Guides to Scholarship and Criticism

Surveys of Research


Finneran, Richard J., ed. Anglo-Irish Literature: A Review of Research. New York: MLA, 1976. 596 pp. PR8712.A5 820′.9′9415. Recent Research on Anglo-Irish Writers: A Supplement to Anglo-Irish Literature: A Review of Research . 1983. 361 pp. MLA Reviews of Research. PR8712.R4 820′.9′9415.

Evaluative surveys of research on genres and dead authors of Anglo-Irish background who have been the subject of a substantial amount of scholarship. Coverage extends through 1974 in the first volume, through 1980 in the supplement, with the degree of selectivity varying with the contributor. The original volume has chapters on general works; nineteenth-century writers; Wilde; Moore; Shaw; Yeats; Synge; Joyce; four Revival figures: Lady Gregory, A. E., Gogarty, and Stephens; O’Casey; and modern drama. The supplement adds modern fiction and poetry. The chapters are extensively classified, with most including sections on reference works, manuscripts, editions, biography, letters, general studies, and individual works. Each survey combines, in varying degrees, description and evaluation, with suggestions for further research. Indexed by persons. Like similar MLA surveys of research, this is marred by incomplete citations, and some reviewers have objected to a definition of Anglo-Irish background that admits Shaw and Wilde but excludes other similar writers. Still, Finneran is the indispensable, authoritative guide to earlier scholarship. Review: Ellsworth Mason, James Joyce Quarterly 15.2 (1978): 138–46.

Although the revised edition planned for 1990 publication was abandoned because some contributors were unable to complete their surveys, a few of the chapters fortunately have been published elsewhere:

  • Kopper, Edward A., Jr. Lady Gregory: A Review of the Criticism. Butler: Kopper, 1991. 39 pp. Mod. Irish Lit. Monograph Ser. 2.

  • ———. Synge: A Review of the Criticism. Lyndora: Kopper, 1990. 65 pp. Mod. Irish Lit. Monograph Ser. 1.

  • Murphy, P. J., et al. Critique of Beckett Criticism: A Guide to Research in English, French, and German. Columbia: Camden, 1994. 173 pp. Lit. Criticism in Perspective.

See also

YWES (G330): Anglo-Irish writers are covered in several chapters.

Serial Bibliographies


““IASIL Bibliography Bulletin for [1970– ]”.” Irish University Review 2 (1972)– . Former title: “IASAIL Bibliographic Bulletin for [1970–94].” PR8700.I73 820′.8′09415.

An international bibliography of studies of Anglo-Irish literature (along with some original poetry and short fiction). Since the bibliography for 2006 (37 [2007]), entries are organized in two sections: general studies (with divisions for literature, theater, language and culture, and Irish-related work by non-Irish writers) and individual authors; in the installments for 1974–2005 (6–36 [1976–2006]), the general studies section is not subdivided; in the earlier ones, studies are listed by country of origin. Although not comprehensive, the bibliography is useful because of its international coverage.

A useful complement is “Irish Literature in English: The Year’s Work,” Études irlandaises 1–17.2 (1972–92), with better coverage of Continental scholarship.

See also

Secs. G: Serial Bibliographies, Indexes, and Abstracts and H: Guides to Dissertations and Theses.

ABELL (G340): Entries on Anglo-Irish writers and literature are dispersed throughout.

Bibliography of British and Irish History (M1400).

Bibliotheca Celtica (P3155).

MLAIB (G335): Until the volume for 1981, Anglo-Irish literature was included in the English Literature division. Literature in Irish Gaelic was covered in the Celtic Languages and Literatures heading under the General division in the volumes for 1928–52; in General IV (later V or VI): Celtic Languages and Literatures in the volumes for 1953–66; and in Celtic VI: Irish Gaelic in the volumes for 1967–80. Since the volume for 1981, the Irish Literature section encompasses Irish literature in any language. Researchers must also check the headings beginning with “Irish” in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

Other Bibliographies


New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (NCBEL). Ed. George Watson and I. R. Willison. 5 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1969–77. Z2011.N45 [PR83] 016.82.

  • Vol. 1: 600–1660 has sections on Irish literature in Latin (cols. 341–44, 351–56) and Irish printing and bookselling (cols. 669–70), with Irish writers listed in various sections.

  • Vol. 2: 1660–1800 has sections on Irish printing and bookselling (cols. 273–74) and periodicals (cols. 1377–90), with Irish writers listed in various sections.

