Peter Costello

LifeWorksCriticismCommentaryQuotationsReferencesNotes

Life
Author of literary biographies and other works incl. Jules Verne (1977); The Heart Grown Brutal: The Irish Revolution in Literature from Parnell to the Death of Yeats, 1891-1939 (1977); Leopold Bloom: A Biography (1981), a fictional extrapolation; with Peter van Kamp, Flann O’Brien (1987), a biography; Dublin Churches (1989); Clongowes Wood School (1990); The Real World of Sherlock Holmes (1991); James Joyce, The Years of Growth (1992); The Story of Clerys, with Tony Farmar (1992), O’Flaherty’s Ireland (1996) and The Irish 100 (NY: Simon & Schuster 2000); Denis Guiney (2008).

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Works
  • Jules Verne: The Inventor of Science Fiction (London: Hodder & Stoughton 1977);
  • The Magic Zoo:Natural History of Imaginary Animals (1979);
  • The Heart Grown Brutal: The Irish Revolution in Literature from Parnell to the Death of Yeats, 1891-1939 (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1977; NJ: Rowman & Littlefield 1978);
  • Leopold Bloom: A Biography (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 1981);
  • with Peter van Kamp, Flann O’Brien: An Illustrated Biography (London; Bloomsbury 1987);
  • Dublin Churches (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1989, 1990), 238pp.;
  • James Joyce [Gill Irish Lives] (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1988), 135pp.;
  • Clongowes Wood School (1990) [commissioned history];
  • Dublin Churches (1990);
  • The Real World of Sherlock Holmes, Conan Doyle as Criminologist (1991);
  • James Joyce: The Years of Growth, 1882-1915 (London: Kyle Cathie; US: Roberts Rinehart 1992), 320pp.;
  • with Tony Farmar, The Very Heart of the City: The Story of Denis Guiney and Clerys (Dubln: T & A Farmar 1992);
  • The Irish Civil War: An Illustrated History (Dublin: Wolfhound Press 1995), with picture research by Peter Costello;
  • [Liam] O’Flaherty’s Ireland (Dublin: Wolfhound Press 1996);
  • Dublin Literary Pub Crawl (Dublin: T & A Farmar 1996);
  • also ‘Joycean Epilogue’, in Tony Farmar, The National Maternity Hospital [Holles St.] (Dublin T. & A. Farmar 1994) [var. 1995];
  • The Irish 100 (NY: Simon & Schuster 2000);
  • Denis Guiney (UCD Press 2008), 128pp., ill. [+8pp. photos].

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Quotations
The Heart Grown Brutal: The Irish Revolution in Literature from Parnell to the Death of Yeats, 1891-1939 (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1977): ‘The thesis of this book is that the cultural revival made possible the political revolution by creating a new ideal of Ireland, and that the literature of the revival provides what might almost be called “the secret history” of the Irish revolution.’ (p.xi.) Further: ‘It was O’Leary who encouraged Maud Gonne in her early politics; and who sent Yeats to read Eugene O’Curry on the ancient Celts. Some other friend suggests he read O’Grady’s version of the Celtic myths and sagas […] just as Maud Gonne became the personification of Irish nationalism, so Yeats was identified with the older, Celtic Ireland of myth.’ (p.22; quoted in Brendan T. Mitchell, PG Dip., UU 2009.)

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References
University of Ulster Library
holds The Heart Grown Brutal: The Irish Revolution in Literature from Parnell to the death of Yeats, 1891-1939 (Dublin: Gill and Macmillan 1977); Jules Verne: Inventor of Science Fiction (London: Hodder and Stoughton 1978); James Joyce [Gill’s Irish Lives] (Dublin: M H Gill 1980); with Peter van de Kamp, Flann O’Brien: An Illustrated Biography (London: Bloomsbury 1987); Clongowes Wood: the History of Clongowes Wood College, 1814-1989 (Gill & Macmillan 1989); Leopold Bloom: A Biography (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 1981), Do., rep. as The Life of Leopold Bloom: a novel (West Cork: Niwot; Colorado: Roberts Rinehart 1992); James Joyce, The Years of Growth, 1882-1915: A Biography (Schull: Niwot; Colorado: Roberts Rinehart 1992; London: Kyle Cathie 1992).

Belfast Public Library holds Dublin Churches (Gill & Macmillan 1989), 238pp., [0717117006]; also Helen Litton, The Irish Civil War: An Illustrated History (Wolfhound 1995), picture research by Peter Costello. QUB holds with Tony Farmar, The Very Heart of the City: The Story of Denis Guiney and Clerys (Clery & Co. 1992), 150pp., ills. and ports.

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Notes
Life of Leopold Bloom (1981; Roberts Rinehart 1992) is characterised by John Cosgrave as ‘a triumph of aesthetic perversity, the novel that Joyce deliberately chose not to write’ in his review for Times Literary Supplement (31 July 1992).

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