For such a relatively small city, Dublin has produced a serious amount of talent. From authors to musicians, you’ll recognise a lot of famous faces who are proud to call our fair city home.
It’s hard to say what it is about the city that has prompted huge names like Oscar Wilde and James Joyce produce such outstanding works, but we like to think Dublin’s famous writers drew inspiration from the colour, the diversity and the historic beauty we are lucky to be surrounded by.
Here are some of our well-known Irish literary talents.
We’ll start with one of the most famous Irish writers, both at home and around the world. Oscar Wilde was born in the heart of Dublin in 1854 and went on to become arguably the most famous Irish poet, author and playwright. His most notable works include ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ and ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’, both hugely popular all over the world.
He is also well known for his excellent wit, flamboyant style and infamous imprisonment for homosexuality. His likeness is immortalised in statue form in Merrion Square, depicting the author lounging on rocks in colourful, stylish attire.
To give him his full title, James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was an Irish novelist, writer, poet, teacher, and literary critic born in Dublin in 1882. Joyce is best known for Ulysses, published in 1922. Ulysses is a modernist novel in which he chronicles a ‘normal’ day in the life of Leopold Bloom in Dublin.
Joyce was one of the most influential and important authors of the 20th century and Bloomsday, a national day of recognition and celebration of his life, takes place every year on 16th June. You can learn more about the life and works of James Joyce with a visit to The James Joyce Cultural Centre.
William Butler Yeats
Our literary legends don’t just include novelists, we also have an impressive collection of notable poets and playwrights. W.B. Yeats, also born in Dublin in the 1800s, was one of the greatest poets of the 20th century.
He was a proud Irish man despite having lived in the UK for most of his childhood and often featured Irish legends and heroes in many of his poems and plays. Many of Yeats’s famous prose featured in the Leaving Certificate English Exam such as ‘The Lake Isle of Inishfree’ and ‘Easter 1916’.
Believe it or not, the author of the 1897 Gothic horror novel Dracula, is an Irish Man. He was born and raised in Marino on Dublin’s Northside. Bram was famous in his living years as a theatre manager and personal assistant of actor Sir Henry Irving. The author gathered information and inspiration for his most famous novel. These were from people he met and places he visited, culminating in one of the most well-known literary works of our time.
In a real-life love triangle, Florence, Bram Stoker’s wife. Engaged to Oscar Wilde, she left him to marry Stoker. Every October we celebrate The Bram Stoker Festival to commemorate the works of this talented Dubliner.
Famous female authors were practically non-existent in the 1800s. We could not go without a mention of one of our most beloved female novelists of modern times, Maeve Binchy. Maeve Binchy Snell, born in Dublin in 1939 was an Irish novelist, playwright, short story writer, columnist, and speaker.
She is well-known for her humorous portrayal of small-town life in Ireland, her heart-warming characters and her clever surprise endings. Her numerous books and stories perfectly encapsulated themes such as love, friendship and nostalgic stories about life in old Ireland.
She died in 2012 at age 73. But, her works live on in the millions of people who have loved and learned from her books.
Author Bio: Sarah Corcoran is a full-time travel blogger, which means writing adventures, travel spots, and accommodation reviews is her bread and butter. She currently writes for PREMIERE SUITES Ballsbridge, an all-suite luxury hotel in Dublin.