My Irish heritage is almost purely nominal at this point, overwhelmed by it is by the centuries since my Irish ancestor realized she could ditch Ireland for the New World and the whole “mostly French” thing. But such things are mere technicalities when you’re named after an Irish county, turn ruddy in the sun, and the only drink you like is Bailey’s: I gladly and loudly declaim I’m an Irishwoman as much as I declaim my status as a French kid. So, in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day (when everyone else joins me in being Irish), I thought I’d highlight a few things you can read (or watch!) to celebrate the Emerald Isle.
Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime and Other Stories by Oscar Wilde
I only brought one piece of Irish literature with me to Ireland. (For shame, McBride, for shame.) The rest were either French (Alexandre Dumas) or Scottish (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, although he has some Irish roots, so that… counts? I don’t know). But I couldn’t resist bringing some Oscar Wilde while I visited Ireland, and a short story collection seemed just the thing to read between visits on the bus on my phone.
Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime and Other Stories collections “Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime”, “The Canterville Ghost”, “The Sphinx Without a Secret”, “The Model Millionaire”, and “The Portrait of Mr. W. H.”—the last not included in the original 1891 edition, but appearing nine years later in the 1900 edition.
On December 29th, after a semester learning about Irish film, literature, and history, I set off on a two and a half week tour of Ireland and Northern Ireland. I have a lot of issues with travel, so I was delighted to find that I actually enjoyed myself (besides the stomach cramps and Martian death flu, of course) and I spent a lot of time thinking, as well as rushing about from site to site with my tour group. Because we covered so much ground, my coverage of my trip will take up a few posts—three, most likely, but perhaps more if more comes back to me.
Today’s selections are really only related because they’re classics and briefly touch upon Shakespeare or Shakespearean England. That’s all I got; it’s the holidays, folks, I’m probably still asleep right now.
For today’s selections from my reading list, we have classics alike in dignity… and recently reissued (or, in one book’s case, retold) in the past few years.