Friday, July 29, 2016

Books In Ireland

We were lucky to stay near the Samuel Beckett bridge in Dublin. DH went to the Convention centre (with the glass cylinder) for events. I did some pre-reading of my Irish author books before I went and was excited about some of the places to visit. I am not a huge James Joyce fan, but have read Ulysses a first time. I studied Beckett in theatre, and have a soft spot for Yeats. 
I was invited to Trinity College. It was very high on my list. You can't take pictures in the exhibit, but it was well laid out. The wait wasn't too long, but the crowds were thick. If you have read Umberto Eco's Name of the Rose, you've done most of your research.
Behind the exhibit is the Long Library. Truly a wow presence. This room was used in a Star Wars movie for the Jedi library. The Guinness family renovated it. That's why the ceiling is shaped like a barrel.
The first thing I saw on my left was a lovely bust of my favourite, Shakespeare. Each of the sculptures is of an author.

The books are set in side rooms like horse stalls. There is evidence of alphabetizing but it is rather confusing.
Each stall has its own perfect ladder.
These are really old books but are available to scholars.
At the Epic Ireland exhibit, there was a good overview of history and a celebration of Irish artists like Joyce, Beckett and C.S. Lewis.

D and I walked down O'Connell street on one of our first days to see the 100 year anniversary exhibit of the Easter 1916 Uprising. It was beautifully done with artifacts and films.

One of the original proclamations. Another is in the Long Library.

All public buildings and most pubs had some photos and information about those who started the fight to remove Ireland from British domination.

St. Patrick's Cathedral is only a few blocks from Christchurch Cathedral. It is also Protestant, Church of Ireland, or Episcopalean (Anglican).
Inside the cathedral is the burial site of Jonathan Swift. He was Dean of the church, like head minister, for many years. His work is actually really biting satire of individuals of his time.
In the park at Marrion Square is a great statue of Oscar Wilde.

This is the National Library with the most exquisite reading room. But no pictures allowed and no postcards of it to buy. It rivals the reading room at the Library of Congress in DC. Also you are welcome to do genealogy research here.

In the exhibit space, they had a event on W.B. Yeats and it was amazing. Some people wandered in because it had started to rain a little, but they were disappointed with the tables and tables of his writings, under glass. Each area had a theme, like family, the uprising, theatre and publishing. It was so much information, but was gently given. They started with images of his poems being read by famous Irish people. Perfect.

The famous Halfpenny Bridge also crosses the River Liffey, not far from Temple Bar and just celebrated its 200 year birthday with a fresh coat of paint. Across, on the north side, you can see the yellow building.
It's the Winding Stair Bookshop. It reminded me a little of a small BookMan (our local shop) and the people were very quiet and pleasant. A mix of old and new. I really was trying not to buy books because they are heavy, and I can get so many of them at home. 

Loved this more academic bookshop, closer to our edge of town.

I had downloaded The Little Prince on my kindle app and was tickled to see it published in Irish. Such a gentle read, a good one to read again when you are far from home.

At Ulysses Books, a rare book seller, there was an amazing complete set of Roald Dahl.

Here is James Joyce near O'Connell Street. In June they celebrate Bloomsday with tours and pub crawls.
Loved these Lady Bird books introducing topics like the hipster and the hangover. I had some of these when I was little and I found some for my kids when they were learning to read, but the topics were child like and simple for teaching.

We took a tour to NewGrange and to Tara. It was fabulous. The Irish give you lots of time to potter about and have tea or a pint.

 At Tara was the Old Book Shop, but it was a bit of a shambles and a little heavy on new age crystals and such.

I wold have been happy to find a copy of the Turf Cutter's Donkey. My eldest sister used to read it to us and it is a fantastic story of children on an adventure in Ireland. But I did find a copy at our local store, and I didn't prepare with the author's name.

These beautiful journals are hand bound in Ireland. I was tempted several times. But, like yarn and books, I have a few.  I finished a book about Princes of Ireland by Edward Rutherford and handed it along to another guest at the Forge Bed and Breakfast in Galway.
In the duty free at the Dublin airport, I felt that this whiskey explained how the Irish understand their writers.

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