The Book of the O’Conor Don


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SKU: B1.5 Category:


ed. Pádraig Ó Macháin
Published: 2010
Format: hardback
Pages: ix + 278
Reference: B.1.5
ISBN: 978-1-85500-217-3

The Book of the O’Conor Don is one of the most important Irish manuscripts surviving today. It contains a large collection of bardic poems dating from the 13th to the 17th century, and is the most important single source for this type of Irish literature.

The manuscript was written in Ostend in 1631, by Aodh Ó Dochartaigh, a soldier in the Irish regiment, for Captain Somhairle Mac Domhnaill. Patriot, pirate and man of letters, Captain Somhairle is one of the most colourful patrons in Irish literary history.

This volume contains the proceedings of a conference that was organized to celebrate the digitization of the Book of the O’Conor Don by Irish Script on Screen, the manuscript digitization project of the School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. The papers presented here address different aspects of the manuscript: scribe, script, contents, themes, historical context and scholarly legacy.


  • Contributors
    p. vii
  • Abbreviations
    p. viii
  • Preface
    p. ix
  • An introduction to the Book of the O’Conor Don
    Pádraig Ó Macháin
    p. 1
  • The selection of poems for inclusion in the Book of the O’Conor Don
    Katharine Simms
    p. 32
  • Florilegium of faith: the religious poems in the Book of the O’Conor Don
    Salvador Ryan
    p. 61
  • Captain Somhairle and his books revisited
    Ruairí Ó hUiginn
    p. 88
  • The Book of the O’Conor Don and the manuscripts of St Anthony’s College, Louvain
    Pádraig A. Breatnach
    p. 103
  • Aodh Ó Dochartaigh and UCD-OFM MS A 25
    Caoimhín Breatnach
    p. 123
  • The textual quality of the Book of the O’Conor Don
    Gordon Ó Riain
    p. 132
  • ‘New Troy’: the Irish at Oostende in the first half of the seventeenth century
    Benjamin J. Hazard
    p. 166
  • Douglas Hyde the scholar
    Liam Mac Mathúna
    p. 191
  • The role of Charles O’Conor of Belanagare in the Irish manuscript tradition
    Nollaig Ó Muraíle
    p. 226
  • Bibliography
    p. 245
  • Index
    p. 263

Additional information

Weight 624 g