Famous Irish Writers and Literary Ireland


Famous Irish authors include some pretty great names.  Perhaps you were considering a literary Irish tour?  It’s not a bad idea. Considering the Irish famine, Irish symbolism and invasions by the English, it’s no surprise Irish writers had a lot to say.  We won’t pretend a literary Ireland means happy, easy to read picks, but let’s review a few authors.  Then, we’ll give you tips on how to experience literary Ireland via a Dublin literary pub crawl.

James Joyce
Literary Ireland cannot even take shape without James Joyce. While he wrote Dubliners and Finnegan’s Wake, his most famous piece was Ulysses, a complex work which popularized the collective stream of conscious narrative style.

WB Yeats
In 1923, Yeats won a Nobel Peace Prize.  A famous poet, as literary Ireland goes, he is one of few writers to ever produce his best work after winning the Nobel Peace Prize.  He also served as an Irish senator for two years.

Oscar Wilde
You’ll recognize this literary Ireland icon from the Picture of Dorian Gray, showcasing a man’s decline into madness.  You probably had to read excerpts in high school?  Don’t be fooled, Wilde was the son of two Dublin intellectuals.

Frank McCourt
Makes the famous Irish writer’s list for Angela’s Ashes, an international best seller.  He became a teacher in the US.  The book focuses on his childhood in Ireland and the US.  He makes humor of the poverty his family endured.

Johnathan Swift
Gulliver’s Travels may be his best known Irish literature.  Literary Ireland wouldn’t be complete, though, without a mention of this political Anglo-Irish satirist.  His political pamphlets are famous around the world.  Is that what you remember him for?

Oliver St. John Gogarty
A trained otolaryngologist (ear and throat doctor) he was also a poet. Literary Ireland was tight knit.  St. John Gogarty maintained friendships with Yeats and Seamus O’Sullivan.  He wrote Blight: The Tragedy of Dublin, a play, which is among his most famous.

You may note each of the above famous Irish writers seemed to have centered in a rather well known little city, Dublin. Literary Ireland, then, requires a literary tour, don’t you think?  You should consider a Dublin literary pub crawl.  Popular versions recite the works of the authors as you go from pub to pub.  What’s more fun than drunken poetry presented by a man dressed up as a famous Irish writer?  We love it!


To sign up for a literary Ireland tour during your Ireland vacation ask your Ireland Travel Specialist. Reserving ahead will help you have the best time exploring famous Irish writers…even if most of their work is a little sad.

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