The Poems of Patrick Delany: Comprising Also Poems about Him by Jonathan Swift, Thomas Sheridan, and Other Friends and Enemies

The Poems of Patrick Delany: Comprising Also Poems about Him by Jonathan Swift, Thomas Sheridan, and Other Friends and Enemies

The Poems of Patrick Delany: Comprising Also Poems about Him by Jonathan Swift, Thomas Sheridan, and Other Friends and Enemies

The Poems of Patrick Delany: Comprising Also Poems about Him by Jonathan Swift, Thomas Sheridan, and Other Friends and Enemies

Synopsis

Patrick Delany's reputation as a scholar and tutor at Trinity College, Dublin, and an influential preacher in his time, apologist for Church of Ireland causes, and foremost defender of Jonathan Swift against the criticisms and slanders of Lord Orrery is well documented. The purpose of this edition is to establish an authoritative text to show what sort of poet Delany is, why we should read his poems, and to claim for him a position of importance as an eighteenth-century Irish poet.

Excerpt

Robert Hogan died on March 5, 1999, of cancer, in Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland. His reputation as a playwright was international, and his plays were performed in Dublin, London, Los Angeles, Off-Off-Broadway in New York, and elsewhere. Hogan’s scholarly career was equally illustrious. He published widely in drama and on Irish literature and was general editor of the two-volume Dictionary of Irish Literature (rev. 1996). Between the years 1972 and 1993 he also edited The Journal of Irish Literature. His ongoing interest in the Sheridan family led to numerous publications on this subject, especially the highly acclaimed edition of the Poems of Thomas Sheridan (1994), a famous schoolmaster, friend of Jonathan Swift and collaborator on The Intelligencer, and grandfather of the comic dramatist Richard Brinsley Sheridan.

At the time of his death, Hogan had completed the basic archival research for an edition of Patrick Delany’s poems. Delany was a minor coterie poet, but he occupied a prominent place, along with Sheridan and others, in Swift’s circle of Irish wits. Hogan considered Delany an attractive, important, and underrated poet, always in the shadow of the more prolific Sheridan and the more poetically accomplished Swift. He was convinced that, when viewed as a whole body of work, Delany’s poems conveyed an energy and invention equal to that of the best-known Augustan poets of wit. As David Nokes puts it, Sheridan, Swift, and Delany belong to “a long tradition of Irish stoic comedians” (tls, July 7, 1996, 7). in completing the edition begun by Hogan, I have sought to preserve a sense of his respect and enthusiasm for Delany, and to show what sort of poet he was and why we should read and know his poems.

The edition, as Hogan left it when he died, was in a draft stage and needed further editing and supervision by an eighteenth-century scholar. in late July 1999, during the Tenth International Congress on the Enlightenment, sponsored in Dublin by the International Society for EighteenthCentury Studies (ISECS), I met with Hogan’s widow, Mary Rose Callaghan. a successful novelist and writer of short fiction in her own right, Mary Rose raised the possibility of my finishing up the work on this project, which I agreed to do.

Even in the best of circumstances, taking up where someone else has . . .

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