  • Vol. 3: 1800–1900 has a division for Anglo-Irish literature through 1916 (cols. 1885–948), with classified sections for Gaelic sources, general studies, poets, Yeats and Synge, and dramatists. Coverage of primary (but not secondary) works in vol. 3 is superseded by vol. 4 of the third edition of CBEL (M2467).

  • Vol. 4: 1900–1950 has Anglo-Irish topics and writers listed throughout the various sections.

(For a full discussion of NCBEL, see entry M1385.)

In each volume, many of the general sections list works important to the study of Anglo-Irish literature. Coverage extends through 1962–69, depending on the volume.

Users must familiarize themselves with the organization, remember that there is considerable unevenness of coverage among subdivisions, and consult the index volume (vol. 5) rather than the provisional indexes in vols. 1–4. Despite its shortcomings (see entry M1385), NCBEL offers the fullest single bibliography of primary works and scholarship for the study of Anglo-Irish literature.


Guilarte, Alexandre, comp. Bibliography of Irish Linguistics and Literature, 1972–. Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies. School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Inst. for Advanced Studies, n.d. 14 Dec. 2012. <>.

Baumgarten, Rolf. Electronic Bibliography of Irish Linguistics and Literature, 1942–71. Ed. Roibeard Ó Maolalaigh. Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies. School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Inst. for Advanced Studies, 2004. 14 Dec. 2012. <>. CD-ROM. An electronic, corrected version of Bibliography of Irish Linguistics and Literature, 1942–71. Dublin: Dublin Inst. for Advanced Studies, 1986. 776 pp.

Best, R. I. Bibliography of Irish Philology and of Printed Irish Literature. Dublin: HMSO, 1913. 307 pp. (Available in several formats at Bibliography of Irish Philology and Manuscript Literature: Publications, 1913–1941. Dublin: Dublin Inst. for Advanced Studies, 1942. 253 pp. Z2037.D81 016.8916.

A bibliography of scholarship on Irish language and literature through the latter part of the nineteenth century but excluding the Irish Revival. Bibliography of Irish Linguistics and Literature is a draft version that includes only a limited number of articles and books and is cumbersome to search since the database is designed to produce future printed volumes. Users can search a series of static (but interlinked) indexes: authors (i.e., scholars); periodicals; book series; books; classifications (bibliography, manuscripts, linguistics, lexicography, grammar, literature and learning, mythology, verse, law and institutions, church history, history, prehistory and cultural history, and reviews; except for the last, each is extensively subdivided); authors and textual sources (i.e., literary authors and anonymous works); first lines of verse; manuscripts; and words and proper nouns. To view a full entry (which provides a citation, a brief annotation in most, and indexing and classification tags) users must click on the Details link at the bottom of a record. Entries are variously hyperlinked (though inconsistently and sometimes needlessly). Unfortunately, users can download only one record at a time as a LaTeX or PDF file. Still very much a work in progress and lacking a sufficient statement of scope and taxonomy, Bibliography of Irish Linguistics and Literature is at least a place to begin research.

In the volumes by Best, entries are variously organized in two divisions: philology and literature. The first has classified sections for general works, dictionaries and lexicography, etymology (combined with lexicography in the 1913–41 volume), phonology (combined with grammar in 1913–41), grammar, metrics, inscriptions, manuscripts, and Old Irish glosses; the second has sections for general studies, tales and sagas, poetry (only through the seventeenth century in the 1913–41 volume), religious works, history, legal works, and miscellaneous works. The original volume prints additions on pp. 273–74; in the volume for 1913–41 additions appear on pp. 193–94 and corrections to the earlier volume on pp. 253–54. Baumgarten organizes entries by publication date in extensively classified sections for general works, sources, linguistics, lexicology and onomastics, grammar, literature and learning, narrative literature, verse, society (a grab-bag section), Christianity, history and genealogy, and prehistory and cultural history. A few entries are accompanied by a brief descriptive annotation or list of reviews. In the online version, users must navigate through indexes that replicate the classification and indexes of the print edition. Entries can be saved to a list for downloading or printing. The original volume is indexed by persons (with numerous omissions); the one for 1913–41 has indexes for words (with separate sections for personal names, place-names, and other words, as well as an index to the earlier volume), first lines of poems, and persons and subjects; the most recent one has four indexes: words and proper names; first lines of verse; sources; authors of works cited (the electronic version adds an author and short-title index). Although confusingly organized, not comprehensive, and lacking any statement of scope and editorial policy in the 1942–71 volume, these volumes offer the fullest general coverage of scholarship on Irish language and literature through 1971.


