Search Results for 'William Wilde'

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Two funerals at Menlo Castle cemetery

I have mentioned recently Sir William Wilde’s energetic guide to Lough Corrib - Its shores and Islands (published 1867), and his excitement as he and his family steamed across Ireland from Dublin, to begin their long summer holiday at their holiday home, Moytura Lodge, Cong, at the very north of the lake. From steam train to the Eglinton steamer, which left Galway every day to service the villages on the lakeshore, including Cong, the Wildes steamed passed the ancient home of the Blakes at Menlough (Menlo)* located just before the river enters the great lake.

What should it be... Lough Corrib and Loch Coirib?

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‘Westward Ho! Let us rise with the sun, and be off to the land of the west - to the lakes and streams - the grassy glens and fern-clad gorges - the bluff hills and rugged mountains - now cloud-capped, then revealed in azure, or bronzed by evening’s tints, as the light of day sinks into the bold swell of the Atlantic….’ So begins Sir William Wilde’s famous Lough Corrib - Its Shores and Islands (published 1867), adorned with wonderful woodcuts, as he calls us all to join him as if in a bi-plane, to swoop and dive over its 200km of clear water, fed from rushing streams off the Connemara mountains, giving life to its foreshore and islands where people have lived since the dawn of time, fishing its shallows and its dark deeps; and where monks sought an earthly haven for prayer and solitude.

Sir William Wilde - broken by the death of his children

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Seven years after the Mary Traver’s case, in which Sir William Wilde, a famous doctor and socialite in the Dublin of the mid 19th century, emerged legally unscathed, but socially damaged, a far worse scandal threatened to ruin his reputation entirely.

Mary Travers and the price of her honour

Week II

The priest who robbed the National Museum

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With March zooming off into the distance, our gratitude to St Patrick for giving us the opportunity to be an island of saints and scholars begins to wane. But no such relief was given to the saint himself. Our forebears couldn’t wait till he died before they were taking bits and pieces from his body and clothes for relics. As his teeth fell out they were snatched up, and given as sacred objects to make early Christian churches more attractive for a deeply spiritual and suspicious people, who had recently set aside their gods of nature, and embraced a more intangible Christ. An old holy tooth was just the sort of tangibility they could understand. At least one church, Cill Fiacail (‘The church of the tooth’) near the town of Tipperary, bears testimony to this bizarre but common practice.

The priest who robbed the National Museum

With March zooming off into the distance, our gratitude to St Patrick for giving us the opportunity to be an island of saints and scholars begins to wane. But no such relief was given to the saint himself. Our forebears couldn’t wait till he died before they were taking bits and pieces from his body and clothes for relics. As his teeth fell out they were snatched up, and given as sacred objects to make early Christian churches more attractive for a deeply spiritual and suspicious people, who had recently set aside their gods of nature, and embraced a more intangible Christ. An old holy tooth was just the sort of tangibility they could understand. At least one church, Cill Fiacail (‘The church of the tooth’) near the town of Tipperary, bears testimony to this bizarre but common practice.

‘The keystone of fortune is the power of speaking English’

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Whatever about the discrimination against the Irish emigrants in both Britain and America as they fled the ravages of the Great Famine in the mid 19th century, the effect of gaining a foothold in the two major English speaking countries of the world, pretty much sounded the death knell for the Irish language. 

 

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