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Pocket Irish Wit & Wisdom

Written and produced by Teapot Press Ltd, Published by Gill Books, 2016, Hardback, 256pp, 100+ colour, ISBN 978 0 7171 69214.

Anyone who has spent any time in Ireland knows that the Irish have a special relationship with language and a worldwide reputation for wit. So many Irish people are writers, whether published or not, and there is no place more enamoured with poetry. This reverence of words, written or spoken, has created a culture in which every word is cherished and respected, and put together with others in a delightfully unique and poignant way. As the cover says, “Say little but say it well.”

There are events in life that carry with them the responsibility to add weight to the words. In keeping with the storytelling tradition, the book is organized into four parts: That’s Life; Love and Marriage, Irish-Style; A Curious Custom of Death; and Biographies. Interspersed within each section are descriptive articles, quirky and clever quotes, interesting photographs and works of art. The details and credits appear in an appendix in the back. 

The Biographies section tells the stories of some of Ireland’s best known authors, including Brendan Behan “the drinker with a writing problem”, George Bernard Shaw (Pygmalion), James Joyce (Ulysses), Jonathan Swift (Gulliver’s Travels),  Lady Augusta Gregory (playwright and co-founder Abbey Theatre), Oliver Goldsmith (poet and author of Vicar of Wakefield), Oscar Wilde (The Importance of Being Earnest), Samuel Beckett (Waiting for Godot), Sean O’Casey (playwright) and William Butler Yeats (poet, co-founder Abbey Theatre, and Nobel Laureate). Sadly, Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, is left out.

This is a delightful little book to keep by the bedside, on your desk, or near the loo for those times when a little chuckle can ease the day’s tensions or deliver a bit of inspiration.  

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