Sr Wendy and the spirit of art

Sister Wendy’s 100 Best-loved Paintings compiled by Sr Wendy Beckett (SPCK, £25.00) This is both the latest and the last book of the celebrated TV art critic, Sr Wendy Beckett, who died last Christmastide at the age of 88, on the feast of St Stephen. She was not, as many seemed to think, a nun…

The PEN book…mightier than the sword?

A Personal Perspective on Irish PEN by J Anthony Gaughan (Kingdom Books, €15.00) PEN was an international association of writers founded in London in 1921 – the initials stood for ‘Poets, Essayists and Novelists’, but in fact many kinds of writers are now members. The club, as its members thought of it, was intended to…

Popular lore in field and street

Mainly About Books By the books editor Among the many institutions that derive from the 1920s that still survive to this day the Folklore Department of University College Dublin is the most interesting, and perhaps the most culturally significant. Its productions, such as a recent work on the folklore of our coast-wise fishing communities, often…

Recent books in brief

Newman at Littlemore by Bernard Bassett (Gracewing, £7.99) Next month John Henry Newman will be canonised, at long last many may feel. This occasion will see a flood of books to mark both the events, and to enlarge upon people’s ideas about the man and his career, adding to the large number of books and…

The true voice of an Irish poet long neglected

Discovering Thomas Moore: Ireland in 19th Century Europe Royal Irish Academy, Academy House, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2.An exhibition running to Monday, December 23, 2019; opening hours: 
Monday-Friday, 10am-4.30pm, 
no booking required. Booklet to accompany the exhibition by Sarah McCleave (Queen’s University / Erin Project / Royal Irish Academy), free.   Thomas Moore, once deemed…

Christians in Ireland before Patrick

Mainly About Books by the books editor   St Patrick is seen by many as the Apostle of Ireland – “the man who brought Christianity to or ancestors”. But one has to wonder: the process seems to have been so smooth, so easy, so without conflict, one has to ask was this the beginning of…

Sun, sea and a special vision of Spain

Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light, an exhibition Beit Wing (Rooms 6-10), National Gallery of Ireland, Merrion Square Dublin 2 Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light by Gabriele Finaldi and others, published to accompany the exhibition (National Gallery Company London /distributed by Yale University Press, £30.00/€35.00)   This exhibition is the first ever mounted in Ireland, so…