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Dogs Days in Rathmines

dog by Tarsila KruseFor the month of February, Rathmines Library will be going to the dogs, or rather, the dogs will be coming to us!  Tarsila Kruse’s exhibition, 100 days of Dogs, will be visited by 200 local schoolchildren, we will be running a Paws and Claws Animals in Literature Quiz and Canine Capers, two doggy-themed films, will be shown  in the library on the afternoons of 16th and 17th February.

For schools, we will have some very special visitors to library. Their minders will also be along  tell us about the valuable work they do in the community.

New Laureate for Irish Fiction - Sebastian Barry.

Sebastian BarryCongratulations to Sebastian Barry, son of Dublin and well regarded around here this long time as he embarks on his three year stint as Laureate for Irish Fiction.

As who for what?

The Laureateship is an initiative of the Arts Council which has the following aims:

  • honouring an established Irish writer of fiction;
  • encouraging a new generation of writers;
  • promoting Irish literature nationally and internationally;
  • encouraging the public to engage with high quality Irish fiction.

News from Nelson: Flags

VictoryThe first time I was here, flags were an essential part of communication and identity.  I used flags myself on HMS Victory which was the most important ship at Trafalgar and was known as ‘the flagship’.  Most famously, I sent a signal to the rest of the fleet, spelled out in flags and saying: ‘England expects every man to do his duty’.  When I died at Trafalgar – leading from the front as usual – my men were distraught, including 1,800 Irishmen who served with me, of whom 403 were Dublinmen.   My body was packed into a cask of brandy and sent to London for a state funeral at Westminster Abbey, when my coffin was draped with national flags from Victory. The funeral over, my most senior men cut up the flag and divided it among themselves.  Well believe it or not – a large portion of the flag was auctioned last week in London.  The estimates were £80,000 to £100,000 but in the end it fetched £297,000. You see, I continue to be respected and popular.  But oh! if only I had some of that flag myself – I would now be comfortably off, as my overheads are nil!

Manuscript of the Month: The Insect Play

The Insect PlayMicheál Mac Liammóir and Hilton Edwards founded the Dublin Gate Theatre in 1928 and this year its 90th anniversary will be marked with seminars, exhibitions and publications.  It is worth remembering however that the duo had to share the Gate Theatre building with Longford Productions, on a rotating six-month basis.  While Edwards-Mac Liammóir toured in Europe as much as possible while they were temporarily homeless, more often than not they availed of a residency in the Gaiety Theatre. 

Image: Poster advertising The Insect Play (view larger version)

The Insect Play was performed at the Gaiety starting on 22 March 1943.  It answered Hilton and Micheál’s avowed intention to bring the finest and most challenging of European theatre to Dublin.  The original play was written in 1921 in Czech by Karel and Josef Kapek and here it has been translated by Myles na gCopaleen.

The 21st John T. Gilbert Commemorative Lecture

Michael Griffin(Podcast) 'Live from the Conniving House: Poetry and Music in Eighteenth-Century Dublin' the 21st Annual Sir John T. Gilbert Lecture, was given by Dr Michael Griffin, University of Limerick at the Dublin City Library and Archive on Wednesday, 24 January 2018.

The Conniving House tavern, long since forgotten, opened in 1725. On the water not far from where Sandymount Green is now, it is the cultural and geographical starting point for this lecture on the lively interaction of poetic and musical cultures in eighteenth-century Dublin. The only verbal account that we have of that venue comes from Life of John Buncle, esq. by Thomas Amory, who heard there the famous Larry Grogan playing the pipes while Jack Lattin, ‘the most agreeable of companions’, played matchlessly on the fiddle. Other writers of the period, such as Laurence Whyte and Charles Coffey, recorded an energetic native musical culture. This lecture explores a fascinating moment in the history of Dublin’s poetical and musical cultures, one which yields several compelling instances of cross-cultural connivance.

John O’Grady (1889 - 1916) & the Jacob’s Garrison

John O'GradyJohn O'Grady was a member of A Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. He was the only volunteer from the Jacob's Factory Garrison killed in action during the 1916 Rising.

Last year we were honoured to welcome Dermot Hogan, a relative of John O'Grady to our Reading Room, and he kindly showed us some of the 1916 memorabilia carefully preserved by the family for over 100 years. Pictured below is the 1916 medal awarded to John by the President of Ireland. The 1916 Medal is awarded to persons with recognised military service during the 1916 Rising. The medal is bronze and it depicts the death scene of Cú Chulainn, surrounded by a circle of flames. The reverse is inscribed "Seachtain na Cásca 1916 John O'Grady".

2017 Gilbert Lecture Publication Available

Gilbert 2017 cover detailThe 20th annual Sir John T. Gilbert Commemorative Lecture,  'Gentlemen’s Daughters in Dublin Cloisters: The social world of nuns in early eighteenth century Dublin', is now available for purchase in book form.  The lecture looks at the social world of the communities of Poor Clare and Dominican nuns who established themselves in the Oxmantown/Grangegorman area of Dublin in the early eighteenth century. The 20th Gilbert lecture was given by Bernadette Cunningham, at Dublin City Library & Archive on Wednesday 25 January 2017.

The book was launched on Wednesday, 24 January, on the occasion of the 21st Gilbert lecture at the Dublin City Library & Archive in Pearse Street. Price is €8 and details are available on how to purchase / check availability in the library catalogue.

Podcast: William Spence Engineering Works Cork Street

William SpenceIn this podcast ‘William Spence: A Victorian engineer in the right place at the right time’, Cathy Scuffil, Dublin City Council Historian in Residence, looks at the history of William Spence Engineering Works Cork Street. 

The Cork Street Foundry and Engineering Works of William Spence and Son was established in Dublin in 1856.  It continued trading over two generations of the Spence family, with no small measure of success until 1930.  The company was situated on a large, circa 3 acre industrial site located at 105 -109 Cork Street, Dublin, on a site that, until the early 1850s, had housed the tanning and currier business of a James O’Neill, who also had a residence at 26 Cork Street.

Who Next…? A guide to children's authors

Children's booksWho Next...? is specially designed to help parents, teachers and librarians in encouraging children and young people to explore the world of reading. When children ask: “Who can I read next?” or “Who writes like my favourite author?”, the answers are in Who Next…? 

This is a great tool to help children explore the world of reading. As the award winning author, Alan Gibbons, says “A reading child is a successful child”. Writers of children’s fiction are listed with suggestions of other authors who write in a similar way, together with key book and series titles.

What did Rathmines Library Book Clubs read in 2017?

booksRathmines book clubs have had a busy year! If you are looking for reading inspiration or ideas for your book club you'll find lots in this list.  Included are a mix of contemporary literary favourites, modern classics and books in translation. Book club favourites from the past ten years such as The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Olive Kitteridge and The Lacuna come highly recommended. It's great to see modern American classics East of Eden, Cider with Rosie and Fahrenheit 451 continue to provoke thought and discussion.

Books clubs are a super way to expand your reading, your mind and your social circle! Why not join one of our friendly book clubs this year? Or if you already have a book club you might consider affiliating with Dublin City Public Libraries. Benefits include ready access to books, priority booking for our annual Readers' Day, copies of Fiction Matters, and advance notification about many book events.

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