This work gathers John V. Kelleher's essays on the most widely known Irish cultural phenomenon - the literary renaissance of the early 20th century. It contains his assessments of Irish literature in its post-Revolutionary phase, and includes essays on the experience of the Irish in America. The text contain essays that examine early Irish literature and culture, opening with a benchmark essay for Irish studies, ""Early Irish History and Pseudo-History"", which was read at the inaugural meeting of the American conference for Irish Studies in 1961. The collection concludes with Kelleher's translations and adaptations of poems in Old, Middle and Modern Irish, illustrating his command of the language at every stage.
John V. Kelleher is a professor emeritus of Irish Studies at Harvard University, where he taught for over forty years. He has written groundbreaking essays on the earliest Old Irish corpus of annals, genealogies, and heroic tales; on ideas of Celticism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; on the Irish Renaissance accomplishments of William Butler Yeats and James Joyce; and on the fiction of Frank O'Connor and Sean O'Faolain. His essays have defined terms and set boundaries for the study of the immigrant and ethnic cultures of Irish America. Charles Fanning is a professor of English and history, as well as the director of Irish and Irish Immigration Studies, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. His books include The Irish Voice in America: 250 Years of Irish-American Fiction, The Exiles of Erin: Nineteenth-Century Irish-American Fiction, and Finley Peter Dunne and Mr. Dooley: The Chicago Years. He has edited New Perspectives on the Irish Diaspora, James T. Farrell's Chicago Stories, Studs Lonigan, and Mr. Dooley and the Chicago Irish.