louth, 21; Aeneid, 32, 34, 49, 236, 248, 249; ‘After the Race’ (Joyce), 176, 196; ‘Aideen’s Grave’, 150; Ailill, 32, 33, 34-35, 37-38, 39, 250-5; Ailill Anguba, 43; Alspach, Professor Russell, 122, 123, 124, 12S, 127, 129; An Cleamhnas (Hyde), 176; Anluan, 50, 51, 249; Annals of the Four Masters (Zeuss), 156; ‘Apocryphal Gospel of St. Thomas’, 53-55; Aran Islands, The (Synge), 171; Aristotle, 200-1; Arnold, Matthew, 41, 154, 156-60, 206; Athirne the Exacting, 3, 244; ‘Bardic Poetry’ (Bergin), 12-13; Barrington, Sir Jonah, 127; Beare, Nun of, 58, 65-67; Bede, Venerable, 9, 53, 158; Behan, Brendan, 229; Bell, The, 224; Belloc, Hilaire, 158; ‘Bells of Shandon, The’ (Mahony), 145; Bergin, Osborn, 12-13, 97, 98; Berkeley, Bishop, 123; Beside the Fire (Hyde), 169, 188; Binchy, Professor D. A., 8, 14, 31; ‘Blackbird, The’, 79, 89; Bláthmacc, 53; Blunt, Wilfrid Scawen, 125 [‘Canon of Aughrim’], 183, 184, 191; Boann, 43, 44, 240; Book of Drumsnaught, 249; Book of the Dun Cow, 21; Book of Leinster, 33, 39, 250, 251; Borstal Boy (Behan), 229; Boyd, Thomas, 212, 213; ‘Boyish Feats of Cil Chulainn’ 1, 6, 36, 234-5, 252, 254; ‘Bricriu’s Feast’, 71; Brooke, Charlotte, 6, 130; Browning, Robert, 232; Buckley, Timothy, 14, 225, 227; ‘Burial of King Cormac, The’ (Ferguson), 150; Callanan, Jeremiah Joseph, 144-5; Campbell, Joseph, 176; ‘Canon of Aughrim, The’ (Blunt), 125; Carew, Ellen, 107-8; Carleton, William, 134, 137-8, 139-40, 143, 146, 148-9; Carney, Professor James, 51, 53, 55, 79, 99, 235, 236; Castle Rackrent (Edgeworth), 123, 126-7; Cathleen ni Houlihan (Yeats), 17; ‘Cattle Raid of Cooley, The’, 2, 4, 15, 30-31, 32-40, 46, 47, 48, 55, 70, 71, 95, 233, 234-5, 236, 237, 239, 241, 242, 250-5; ‘Cattle Raid of Froech, The’, 235, 237; Cé1echar, Bishop of Clonmacnois, 21; Cet mac Mágach, 3, 50; Charlemagne, 48; Charwoman’s Daughter, The (Stephens), 213, 214-16; Chrètien de Troyes, 155; Ciarán, St., 56, 232; ‘Cin Dromma Snechta’, 84; Clanricarde, Marquis of, 12; Clarke, Austin, 224, 227-8, 229; Clothru, 45; Collegians, The (Griffin), 139, 146-7; Colmán mac Lénéni, 23-25, 26; Colum, Padraic, 175, 176, 212; Colum Cille, St., 24-26, 31, 236, 243; Conall Cernach, 3, 31, 50, 51, 242, 244-6, 247-8; Conchobar mac Nessa, 3-4, 46, 48, 234-5, 237, 240, 255; Congal, 50-51; Conn the Almoner, 21; Corkery, Daniel, 114, 170; Cormac Connlongas, 34, 255; Cormac MacCarthy, 83; Cormac mac Cuileannáin, 80; Costello, Tomas, 99, 100; Countess Cathleen, The (Yeats), 171, 173, 180; ‘Créd’s Lament’, 58, 59-60; ‘Crock of Gold, The’ (Stephens), 213, 216; Cross, Eric, 225; Crunnchu mac Agnoman, 237-9; Cú Chonnacht O’Clery, 98, 103; Cú Chulainn, 6, 7, 30, 31, 32, 35-36, 37, 39, 45-46, 49-50, 130, 173, 170, 180, 234-5, 239, 247-9, 252, 253 254-5; Cuirithir, 1277-8; 