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Dictionary of Irish Biography

Dictionary of Irish Biography
From the Earliest Times to the Year 2002
9 Volume Set

Out of Print

Award Winner
  • Date Published: November 2009
  • availability: Unavailable - out of print April 2018
  • format: Multiple copy pack
  • isbn: 9780521633314

Out of Print
Multiple copy pack

Unavailable - out of print April 2018
Unavailable Add to wishlist

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About the Authors
  • Published in collaboration with the Royal Irish Academy, the Dictionary of Irish Biography is the most comprehensive and authoritative biographical reference work available both in print and online for Ireland. From James Ussher to James Joyce, St Patrick to Patrick Pearse, St Brigit to Maud Gonne MacBride, Maria Edgeworth to Elizabeth Bowen, Edward Carson to Bobby Sands, this indispensable resource outlines the careers at home and overseas of prominent men and women born in Ireland, north and south, and the noteworthy Irish careers of those born outside Ireland. Distinctive features of the Dictionary include the particular attention paid to outstanding women who have previously been overlooked and its broad coverage of the modern period. • 9 volumes, over 9,000 entries, covering 9,700 lives, ranging from the earliest times to 2002 • Biographical subjects include: artists, scientists, lawyers, actors, musicians, writers, politicians, criminals, and saints • Compiled by 700 expert advisors and contributors • Articles range from 200 to 15,000 words, from fascinating short summaries to detailed assessments. Also available for libraries as an electronic resource. Email for pricing details or a free trial.

    • Contains 9,000 entries covering 9,700 lives, with each entry providing helpful cross-references to other subjects
    • Articles range from 200 to 15,000 words, providing both lively short summaries and detailed assessments
    • Produced in association with the Royal Irish Academy
    Read more


    • Winner of the 2009 American Publishers Award for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE) for Best Multivolume Reference work in the Humanities and Social Sciences

    Reviews & endorsements

    "Publication of the RIA's Dictionary of Irish Biography is an epoch-making event in the history of Irish scholarship. It changes the state of knowledge in the twenty-first century as decidedly as the Ordnance Survey did in the nineteenth."
    --Seamus Heaney, poet, Nobel Prize for Literature (1995)

    "The Dictionary of Irish Biography will be greeted with delight by all those who study Irish literature and Irish history. It will not only make life easier for scholars and students, but become a palimpsest of the Irish acheivement over many centuries."
    --Colm Tóibín, author of The Master and Brooklyn

    "Imaginatively conceived, and meticulously edited, the Dictionary of Irish Biography fills, and fills handsomely, perhaps the most glaring of all gaps in Irish historiography, propelling Ireland into the very front rank internationally for reference works on this scale."
    --J.J. Lee, Director, Glucksman Ireland House and Glucksman Professor of Irish Studies, New York University

    "It would be difficult to exaggerate the importance of the publication of the multi-volume Dictionary of Irish Biography. It is a work of impressive scholarship and bears testimony to the high standards set by its editors. In many ways it marks the coming of age of Irish Studies as a discipline worldwide. The Dictionary is a composite work by the generation who achieved this and in its editors, James McGuire and James Quinn, it has had true leaders, with the patience and vision to pull together a work of remarkable and enduring quality. A truly momentous landmark has been reached."
    --Marianne Elliott, Director, Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool

    "Those producing this resource come with impressive credentials, especially McGuire, who is chair of the Irish Manuscripts Commission and a member of the Royal Irish Academy, under whose auspices the work was published. BOTTOM LINE Highly recommended for academic libraries and larger public libraries where there is an interest in Celtic studies."
    --Starred review in Library Journal

    Click here for a full review at the Times Literary Supplement.

    Click here for an article in the Globe & Mail.

    "A testament to the scholarship and work of the editorial team....The online edition has a very good search function which includes advanced options."

    See more reviews

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2009
    • format: Multiple copy pack
    • isbn: 9780521633314
    • length: 9672 pages
    • dimensions: 190 x 270 x 205 mm
    • weight: 22.2kg
    • availability: Unavailable - out of print April 2018
  • Table of Contents

    Lists of: editors, advisors, contributors
    Guide to entries
    List of abbreviations
    A-Z entries.

  • Editors

    James McGuire, University College Dublin
    James McGuire is an early modern historian, who taught Irish history at University College Cork and afterwards at University College Dublin. Joint editor of Irish Historical Studies (1987–92), he was appointed Chairman of the Irish Manuscripts Commission in 2003, and in 2007 he was elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy.

    James Quinn, Royal Irish Academy
    James Quinn's specialist interest is in the writing of Irish history in the nineteenth century. He is the author of two biographies, Soul on Fire: a Life of Thomas Russell (2002) and John Mitchel (2008).


    • Winner of the 2009 American Publishers Award for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE) for Best Multivolume Reference work in the Humanities and Social Sciences
    • The online version of the Dictionary of Irish Biography was 'highly commended' at the Information Services Group awards ceremony, 12 November 2010

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