Forthcoming Lilliput Titles
We are very excited here at the Lilliput Press to announce the publication of a series of exciting books set for launch over the next few months.
The Adulterous Muse – Adrian Frazier
Publication Date – 10 October
Maud Gonne was the beautiful and charismatic inspiration of Yeats’s love poetry, a leading activist in the Irish republican movement and the founder of Inghinidhe na hÉireann (Daughters of Ireland). One hundred and fifty years after her birth, everyone still knows her face, but her life remains something of a mystery. This biography pursues the story of what attracted Maud Gonne to a man like Lucien Millevoye, and what imprint the attachment left upon her. Once jilted by Millevoye, Gonne marched into a truly ill-starred marriage to Major John MacBride. The horrible truth of their mismatch is examined through the evidence entered by both parties in the divorce proceedings. The author uses the vast resources of newly digitised French newspapers and journals to track the celebrated Gonne and her beloved Lucien Millevoye through the sensational turmoil of the Third Republic in France and into the violent push for a republic in Ireland. The shifting levels of awareness, desire, and mutual complicity in self-deception on the part of W.B. Yeats and his muse are traced with subtlety. Ultimately, the effect of the group biography as a whole is to make Yeats’s early love poems, so long in the public eye, more visible than they have ever been.
Pioneering Alexandrans – Ronan Fanning (Ed.)
Publication Date – 11 October
The 150th Anniversary of the founding of Alexandra College, Dublin’s leading independent school for girls, falls this autumn, when this commemorative volume will be published. The work takes the form of detailed biographical entries taken from the nine-volume Dictionary of National Biography, selected and with an overarching introduction by the historian Ronan Fanning. Where relevant, entries will be accompanied by photographs. There are seventy-seven biographies—sixty-four of women and thirteen of men (the school was originally co-educational)—most of them Irish-born or with careers within Ireland. These highly achieved individuals—writers, artists, politicians (such as Chiam Herzog, President of Israel from 1982 to 1993), scholars, educationists, republican activists, actors, fashion designers, musicians, doctors, lawyers and philanthropists—cover the full spectrum of life within Ireland and illuminate the progress of the school as well as a newly independent Ireland. They form a fascinating mirror to a society in formation and an ethos built through an institution and its character. Some of the better-known names include Anne Jellicoe, Margaret Barrington, Winifred Mary Letts, Mary Manning, Martin Ross and Edith Somerville, Enid Starkie, Margaret Stokes, Estella Solomons, Mary Swanzy, Rhoda Coghill, Shelah Richards, John Joly, and Grace Gifford. This invaluable reference work and history will form an important addition to the works available on the centenary of Ireland’s birth as a nation, and on the sequecentenary of one of its most
prominent seats of learning.
The Abode of Fancy – Sam Coll
Publication Date – 27 October
‘Wildly talented … a huge, mad gem.’—Donal Ryan
‘Marvellously strange’ —Sara Baume
The Abode of Fancy tells the story of a young Dublin man, Simeon Collins – lonely and desperate for love – whose friendships with a loosely associated group of elderly, alcoholic men yield a grim picture of his own probable future life. It also tells the story of the Mad Monk, a mythical god-man, who returns to Ireland, eager to find his long-dead brother Elijah. And then there’s the lovesick hare, the ghostly skeletal bull, and the barmy banshee Maggie Nutmeg Devlin. As the stories progress, the two worlds draw closer and closer, interweaving to fuse reality and fantasy in an exhilarating extravaganza that explores the nature of loneliness, the impossibility of love, and the possible consolations of friendship. This is an elaborate literary novel, sure to garner a cult following, drawing together Irish traditions of linguistic whimsy and ironic fantasy, with a modern hysterical realist style. Coll has an unmistakably distinctive voice, and with unrivalled linguistic flair he expertly combines the tenderness and simplicity of a child with the cynicism and gloom of an old man. The Abode of Fancy is an auspicious debut and a hilarious, heartbreaking and jaw-dropping read. Extracts from the novel have been featured in Granta and The Stinging Fly.
Sam Coll was born in 1989, in Dublin, Ireland. He graduated in English and Art History from Trinity College Dublin in 2011 and later obtained a Masters degree in Anglo-Irish literature, writing his dissertation on Samuel Beckett and sentimentality.
