An introduction to all the leading Irish writers and some of the lesser known playwrights, novelists, short story writers, poets, placing them in context and providing a list of their works. Commentaries give brief but telling insights into their work.
The story of Irish writing is followed, beginning with Swift, and working through playwrights Synge and O'Casey to Beckett and Friel; from nineteenth-century poetry through Yeats to Seamus Heaney and Paul Durcan; in novels, from Maria Edgeworth, through Joyce, Elizabeth Bowen, Kate O'Brien, Flann O'Brien to contemporaries Julia O'Faolain, Roddy Doyle and Anne Enright.
Professor Norman Jeffares travelled widely, lecturing on Irish literature from the US to the USSR and in parts of Africa, the Middle East, India and Europe. His main work was on Yeats but he edited and wrote on many Irish writers. His co-edited work includes The Poetry of Joyce in Prose and Verse; Irish Childhoods; Ireland's Women and the Gonne-Yeats Letters. Jeffares founded IASIL (the International Association for the Study of Irish Literature) and ACLCAS (Association for the Study of Commonwealth Literature).