Earlier this month, before I left for my vacation to Ireland, my good friend and award-winning writer Sue Diaz wished me a bon voyage. She also reminded me that writers are held in high regard in Ireland. “Mention that you’re one while visiting a pub, and — who knows — it could mean a free Guinness.”    

Well, I didn’t receive any complimentary pints, but I saw evidence of Ireland’s rich writing history everywhere. During my stay, I stumbled upon the Dublin Writers Museum where local Irish literary celebrities from the past 300 years are brought to life through their books, letters, portraits and personal items.    

Journalist and author Maurice Gorham (1902-1975) proposed the concept to Dublin Tourism. The building, a restored Georgian mansion on Parnell Square, is a treasure in itself.  

 

  

W. B. Yeats

 

Through its association with the Irish Writers’ Centre it provides a link with living writers and the international literary scene. On a national level it acts as a center, simultaneously pulling together the strands of Irish literature and complementing the smaller, more detailed museums devoted to individuals like Joyce, Shaw, Yeats and Pearse.   

The museum boasts lots of works “representing the milestones in the progress of Irish literature from Gulliver’s Travels to Dracula, The Importance of Being Earnest, Ulysses and Waiting for Godot. Most of these are first or early editions, recapturing the moment when they first surprised the world. There are books inscribed to Oliver Gogarty by W.B. Yeats and to Brinsley MacNamara by James Joyce, while a first edition of Patrick Kavanagh’s The Great Hunger includes in the poet’s own hand a stanza which the prudish publisher declined to print.”     

Visit www.writersmuseum.com before you plan your trip to Dublin and learn more about the Dublin Writers Museum.    

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