Celtic Dawn

A Portrait of the Irish Literary Renaissance

By: Ulick O’Connor

Publication Date: 5th December 2013

(1 customer review)


Dublin is the only city in the world to produce three Nobel Prize winners for literature. An indication that something remarkable was taking place, not only in the capital but in the whole country, came in the extraordinary confluence of talent which appeared at the end of the nineteenth century. The names alone – W. B. Yeats, George Moore, George Russell (AE), James Joyce, George Bernard Shaw, John Synge – spell out the Irish literary renaissance.

The revival of the Irish language, folk movements and growing nationalism were other ingredients. Ulick O’Connor has created a brilliant composite portrait of the figures who dominated the era of the Irish literary renaissance. He has written the story of the rebirth of a nation with so much local colour that at times it reads like a novel. Yet every event took place and minor characters are not neglected.

Celtic Dawn is acute, passionate, sometimes partisan, a pioneer work of biography, and compulsive reading even for those not closely acquainted with the figures who fills its pages.

‘This book takes you directly and personally to the heart of a wondrous and important time.’ – Amazon Customer Review


Ulick O’Connor is a biographer, playwright and poet. His biography of Oliver St John Gogarty was described by Sir Charles Petrie as ‘the work of a modern Boswell’ and his biography of Brendan Behan also received high praise. He was called to the Irish Bar in 1951 and practiced as a barrister for fifteen years. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Abbey Theatre, Dublin.

Also available as an ebook

1 review for Celtic Dawn

  1. Lilliput Press

    “The material of which Ulick O’Connor writes is so sublime in itself it takes the book along with it, to a higher plane. During the course of reading this book, and after it’s completion, The Irish Literary Renaissance came to be a very interesting and worthwhile subject to me. This story is centered in Ireland, during one of her latest struggles for independence. The coupling of this daring time with the enduring personalities and geniuses of people such as Douglas Hyde, W.B. Yeats, George Moore, Edward Martyn, AE, James Joyce and Lady Gregory made for a very unique and captivating period of time. I came to understand not only these men and women’s actions and acievements, and the noble motives behind them, but also their individual passions and goals.

    O’Connor does digress and deviate regularly, and is a little scattered, but this story is well worth reading. This book takes you directly and personally to the heart of a wondrous and important time. 5 stars!” D BRYANT

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Weight 0.7 kg
Dimensions 156 × 234 mm
Publication Date

5th December 2013


Paperback, 324 pp