Richard MacElligott

ed. Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Dublin (1808)


Joseph Th. Leerssen, Mere Irish & Fior-Ghael: Studies in the Idea of Irish Nationality, Its Development and Literary Expression Prior To The Nineteenth Century (John Benjamins Pub. Co., Amsterdam & Philadelphia, 1986), remarks that a glimpse of the Gaelic outlook on the process of osmosis between Anglo-Irish and Gaelic scholars in in the Celtic revival is afforded by a letter which An Mangaire Sugach [Andrew Magrath] wrote in 1787 to Mcelligott (later a member of the Gaelic Society) ... explaining the paucity of surviving manuscripts [quotes:] ‘there were so many severe & penal laws Instituted & enacted agains them, their Authors patrons & other Encouragers; by which means they were expelled, & oblig’d to quit their Country, Family, Friends & other protectors; so that there are hardly any fotsteps [sic] of them to be traced till now that by the lenity of the present Government, they begin to breathe, & hope to be encouraged, & redressed; yet it will take up a great deal of Time & labour to collect speciments of their work & anecdotes of their lives, & [sealing wax here] translations, and that by traversing a great part of the country far & near & by Improving an acquaintance with many distant Correspondents’ (RIA MS 24 0 55; Leerssen, op. cit., p.288]

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