Trevor West : The Bold Collegian – Maura Lee West
Publication Date 24 – October
Trevor West was a remarkable man: a Trinity academic, mathematician, Senator, Junior Dean,
sportsman and sports administrator, historian of the cooperative movement, peacemaker and governor of Midleton College, Cork. Having taken a brilliant maths degree in 1963, he returned to Trinity a few years later to teach, armed with a doctorate from Cambridge. Passionate about college sports, West was crucially involved in the administration and development of sport in Irish universities, as well as contributing in a significant way to the Northern Ireland peace process. Trevor published widely in mathematics and is fondly remembered by generations of students, not only mathematicians but all of those who had an interest in sport and politics, and whose lives he greatly influenced. The Bold Collegian is a collection of more than twenty-four essays by notable contributors including Mary Robinson, Sean D. Barrett, Ulick O’Connor, Professor John Kelly, Dean John McCarthy, Iggy McGovern and Michael West, a fitting tribute to a much-loved legend.
Frozen in Time : The Fagel Collection in the Library of Trinity College Dublin– Tim Jackson (Ed.)
Publication Date – 10 November
‘Hendrik Fagel the Younger (1765–1838), Greffier or Chief Minister of Holland, had the misfortune to have his property seized by invading French forces in the winter of 1794–5, but managed to secure the release of his family art collection and library, which were shipped to him in London in 1798. Being in straitened circumstances he decided to sell them and negotiations took place for the purchase of the library for Trinity College.’
So begins Charles Benson’s introduction to Frozen in Time, a collection of the papers presented at the recent Fagel Symposium, held at Trinity College, Dublin, with the explicit purpose of making this astonishing resource better known outside College walls. During their two centuries of public service to the States-General and Holland, the Fagel family built up one of the most important private libraries in early modern Europe, with holdings in history, politics and law as well as every other area of human endeavour: belles lettres, philosophy and theology, geography and travel, natural history and the visual arts. This lavishly illustrated volume contains a selection of the papers presented at the symposium as well as new articles, covering subjects as diverse as early Dutch book collections and plans of the cosmos, botanical sales catalogues, pamphlets on the bloody 1641 Rebellion in Ireland, Italian Renaissance poetry and the vicissitudes of the Huguenots. As the first comprehensive study of this hugely important and hitherto relatively unknown collection – one of the most important private libraries in early modern Europe – the volume will be of immense value to scholars and general readers.
Tim Jackson is an Emeritus Professor of German at Trinity College, Dublin.
A Single Headstrong Heart – Kevin Myers
Publication Date – 10 November
A memoir like no other, A Single Headstrong Heart passionately and intelligently reveals both the era and the individual. Funny, quirky and touching, this latest offering from Kevin Myers describes in a first-person narrative his childhood up to the early years of his career as a journalist and his departure from University College Dublin in the late 1960s. Related with a Rabelaisian verve, A Single Headstrong Heart is a prequel to Myers’ bestselling Watching the Door, set in Belfast at the height of the Troubles during the 1970s, and it has all the panache and particularity of that masterly book. As they grow up in Leicestershire, England, with regular holiday visits to Ireland, Kevin and his twin sister Maggie are sheltered by a mother’s domestic diligence and survive a father’s eccentricity and gradual disintegration. Being Irish and Catholic in an English provincial town brings fascinating tensions and analysis to bear on boarding school experiences, social status, sport and a burgeoning sexuality. The travails of puberty have rarely been so candidly depicted. Pop music, political awareness and modernity break in with the advent of the Sixties and modernity as this rare, ebullient personality undergoes social and political transformation. With a sometimes grotesque humour reminiscent of Roald Dahl, these recollections retain an authentic childlike sense of galloping self-importance in an adult re-casting. Broadly chronological, the main narrative arc is sustained by the author’s relationship with his father, with a startling denouement revealed after his father’s death that lends context to these vivid memories.
Kevin Myers is one of Ireland’s leading journalists and writers; he is author of Watching the Door
(Lilliput, 2006), More Myers (Lilliput, 2007) and Ireland’s Great War (Lilliput, 2014), and has a
weekly column in The Sunday Times. As war reporter, autobiographer, controversialist and
historian, he is a master of genre.