145; Cummíne, St., 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, 65, 66; Curran, John Philpot; Dafydd Ap Gwilym; Dallan Forgaill; ‘Dark Rosaleen’ (Mangan); Davis, Thomas Osborne, 7; ‘Death of Conchobar, The’; ‘Death of Cú Chulainn, The’ [3, 49-50, 236, 247-8, 249]; ‘Death of Derbfhorgaill, The’, 236; ‘Death of Nath Í, The’, 232; Deevey, Teresa, 179; Deirdre of the Sorrows’ (Synge), 176; ‘Denis O’Shaughnessy Going to Maynooth’ (Carleton), 139-40, 148-9; Derdriu, 46-47, 48; Dervorgilla, 45-46, 84, 192-3; Dervorgilla (Gregory), 171, 174, 191-3; ‘Description of the Day of Judgement, A’, 55, 232; ‘Description of the Resurrection, A’, 55, 232; Description of the Western Isles of Scotland (Martin), 13; ‘Deserted Village, The’ (Goldsmith), 122, 123-5; Desmond, Gerald, Earl of, 5, 11, 90, 91, 92-96, 97, 98; ‘Destruction of Dá Derga’s Hostel, The’, 4, 55, 233; ‘Destruction of Dinn Rig, The’, 236; Diarmait 0 Duibne, 80, 92; Diarmuid MacCarthy, 92, 94; Dínertach, 58; Domnall, King of Tara, 24; Donn, 51, 249; Dostoevsky, Fyodor, 207; ‘Downstream’ (Kinsella), 229; Drapier’s Letters (Swift), 120; ‘Dream of Oengus, The’, 237; Dreaming of the Bones, The (Yeats), 192; Drennan, William, 129; Dublin Penny Journal, 151; Dubliners (Joyce), 196, 198, 199, 203, 222; Duffy, Gavan, 154, 155, 156; Dúnchad, Bishop of Clonmacnois, 21; Edgeworth, Maria, 123, 126-7; Edwards, Professor Philip, i, 8; Égertach, 21; Eithne, 43, 240; Elcmar, 42, 43, 240, 242; Eochaid Airem, 43-44; Eochaid Allfather, 43, 240-2; Eogan, 21; Étain Echraide, 43-44, 48, 241-2; Erc mac Cairbre, 49, 247; ‘Eveline’ (Joyce), 176, i96, 197 Exiles (Joyce), 207, 208; Fay, Frank, 169; Fear Flatha Ó Gnimh, 13; Feidelm Noichride, 36, 252; Feidilmid mac Crimthainn, 56-57, 232; Fer Diad, 39, 254; Fergus mac Roich, 15, 30, 32, 34, 35, 37-38, 39-40, 46, 234-5, 252, 253, 254, 255; Ferguson, Sir Samuel [from whom the title], 6, 7, 131, 145, 146, 149-51, 157, 165, 173, 194, 222, 230; Finnegan’s [sic index; Finnegans: text] Wake (Joyce), 211; Fionn mac Cumhaill, 31, 85; Fitzgibbon, John, Earl of Clare, 133; Flanagan, Professor Thomas, 122, 123; 124, 127, 151; ‘Flight to Africa’ (Clarke), 228; Four Plays for Dancers (Yeats), 178-180; Frost, Robert, 145, 177; Fuamnach, 43, 241, 242; ‘Gaol Gate, The’ (Gregory), 171, 188, 190-1; Gárlach Coileánach, 14; Gerald, Earl of Desmond, 5, 11, 90, 91, 92-96, 97, 98; ‘Germans and their Neighbouring Tribes, The’ (Zeuss), 156; Gilbert, Stuart, 204, 205-6; Giolla Bride Mac Conmhidhe, 87-88, 89, 91; Gisippus (Griffin), 146; Gogarty, Oliver St. John, 168, 207; ‘Going into Exile’ (O’Flaherty), 222-23; Goldsmith, Oliver, 115, 122-5; Gonne, Maud, 164, 166, 173, 177, 178; Gorman, Abbot of Louth, 21; ‘Grace’ (Joyce), 203; ‘Grace before Death’ (Mael Ísu Ó Brolchán), 