The shattered worlds of Standish O'Grady

An Irish life in writing

Christopher Boettcher

Hardback €49.50
Catalogue Price: €55.00
ISBN: 978-1-84682-785-3
June 2019. 208pp.

Standish O’Grady (1846–1928) is best remembered as the ‘Father of the Irish Literary Revival’. Critics of have long puzzled, however, about the turns and contradictions of the ‘Fenian-unionist’s’ thinking. This book offers an intellectual biography of O’Grady, tracing the tortuous development and influence of his ideas.

It presents a new study of O’Grady’s early historical and political works and, for the first time, a comprehensive overview of O’Grady’s writing for the All Ireland Review. He edited the review between 1900 and 1907, the most prolific period of his writing life. This writing led O’Grady into many curious schemes, culminating in his turn to anarchism and promotion of ‘Estates of the New Order’, a plan to build communes in the Irish countryside.

The portrait of the enigmatic writer contextualizes his role in the rise of Irish nationalism and explores the complexities of political and social affiliations during the first, formative decade of the twentieth century.

Christopher Boettcher is an Associate Professor of English at Castleton University. In addition to research and teaching interests in Irish Studies, he also specializes in the scholarship of teaching and learning and has recently co-authored Community-based global learning: the theory and practice of ethical engagement at home and abroad (Sterling, VA, 2018).