Corbett Court, Ballyhea
20 December 2017, 8pm
This book is a collection of Canon Sheehan of Doneraile’s in-coming correspondence drawn from more than half a dozen archival deposits in the United States and in Ireland. While swathes of his papers were destroyed after his death, substantial quantities of material are still extant due mainly to Fr Herman J. Heuser’s preparations for his biography of Sheehan which appeared in 1917. Most of it has not been previously published. Extending over the period 1888–1913, the book is a pendant to The Collected Letters of Canon Sheehan of Doneraile, compiled in 2013 to commemorate the centenary of the poet pastor’s death. As such, it provides a partial diptych to the literary, philosophical and religious conversation conducted in the earlier book and affords interesting insights into the concerns of both Canon Sheehan and of his wide range of correspondents on subjects connected with contemporary international Catholic literary movements as well as on their assessments of the wider literary and philosophical currents asserting influence in the United States, Great Britain, France, Belgium, Italy, Germany and Scandinavia prior to the Great War. It provides essential background information for an understanding of the evolution of Canon Sheehan’s literary career. The correspondence also affords a glimpse of the wide diversity of literary interests and outlooks among writers in Ireland during the decades from 1890 to 1914, of which the Irish literary revival movement was but one.
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