Sarah Terrazano

Tracing History: A Literary Tour of Ireland’s Great Writers

Sarah Terrazano

My mom and I are most similar in our Irish heritage and love of reading. We recently traveled to Ireland together and soaked up not just the cloudy countryside, but also Ireland’s rich literary history, by creating our own literary Dublin walking tour.

We began with the Dublin Writers Museum. In an unassuming yet charming eighteenth-century brick house in northern Dublin, we saw unique artifacts like an early edition of Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels and a rotary dial phone that belonged to Samuel Beckett.

We left the museum to see where many Irish writers got their start: Trinity College. It’s the alma mater of Swift, Beckett and other greats like Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker, and you can practically inhale the literary history from this beautiful, historic campus in the heart of Dublin.

Trinity is home to the Old Library, an eighteenth-century building of literary wonders. The Old Library’s massive Long Room is a breathtaking hall with leather-bound books stacked floor-to-ceiling and marble busts of notable Trinity figures placed at the end of each row. The Long Room is also home to the famous Book of Kells, a ninth-century illuminated manuscript of the four Gospels written in Latin.

For the final leg of the tour, we hit the streets of Dublin to find two iconic statues: James Joyce, leaning on a cane, and Oscar Wilde, lounging on a boulder—telltale smirk and all!

Image Credit: David Iliff

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