Harmon, Maurice. Select Bibliography for the Study of Anglo-Irish Literature and Its Backgrounds: An Irish Studies Handbook. Port Credit: Meany, 1977. 187 pp. Z2037.H32 [PR8711] 016.82.

A highly selective annotated guide, principally to reference works and important background studies published through the mid-1970s. Entries are organized in three divisions: general reference works, background materials, and literature. The background division has sections for reference works, history, biography, topography, folk culture and anthropology, theater, Anglo-Irish language, Irish language, Gaelic literature, and newspapers and periodicals. The literature division lists entries in sections for general studies, poetry, fiction, drama, bibliographies of individual authors, and literary periodicals. The brief descriptive annotations (sometimes including evaluative comments) too infrequently offer an adequate indication of contents or accurate evaluation. The chronology for 1765–1976 has numerous gaps. The lack of an index and numerous omissions make Harmon useful only insofar as it complements or updates the much fuller coverage in New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (N2965). Review: William T. O’Malley, American Notes and Queries 17.4 (1978): 66.


Hayes, Richard J., ed. Sources for the History of Irish Civilisation: Articles in Irish Periodicals. 9 vols. Boston: Hall, 1970. Z2034.H35 016.91415′03.

A bibliography of articles, original literary works, and reviews in 152 periodicals that were published in Ireland from c. 1800 through 1969 and that print material useful for research in Irish intellectual and cultural life. Hayes excludes popular, trade, and current news periodicals as well as those in the Irish language. Entries (which record author, title, and publication information) are organized in four divisions: persons (vols. 1–5; library catalog main entries as well as persons as subjects and authors of books reviewed); subjects (vols. 6–8); places in Ireland (vol. 9); dates (vol. 9; works dealing with a specific date or period are organized in chronological order). Although the majority of the entries relate to Ireland, a significant number of articles and reviews on other topics, especially British literature, are also indexed. An essential source for locating works by and about Irish writers, and an important complement to the serial bibliographies and indexes in section G.


McKenna, Brian. Irish Literature, 1800–1875: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale, 1978. 388 pp. Amer. Lit., English Lit., and World Lits. in English: An Information Guide Ser. 13. Z2037.M235 [PR8750] 016.82.

A highly selective bibliography of works by and about Anglo-Irish authors. Coverage extends through 1974 and includes a few foreign language studies. Entries are arranged chronologically in classified divisions for anthologies, periodicals, general studies, background studies, and individual authors (each with separate lists of bibliographies, biographies, criticism, and primary works). The brief annotations rarely offer an adequate indication of content or substantiate an evaluative comment. Three indexes: authors; titles; subjects. The lack of cross-references—especially to general studies—is not fully remedied by the subject index. Because of its selectivity (which results in some significant omissions) and the fuller treatment of major figures in author bibliographies, McKenna is principally useful as a starting point for work on minor writers. Review: James Kilroy, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography 3.1 (1979): 62–67.

McKenna’s volume for 1876–1950, although announced, was never published.

See also

Schwartz, Articles on Women Writers (U6605).

Dissertations and Theses


O’Malley, William T., comp. Anglo-Irish Literature: A Bibliography of Dissertations, 1873–1989. New York: Greenwood, 1990. 299 pp. Bibliogs. and Indexes in World Lit. 26. Z2037.A54 [PR8711] 016.8209′9415.

An international bibliography of 4,359 dissertations on literature in English by 193 Irish writers (those born in Ireland or usually considered Irish, including a few critics, scholars, actors, and others) as well as “rhetorical, oratorical, and linguistic” studies of some nonliterary figures. Coverage extends through 1989 for United States and Canadian dissertations but ends considerably earlier or is not consecutive for most other countries. Entries—which consist of author, title, institution, and date—are organized in two divisions: individual authors; general and topical studies. Since each dissertation is listed only once, users must be certain to check the “See also” listings after each author section and the subject index for multiple-author studies. Two indexes: dissertation authors; subjects. Although incomplete, based largely on other bibliographies and lists of dissertations, and providing minimal information, O’Malley offers a useful preliminary compilation of dissertations on Anglo-Irish literature.