80; Grammatica Celtica (Zeuss), 156 Grania, 80, 82; Grattan, Henry, 120, 133, 134; ‘Great Hunger, The’ (Kavanagh), 224; ‘Green Helmet, The’ (Yeats), 176; Greene, Professor David, i, 8, 26, 33, 36-37, 50, 51, 74, 243; Greene, Professor David H., 184; Gregory, Lady, 146, 160, 166, 167, 168, 169, 171, 173, 174, 176, 178-9, 183, 184, 186, 188, 189-93, 194, 217 Griffin, Gerald, 122, 139, 143, 146-8 Griffith, Arthur, 17S, 186; Guaire, King of Aidne, 58, 60; Gulliver’s Travels (Swift), 40; Hackett, Father, 107-8; Hail and Farewell! (Moore), 173, 176, 187 n.; Hardy, Thomas, 9, 41, 147 Hauser, Arnold, 158; Healy, Maurice, 127; Herne’s Egg, The (Years), 182 Higgins, F. R., 163; History of the English Church (Bede), 9, 158; Hogan, Professor James, 226; ‘Home Sickness’ (Moore), 197; Hopkins, Gerard Manley, 75; Horizon, 224; Huc, E. R., 134; Hughes, Herbert, 176; Hyde, Douglas, 168, 169, 176, 188, 189, 228; In the Shadow of the Glen (Synge), 186, 187; Ireland’s Welcome to the Stranger (Nicholson), 134-7, 138-9; Irish Melodies (Moore), 143-4; ‘Ivy Day in the Committee Room’ (Joyce), 161, 199, 203; Jackson, Kenneth, 72; ‘John O’Dwyer of the Glen’, 110-11, 118; Johnson, Dr. Samuel, 129; Joseph (confessor), 21; Joyce, James, i55, 161-2, 163, 172, 176, 186, 195-211, 212, 213, 214, 222; ‘Judgements of Blood-lyings’, 29; Juno and the Paycock (O’Casey), 219; Kavanagh, Patrick, 213, 224, 229; Keane, Sir John, 225; Keating, Geoffrey, 6; Kelly, Michael, 109; King, Archbishop, of Dublin, 115-18, 120; ‘King and Hermit’, 58, 193; King’s Threshold, The (Yeats), 176, 196; Kinsella, Thomas, 229; Knott, Eleanor, 78, 89, 90; Knox, John, 32, 256; Lake, The (Moore), 176; ‘Lament for Art O’Leary’, 11-12, 14; Laoiseach Mac An Bhaird (Lewis Ward), 103-4; Larcom, Sir Thomas Aiskew, 149; Laurence, St., 84; Lavin, Mary, 229; Lawless, Emily, 212; Lawrence, D. H., 164, 168, 187, 207; ‘Let Us Be Merry’ (Curran), 127, 145; Liadan, 58, 60-64; ‘Liadan and Cuirithir’, 16, 58, 60-64, 65, 193; Luchairán, 21; Lugaid of the Red Stripes, 45, 46, 247-48; ‘Lullaby’, 80; ‘Mac Con Clinne’s Dream’, 234, 240; Mac Dá Cherda, 58, 61; ‘Mac Dathó’s Pig’, 50, 51, 52, 248, 249; MacBride, Major John, 173, 178; MacCarthy, Sir Desmond, 109, 211; MacEgan, Tadhg, 91; Macha, 16, 31, 38, 65, 237-9; ‘MacLeod, Fiona’ (William Sharp), 167; Macpherson, James, 129-30; Mael Chiaráin, 21; Mael Fhothartaig, 50-51; Mael Ísu Ó Brolchán, 79-80; Mael Muire, 21, 83, 233; Magee, William, 18; Magennis, Professor William, 226; Maguire, Hugh, 100-1; Mahony, Sylvester, 145; Malachy, St., 83; Mangan, James Clarence, 18, l01, 131, 143, 146, 151-3, 157, 165; Martin, Martin [auth. of Description&c.], 13; Martyn, Edward, 172, 195; Martyr, The (O’Flaherty), 222; ‘May Day’ 76, 77-78; Mayor of Casterbridge, The (Hardy), 