Monday 30 September 2013

Canon Sheehan of Doneraile

How vastly pleasing is my tale, Another book of Doneraile.

These words, or words very like them, begin the palinod or recantation of the 'Curse of Doneraile', a poem that may be summed up in its first lines: "Alas! how dismal is my tale, I lost my watch in Doneraile."

The Curse and the Recantation were written about the year 1808, about a century before Patrick Canon Sheehan became Parish Priest of the town, illustrating well how the literary spirit floated free in Doneraile, Co. Cork in those days.

That the same spirit has not yet left the place is well evidenced by the publication of Mons. James O'Brien's second work on the life and writings of the same Canon Sheehan. Canon Sheehan of Doneraile 1852-1913, Outlines for a Literary Biography, is published by Semnos, who also published Mons. O'Brien's The Collected Letters of Canon Sheehan of Doneraile 1883-1913.

With the "outline" running to more than 200 pages, the Biography promises to be an epic worthy of the place. Amazon have a useful 'look and see' facility for the book here. While it can be obtained in hardback at the pauperly sum of €23 + post & packaging directly from the publishers here up to 5th October.

Incidentally, both Curse and Recantation can be found in a history of Doneraile here. The text begins with another image of the venerable Canon.

And may the reader never fail To find new joys in Doneraile.

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