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Irish Women Writers (Irish Studies)

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Biographies

This guide points researchers to material that is valuable for research into Irish Women Writers.

Biographies in Print

Blackburne, E. Qwens. Illustrious Irish Women: Being Memoirs of Some of the Most Noted Irishwomen from the Earliest Ages to the Present Century.  London: Tinsley Brothers, 1877.  (O'Neill Library: DA916.7.B53 1877a; Burns: DA916.7.B53 IRISH) The two-volume set includes biographical information on Irish women from pre-historic times to the later half of the nineteenth century.

Blain, Virginia. Feminist Companion to Literature in English: Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990. (O’Neill Reference PR111.F45 1990b) Features over 2700 biographical entries for women writing in English from the beginning up to approximately 1985. Writers include not only English women but women writing in English in various national traditions, including African, American, Asian, Australian, Canadian, Caribbean, New Zealand, South Pacific and the British Isles.

 
Brady, Anne M. & Cleeve, Brian. A Biographical Dictionary of Irish Writers. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1985. (O'Neill Library: Reference PR8727.B5 1985) Includes writers from St. Patrick to the present, but does not present a complete bibliography of any individual author's work. Rather, it aims to present the author's "substance and interest." Part one covers writers in English, and part two covers writers in Irish and Latin.
 
 
Breathnach, Diarmuid. Beathaisnéis: 1882-1982. Baile Átha Cliath: An Clóchomhar, 1986- (O'Neill Library: Reference PB1317.B327x 1986) Includes biographies of Irish-language writers from the late nineteenth to the late twentieth century. Entries are in Irish.
 
 
 
Cleeve, Brian. Dictionary of Irish Writers. Cork: Mercier Press, 1967-1971. (O'Neill Library: Reference PR8706. C55 Burns Library: PR8727.C5 IRISH) A three-volume set. The first volume gives information on Irish novelists, playwrights, poets, and short storyists who wrote in English. The second volume covers Irish non-fiction writers who write in English, and the third covers Irish-language writers. The subjects "must be Irish by birth or culture" and popularly or critically successful.
 
 
Coleman, Anne. Dictionary of Nineteenth Century Irish Women Poets. Galway: Kenny's Bookshop, 1996. (O'Neill Library: Reference PR8733.C65 1996; Burns Library: PR8733.C65 1996 IRISH) Includes nineteenth century women who were born in Ireland (and did not emigrate from the British Isles) and wrote in English. Does not provide literary or historical context, or any critical analysis. 
 
 
 
 
Gonzalez, Alexander G. Modern Irish Writers: a Bio-critical Sourcebook.Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1997. (O'Neill Reference PR8727.G66 1997) Entries, written by experts, include biographies, discussions of major works and themes, critical reception and bibliographies of primary and secondary sources.
 
 
Gonzalez, Alexander G. Irish Women Writers: an A-Z Guide. Westport, Conn. Greenwood Press, 2006. (O’Neill Library PR8733.I75 2006) The guide is arranged alphabetically, each entry including a short biography, a discussion of the author’s major works and themes, a review of criticism and a bibliography of primary and secondary sources. 
 
 
Hogan, Robert. Dictionary of Irish Literature. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1996. (O'Neill Library: Reference PR8706.D5 1996; Burns Library: PR8706.D5 1996 REF) This is a two-volume dictionary. Entries on works in Irish have been reprinted without additions from the first and second editions of the book. Includes some Irish authors who did not write about Ireland, and some foreign authors who did. 
 
 
 
Horwitz, Barbara J. British Women Writers, 1700-1850: an Annotated Bibliography of Their works and Works about Them. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press; Pasadena CA: Salem Press, 1997. (O'Neill Library Reference PR111.H67 1997) This work includes bibliographies, guides to women's literature, history and criticism.
 
 
 
 
McMahon, Sean and O'Donaghue, Jo. Mercier Companion to Irish Literature. Cork: Mercier Press, 1967-1971. (O'Neill Library: Reference PR8706.M47 1998; Burns Library: PR8706 .M38 1998 IRISH) Shorter and more portable than Welch's, Boylan's or Hogan's dictionaries of Irish literature. Includes writers and organizations, and is cross-referenced.
 
 
O' Donoghue, D.J. The Poets of Ireland: A Biographical and Bibliographical Dictionary of Irish Writers of English Verse. Dublin: Hodges, Figgis & Co., Ltd.; London: Henry Frowde, Oxford University Press, 1912. (O'Neill Library: Reference PR8706.O3 1912) Emphasis is on poets who wrote in English. He defines poets broadly to include songwriters, as long as their works had been previously published. Entries for each author include biographical information and a brief bibliography.
 
O’Toole, Tina (General Editor) Dictionary of Munster Women Writers, 1800 – 2000. Gearóidín Nic Carthaigh agus Síle Ní Chochláin. Eagarthóirí Gaeilge Scríbhneoirí Ban na Mumhan, 1800-2000. Cork: Cork University Press, 2005. (O’Neill PR8706.D53 2005) Editors aim to foster literary and cultural research on the Munster area for the last two hundred years and to enable a new look at the work of women writers for the time period, many of whom were never studied before or have been forgotten.
 
 
 
Uí Nia, Gearóidín. Eolaire Chló Iar-Chonnachta de Scríbhneoirí Gaeilge: Who's Who in Irish-language Writing. Indreabhán, Conamara: Cló Iar-Chonnachta, c1998.  (O'Neill Library: PB1325 .U48 1998) A directory, in Irish, of Irish language literary authors, with contact information and very brief outlines of literary careers. The entries contain little or no biographical information.
 
 
Schlueter, Paul and June.  An Encyclopedia of British Women Writers, Revised and Expanded Edition.  New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1998. (O'Neill Library: Reference PR111.E54 1998) Approximately 600 biographical-critical entries are arranged alphabetically.  Writers reflect women's writing from the earliest identified with England and includes writers considered British up to the time of publication. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Shattock, Joane.  The Oxford Guide to British Women Writers. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993. (O'Neill Library: PR111.S48 1993; Reference PR111.S48 1993) Entries arranged alphabetically by author name and include succinct biographies as well a list of major works, the scope of each woman's work and further information on letters, biography and criticism.  Coverage is selective rather than exhaustive, but author  lists major sources. for expanding research. Includes select bibliography in two parts. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Welch, Robert, ed. The Oxford Companion to Irish Literature. New York: Clarendon, 1996. (O'Neill Library: Reference PR8706.O88 1996; Burns Library: PR8706 .O88 1996 REF) Covers sixteen centuries of Irish literature, including essays on organizations, authors, and genres. Provides historical context to pieces of literature, bibliographies after most entries, maps, and chronologies.