19; Medb, Queen of Connacht, 30-31, 32, 33-35, 37-38, 39, 65, 250-5; Merryman [sic] , Bryan, 124, 130, 140, 226; Mess Gegra, 3, 50, 240, 244-6, 248; Meyer, Kuno, 50, 57, 77, 156, 193; Midir, 43, 44, 241, 242; Midnight Court, The (Merryman), 124, 130, 126; ‘Mr Hunter’s Day’ [i.e., germ of Ulysses] (Joyce), 203; Mo Chota, St. 22; Modest Proposal, A (Swift), 120-1; Mongan, 58; Monstrous Regiment of Women (Knox), 32, 256; Moore, George, 167, 168, 169, 173, 176, 184, 187n., 193, 196-7, 222, 223; Moore, Thomas, 18, 131, 143-4, 145, 157, 192; ‘Municipal Gallery Revisited, The’, (Yeats), 175; Murphy, Gerard, 72, 77; ‘Nameless One, The’, (Mangan), 151; New Songs (Russell), 176; Nicholson, Asenath, 134-7, 138-9; ‘Night before Larry was Stretched, The’, 128; Noisi, 46-47, 48; ‘Nun of Beare, The’, 58, 60, 61, 65-67; ‘O Woman of the Piercing Wail’ (Mangan), 153; O’Brien, Edna, 229; O’Carolan, Turlough, 115; O’Carroll, Margaret, 94; O’Casey, Sean, 154, 213, 216-21, 224; O’Connell, Eileen, 11-12; O’Daly, Geoffrey, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 96, 100; O’Daly, Murrough, 17, 86, 89; O’Donnell, Rory, Earl of Tyrconnell, 102; O’Donoghue, D. J., 134; O’Donovan, Gerald, 195; O’Donovan, John, 86, 91, 149, 156; O’Dwyer, John, 110-10; O’Faolain, Sean, 158, 224, 227, 229; O’Flaherty, Liam, 222-23, 227; O’Grady, Standish, 194; O’Higgins, Kevin, 151, 223; O’Higgins, Tadhg, 89, 103; O’Hussey, Eochy, 100-2, 107, 153; O’Leary, Colonel Arthur [of ‘The Lament’], 11; O’Leary, John, 165, 166; O’Leary, Father Peter, 141-2; O’Rahilly, Egan, 113-14; O’Rahilly, T. F., 31, 97; ‘O’Rourke’s Wife’ (O’Higgins), 99-100; O’Ryan, Edmund, 111-13; ‘Ode to the Maguire’ (O’Hussey), 100-02, 146, 153; Oengus, 43, 44, 241, 242; Oengus of Clonenagh, 68-69; Old Munster Circuit (Healy), 127; On Baile’s Strand (Yeats), 41, 176, 190, 196; On the Study of Celtic Literature (Arnold), 157-60; Only Child, An (O’Connor), 228; Only Jealousy of Emer, The (Yeats), 179-80; ‘Ossian’, 129; Parnell, Charles Stewart, 134, 155, 160-61, 198; Patrick, St., 11, 20, 31, 57; ‘Pearl of the White Breast’, 145; Pearse, Patrick, 7, 178, 220; Personal Sketches (Barrington), 127; Petrie, George, 6, 35, 136, 137, 142, 145, 149, 150, 151, 194; Playboy of the Western World, The (Synge), 170, 175, 184, 187-8, 189, 193; Plough and the Stars, The (O’Casey), 219-20, 222; Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Joyce), 161-2, 172, 198, 199, 202, 203, 211; Pot of Broth, The (Yeats), 176; Pound, Ezra, 205; Pritchett, V. S., 200, 211; Pyle, Hilary, 213; ‘Red-Haired Man’s Wife, The’, 144; Reliques of Ancient Irish Poetry (Brooke), 30; Richard de Burgo, 17, 90; Riders to the Sea (Synge), 176, 187, 188, 190; Rising of the Moon, The (Gregory), 168, 171, 190, 193; Robinson, Lennox, 178, 