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Astride a White Horse

Declan Kiberd: Bridget Clearly

6 January 2000
The Burning of Bridget Cleary: A True Story 
by Angela Bourke.
Pimlico, 240 pp., £10, August 1999, 0 7126 6590 0
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... people.’ ‘Of course I don’t,’ he chortled. ‘But I’m very frightened of ’em.’ Angela Bourke, a colleague of mine at University College Dublin, is one of the foremost commentators on Irish folk traditions. Her early work appeared mostly in Irish, but in recent years she has published a number of English-language papers on the ...

What’s Coming

David Edgar: J.M. Synge

22 March 2001
Fool of the Family: A Life of J.M. Synge 
by W.J. McCormack.
Weidenfeld, 499 pp., £25, March 2000, 0 297 64612 5
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Interpreting Synge: Essays from the Synge Summer School 1991-2000 
edited by Nicholas Grene.
Lilliput, 220 pp., £29.95, July 2000, 1 901866 47 5
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... greeted the opening performances of The Playboy of the Western World at the Abbey Theatre, by Angela Bourke on the tradition of keening over the dead, which provides the ending for both Synge’s first and last play, and by Declan Kiberd on the cultural assumptions – uncomfortably close to those exposed by Edward Said in Orientalism – that lay ...

What makes a waif?

Joanne O’Leary

13 September 2018
The Long-Winded Lady: Tales from the ‘New Yorker’ 
by Maeve Brennan.
Stinging Fly, 215 pp., £10.99, January 2017, 978 1 906539 59 7
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Maeve Brennan: Homesick at the ‘New Yorker’ 
by Angela Bourke.
Counterpoint, 360 pp., $16.95, February 2016, 978 1 61902 715 2
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The Springs of Affection: Stories 
by Maeve Brennan.
Stinging Fly, 368 pp., £8.99, May 2016, 978 1 906539 54 2
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... from her desire to transfer ‘the disgusting guilt’ about her family to her ‘poor work’. Angela Bourke’s biography is good on the diffidence of Rose Derdon and Lily Bagot, and its roots in Brennan’s disillusion with her mother, a radical who was ‘reduced to silences and domesticities’ in her middle age. And even those sceptical about ...
7 July 1988
Young Betjeman 
by Bevis Hillier.
Murray, 457 pp., £15.95, July 1988, 0 7195 4531 5
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... others neglected to know – not only forgotten Victorian architecture, but the verse of Philip Bourke Marston or that of Ebepezer Jones (whom Mr Hillier, by an un-Betjemanian slip, confounds with Ebenezer Elliott, the Corn Law Rhymer). In such matters it was good and original pedagogy to be droll. To be so on the subject of the extremely upper classes may ...

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