A cultural history of The Great Book of Ireland – Leabhar Mór na hÉireann

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Lawlor, James
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University College Cork
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This thesis critically examines The Great Book of Ireland /Leabhar Mór na hÉireann (GBOI), a late-twentieth-century single-volume vellum manuscript created in Dublin between 1989 and 1993. Addressing a gap in both public and critical awareness of this modern manuscript, the thesis situates the GBOI into the wider historical, literary and cultural contexts of the period by drawing on book history as well as Irish cultural, literary and art criticism. The thesis performs a close reading of nineteen folios of the GBOI using a thematic model; which examines the publishing and material history of the Irish poetry book, word-image relations, gender discourses, and national and transnational politics. The study reveals the ways in which late-twentieth-century internationalism and ideas of globalisation and inclusivity shaped the GBOI’s ideological framework. It shows how the GBOI seeks to reject traditional homogenous representations of Irishness and Irish nationhood by anthologising the multiplicity of Irish identities at the end of the twentieth century. In its conclusion, the thesis argues for the need for a wider knowledge of the project and its components and signals for the potential of digital dissemination.
Irish literature , Great Book of Ireland , Irish book history , Irish art , Irish culture , Irish poetry , Material history of Irish literature , Irish book design , Twentieth Century Irish design , Irish words and visual , Irish anthology , Twentieth century book production , Irish books , Twentieth Century Ireland , Transnational , Gender in Irish poetry , Politics in Irish poetry
Lawlor, J. 2020. A cultural history of The Great Book of Ireland – Leabhar Mór na hÉireann. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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