179, 220; Rónán, 50, 57; ‘Rónán’s Kin-slaying’, 50-51, 52, 57, 236, 249; Russell, George (A.E.), 163, 164, 165, 167, 173, 176, 212, 213, 219, 223; ‘Scholar and his Cat, The’, 52; Sedulius of Liège, 51; Senchán Torpóist, 15, 30, 32; ‘September 1913’ Yeats), 177; Shadow of a Gunman, The (O’Casey), 217-18, 219, 222; Shaw, Bernard, 223, 224, 226; Short View of the State of Ireland (Swift), 119; ‘Sick-bed of Cú Chulainn, The’, 45, 57, 71, 237; ‘Siege of Howth, The’, 3, 50, 51, 236, 244-8, 249; Sigerson, Dora (Mrs. Clement Shorter), 177; Sigerson, George, 163; Silence of the Valley, The’ (O’Faolain), 227; ‘Sisters, The’ (Joyce), 176, 196; Social History of Art (Hauser), 158; Sohrab and Rustum (Arnold), 41; Songs of Uladh (Hughes), 176; Spreading the News (Gregory), 176, 188, 190, 196; Spring Sowing (O’Flaherty), 222, 223, 227; Stephen Hero (joyce), 198, 200-1; Stephens, James, 98, 213-16, 221, 222; ‘Story of Macha, The’, 237-40; Strong, L. A. G., 143; ‘Suibne Ceilt’, 78; ‘Summer’, 76-77; ‘Supernatural Songs’ (Yeats), 105; Swift, Jonathan, 115-21, 123, 126, 133; Synge, J. M., 146, 167, 168, 170, 171-2, 175-6, 177, 183-9, 191, 194; Tailor and Ansty, The (Buckley and Cross), 225-6; ‘Tempest’, 75; Tennyson, Lord, 42, 158; Teresa and other Stories (O’Faolain), 227; Thomas Muskerry (Colum), 176, 212; Thurneysen, Rudolf, 3, 4, -5, 9, 4, 15, 33, 34, 35, 36, 39, 70, 235, 239, 247, 248, 249; Tinker’s Wedding, The (Synge), 187; ‘To a Poet who would have me Praise certain Bad Poets’ (Yeats), 175; Tolstoy, Leo, 47, 164, 168; Tone, Theobald Wolfe, 117, 128, 130; Torbach, Abbot of Armagh, 21; Tracy’s Ambition (Griffin), 147-8; Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry (Carleton), 140n.; Travelling Man, The (Gregory), 171, 190; Travels in Tartary and Thibet (Huc), 134; Trevelyan, Sir Charles, 133; ‘Two Gallants’ (Joyce), 199; Ulysses (Joyce), 40, 198, 203-7, 208-211, 214; ‘Uná Bhán’, 99; Untilled Field, The (Moore), 193, 196, 222; Virgil, 32, 49, 52, 236, 249; ‘Vision of Adomnán, The’, 55, 232; ‘Voyage of Mael Dúin, The’, 42, 159, 232; ‘Wake of William Orr, The’ (Drennan), 129; Walsh, John Edward, 127, 128; Well of the Saints, The (Synge), 187; ‘Winter Night, A’, 80; With the Wild Geese (Lawless), 212; ‘Woman of Three Cows, The’, 80; ‘Wooing of Emer, The’, 55, 233; ‘Wooing of Étaín, The’, 42-45, 55, 233, 240-3; Wordsworth, William, 185-6; ‘Wreck of the Deutschland’ (Hopkins), 75; Yeats, W. B., 7, 18, 41, 80, 105, ‘14, 130, 131, 146, 149, 161, 162, 163-82, 183, 184, 185, 186, 190, 192, 194, 195-6, 197, 202, 210-11, 212, 223, 224, 229, 230; Yellow Bittern, The (Corkery), 170, 171; Zeuss, Johann Kaspar, 156; Zimmer, Heinrich, 21. NOTE also his comments on the 18thc. Ascendancy, 126.

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