Roger McHugh

Life
1908-1987 [Roger J.; Roger Joseph]; b. 14 July, Dublin; first Professor of Anglo-Irish Literature and drama at University College Dublin; plays Trial at Green St. Courthouse (1941) and Rossa (1945) performed at Abbey Theatre; interned in the 1940s; challenged the authencity of the Casement diaries, Threshold (1960) and wrote an unpublished play about Roger Casement in collaboration with Alfred Noyes; issued with Maurice Harmon, Short History of Anglo-Irish Literature from Its Origins to the Present Day (1982); d. 1 Jan. in Dublin; a piece by McHugh on Irish censorship is reprinted in The Best of the Bell, ed Sean MacMahon (c.1978); a Roger McHugh award was inaugurated at UCD for Irish-studies scholars. DIW

[ top ]

Works
  • Henry Grattan (Dublin: Talbot; London: Duckworth 1936);
  • Trial at Green St. Courthouse (Dublin: Browne & Nolan [1946]);
  • Rossa (Tralee: Kerryman [1946]);
  • ed., Letters to Katherine Tynan (NY: McMullen [1953]);
  • ‘The Famine in Oral History’, in The Great Famine: Studies in Irish History 1845-52, ed. R. Dudley Edwards & T. Desmond Williams (Dublin: Browne & Nolan for the Irish Committee of Historical Sciences 1956), [q.p.];
  • ed., Dublin, 1916 (London: Arlington; NY: Hawthorn [1966]);
  • ed., with Philip Edwards, Jonathan Swift 1667-1967 (Dublin: Dolmen 1967);
  • ed., Ah, Sweet Dancer: W. B. Yeats / Margot Ruddick: a Correspondence (London: Macmillan; Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1970);
  • ed., Jack B. Yeats: A Centenary Gathering (Dublin: Dolmen 1971);
  • ‘Anglo-Irish Poetry, 1700-1850’, in Seán Lucy, Irish Poets in English (Mercier 1972), pp.75-90;
  • with Maurice Harmon, Short History of Anglo-Irish Literature from Its Origins to the Present Day (Dublin: Wolfhound; Totowa; Barnes & Noble 1982)

[ top ]

References
Belfast Central Public Library holds Trial at Green Street Courthouse (n.d.); [ed.,] Ballads of Irish Bravery (n.d.); Rossa (1945) [biography of O’Donovan Rossa].

[ top ]

Quotations
Irish creative mind(s): ‘Good blends of the strange and the real seem to have a particular attraction for the Irish creative mind in literature. One remembers James Stephens’ angles sitting down with tinkers and discussing the nutritive value of grass; or Cuchulain joining a tennis club in Drumcondra [sic] in Eimar O’Duffy’s King Goshawk and the Birds; or the poker game between Mad Sweeney, three cowboys, a Pooka and a fairy in Flann O’Brien’s At Swim-Two-Birds; or the dream-sequences in O’Casey and Joyce. (Quoted in Benedict Kiely, ‘The world of James Stephens’, in A Raid into Dark Corners and Other Essays, Cork UP 1999, p.91.)

[ top ]

Notes
Owen Dudley Edwards, ‘Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Hibernicism’, in Irish Review (Summer 1995), p.7f., cites the treatment of Wilde in McHugh’s literary history, written with Maurice Harmon: ‘Roger McHugh ... then at the end of a lifetime honourable in its political rather than its literary courage [...]’. (p.7.)

J. MacArdle, reviewing of Oliver MacDonagh, Looking Back, in Books Ireland (Feb. 2009), quotes: ‘At any rate [...] it was not unfair to say that in oratorical merit and administration the L & H inclined towards Fine Gael; that in collective sentiment it was pro-government; and that in collective voice and vote it was usually in opposition to the government and often (particularly on issues such as Roger MacHugh’s internment) positively Republican.’ (MacDonagh, op. cit., q.p.; MacArdle, p.13.)

Denis Donoghue, in Irish Essays (Cambridge 2011), Introduction: ‘[Jeremiah J.] Hogan was the sole professor [of English]: he was in full charge of the Department, in accordance with the ordinance of Departments by the Irish Universities Act of 1908. Informally, he entrusted the teaching of Old and Middle English to T. P. Dunning, a scholar of Langland. He handed over Anglo-Irish literature and Drama, as it was called, to Roger McHugh, a colleague he did not like: he wanted to keep him at a distance. [...] Being his [Hogan’s] man, not McHugh’s, I did not teach Anglo-Irish literature.’

[ top ]