Eric Cross (1905-1980)

Life
b. Newry, Co. Down; brought up and educated in England; became a chemical engineer and an inventor; he wrote and broadcast for BBC and RTÉ; issued The Tailor and Ansty (1942), a transcription of the often ribald tales of the eponymous character and his wife, properly Tim and Anastasia Buckley, who lived at Gougane Barra, Cork; the book caused a furore leading to its being banned by the Irish censor and made the subject of a Senate debate; finally released from censorship in 1963 [var. 1948]; also issued Silence is Golden and Other Stories (1978). DIW DIH DIL OCIL DUB

See also under Tim Buckley, q.v..

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Works
The Tailor and Ansty, intro. by Frank O’Connor (Chapman & Hall 1942, 1964), 223pp. [details]; Do., [rep. edn.] (Cork: Mercier 1970), and Do., trans as Le Tailleur et Anstie, trans. by Joëlle Gac (KeltiaGraphic@wanadoo.fr. 2009) 192pp.; also Silence is Golden and Other Stories (Swords: Poolbeg 1978), 123pp.

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Bibliographical details
The Tailor and Ansty, by Eric Cross (London: Chapman & Hall 1942), 203pp., front., photo. [by] Charles Fennell. The text commences with the Tailor’s grandiloquent version of his own address, ‘In the townland of Garrynapeaka, in the district of Inchageela, in the parish of Iveleary, in the barony of West Muskerry, in the county of Cork, in the province of Munster’ [11]. This copy includes obituary notice ( Irish Times, Mon. 23rd April 1944) giving an short account of the book, its banning in 1942, and its being subject of a Senate debate, to which is added MSS note, ‘this book was released from Censorship Jan. 1948 by the Appeal Board.

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Quotations
Antsy’s world is very limited and personal. Bantry and Macroom come within the compass of it. Cork is a train upon her imagination. Beyond Cork lies the rest of the world, and Heaven and Hell. (Cross, The Tailor and Ansty, 1945 ed., pp.14-15; quoted in Máirín Nic Eoin, An Litríocht Réigiúnach, 1982, p.216.)

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Notes
Stage version: Éamon Kelly and Bríd Lynch [Ní Loinsig] played the titular roles in P. J. O’Connor's stage adaptation of Cross's The Tailor and Ansty for the Peacock (1967), afterwards touring with play throughout Ireland and ‘passing into legend’. Successfully adapted to RTE television with Kelly's wife Maura O'Sullivan after the death of Lynch and later revived at Gougane Barra by New Theatre Dublin (2005, 2006, 2007), with Ronan Wilmot and Nuala Hayes touring to London (Old Red Lion, July 2008) and afterwards returning to Ireland to play in Ireland with Ena May in place of Nuala Hayes (Fota House, Co. Cork, July-Aug. 2009).

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