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Meidhbhín Ní Úrdail



irish language patronage manuscript production decoration antiquarianism script lithography nineteenth century

An Ghaeilge do Choimeád ar Bun agus ar Buaintseasamh: the exceptional case of the Ó Longáin family of scribes (2018)

Abstract In considering Irish scribes who produced handwritten books of prose and poetry during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, we know that the contribution of those based in Cork city and county is particularly prominent, not least, of course, because of the evidence provided by Professor Breandán Ó Conchúir in his pioneering study of Irish literary scholarship in the post-classical period, Scríobhaithe Chorcaí. That important book discusses some two hundred scribes who flourished between 1700 and 1850, and of these native men of letters, the contribution by the Ó Longáin scribal family certainly prevails. Their extraordinary dedication has yielded over six hundred extant manuscripts written entirely or in part by them. The scribes in question are as follows: Mícheál mac Peadair (d. 1770) and his son, Mícheál Óg (1766–1837), the latter’s three sons, twins Peadar (1801–c.1860) and Pól (1801–1866), and their younger brother Seosamh (1817–1880), and finally Seosamh’s son, Mícheál (1856– 1877). We have to do here, then, with four generations of Ó Longáin scribes who ensured that literature in the Irish language continued to be transmitted and disseminated by hand in written documents during the eighteenth century and well into the second half of the century thereafter. Even in the second half of the nineteenth century itself, when the tradition of Irish manuscript production was coming to an end, members of this family were still producing beautiful books in clear, neat hands.
Collections Ireland -> University College Dublin -> School of Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklore
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklore Research Collection
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> College of Arts and Humanities

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Meidhbhín Ní Úrdail

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Meidhbhín Ní Úrdail
University College Dublin
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