ARCHDEACON, Matthew. Legends of Connaught, Irish Stories, &c. Dublin: Published by John Cumming, 1839. pp. xvi, 406. Green cloth, title in gilt on maroon morocco letterpiece on spine. Occasional light foxing and browning, mild staining to covers, otherwise a very good copy of an exceedingly rare item. Top “Copac locates the Cambridge, Glasgow, British Library and TCD copies only. Brown 130.
There are seven stories in this volume. The author states in his preface that each of the stories are based on fact. They include: Fitzgerald (based on the life of George Robert Fitzgerald); The Banshee; The Election; Alice Thompson; M’Mahon; The Rebel’s Grave; and The Ribbonman. Events in Connaught at the close of the eighteenth century. His best known work was ‘Shawn na Soggarth’, The Priest Hunter and it is the rarest. Archdeacon died in 1853 in destitute circumstances.
There is an eight page list of subscribers drawn from Dublin, Castlebar, Sligo, Galway, Ballina, Westport, Ballinrobe, Newport, Claremorris, Crossmolina, Swineford, Ballaghaderreen, Hollymount, Ballyhaunis, Cong, Foxford, Killala, Tuam, Ballinasloe, Clifden, Castlerea, Loughrea, Athlone and Headfort.
The Rev. William H Maxwell, author of ‘Wild Sports of the West’ and William Larminie author of ‘West Irish Folk-Tales and Romances’ were original subscribers. Other literary notables included: Lady Morgan, William Carleton, Daniel O’Connell, Thomas Davis, James Hardiman, and the Most Rev. John McHale.” 1839 ARCHDEACON, Matthew.
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