Monday, 27 August 2012

Emily Hickey

Just over a year ago - I'm slow on the uptake - Carol Rumens chose 'The Ship from Tirnanoge' by Emily Hickey as her poem of the week in The Guardian. Like Rumens, I'd not heard of Hickey before but she sounds quite a fascinating figure: "A talented and complex writer, scholar and translator, Emily Henrietta Hickey, 1845-1923, was the daughter of a Protestant rector of Goresbridge, County Wexford. She eventually become a lecturer at Cambridge University, and a Catholic convert."

Rumens also recommends Hickey's Our Catholic Heritage in English Literature of Pre-Conquest Days which begins like this:

"This little book makes no claim to be a history of pre-Conquest Literature. It is an attempt to increase the interest which Catholics may well feel in this part of the great 'inheritance of their fathers.' It is not meant to be a formal course of reading, but a sort of talk, as it were, about beautiful things said and sung in old days: things which to have learned to love is to have incurred a great and living debt."

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