The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, Seamus Deane, ed.


The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, Seamus Deane, ed.



Published in 1990 in 3 volumes.

General Editor Seamus Deane.

The most comprehensive anthology of Irish writing ever published. Over 4,000 pages provide a commanding view of the various traditions of writing from 550 A.D. to the late 20th century — in Irish, English, Latin and Norman-French — that have helped to nurture one of the most distinctive literatures in the world.

Read Editor’s introduction and summary of contents


Each of the 35 sections contains an introduction, biographical and bibliographical information, and annotated text, all designed to be useful to both the general reader and the specialist scholar. All texts not originally in English have been specially translated.

Volume 1: From Early and Middle Irish Literature (ca. 550–1600) through the Intellectual Revival (1830–50)

Volume 2: From Poetry and Song (1800–90) through Prose Fiction (1880–1945)

Volume 3: From James Joyce (1882–1941) through Contemporary Irish Poetry (–1990)

A monumental product of scholarship —  an “act of definition”, according to Deane:  “There is a story here, a meta-narrative, which is, we [Field Day] believe, hospitable to all the micro-narratives that, from time to time, have achieved prominence as the official version of the true history, political and literary, of the island’s past and present”.


Associate Editor: Andrew Carpenter

Contributing Editors: David Berman, Terence Brown, Nicholas Canny, Bryan Coleborne, Charles Doherty, Terence Dolan, J. W. Foster, Luke Gibbons, Alan Harrison, Seamus Heaney, Declan Kiberd, Pronsias MacCana, W. J. McCormick, Augustine Martin, D. E. S. Maxwell, J.C.C. Mays, Christopher Murray, Eoin Ó hAnluain, Tom Paulin, Ian Ross