BROOKE, Miss [Charlotte]. Reliques of Irish Poetry: Consisting of Heroic Poems, Odes, Elegies, and Songs, translated into English Verse:
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With notes explanatory and historical; and the Originals in the Irish Character. To which is subjoined An Irish Tale. By Miss Brooke. Dublin: George Bonham, Printer, South Great George’s Street, 1789. Quarto. First edition. pp. xxvi, , 369. Later half brown morocco on cloth boards, titled in gilt. Previous owner’s signature ‘James Arbuckle’ on tiitlepage. Occasional wear to extremities. A very good copy. Very scarce.
The year 1789 will be best remembered in Europe for the political turmoil in France, but in Ireland it heralded a turning point in literature, with the publication of Brooke’s ‘Reliques of Irish Poetry’. Charlotte Brooke, one of twenty-two children of Henry was born at Rantavan, Co. Cavan, c.1745. Miss Brooke was the first to appreciate and collect the “Scattered Poems” in the Irish language. The ‘Reliques’ was on the whole very well received. ‘The Critical Review’ of 1790 stated “To the poetical talent of her Gaelic ancestors and her own, we pay respect. We have been entertained with her translations from every different species of composition mentioned in the title-page, and recommend her performance to the antiquary and men of genius”.
An intimate friend of Maria Edgeworth, she did an invaluable service to her country, rescuing from oblivion the interesting remains of its ancient genius. The distinguished list of subscribers includes: Mervyn Archdall; Henry Brooke; Rev. D.A. Beaufort; Patrick Byrne, bookseller; John Philpot Curran; Charles O’Conor of Belanagar; Austin Cooper; Theophilus O’Flanagan; Richard Griffith; Sylvester O’Halloran; Edward Ledwich; William J. M’Neven; Whitley Stokes; Col. Vallancey; Joseph C. Walker, etc. Includes bibliographical footnotes.
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