Samuel Derrick

Life
1724-1769 [var. Derricke]; b. Dublin, d. Tunbridge Wells; apprent. linen-maker, joined travelling actors [‘mummers’], moved to London and met Goldsmith and Johnson; succeeded Beau Nash as Master of Ceremonies at Bath; pop. plays include Sylla (1753), based on another by Frederick of Prussia; A Voyage to the Moon (also 1753); Ossianic poem, The Battle of Lora (1972). RR DIW

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Criticism
Richard Ryan, Biographia Hibernica, Irish Worthies (1821), Vol. II, p.87; also brief notice in Russell Alspach, Irish Poetry from the English Invasion to 1798 (Pennsylvania UP 1959), p.34f., remarking that The Image is treated as a part of Irish Literature in Samuel Ferguson., ‘Mere Irish: Curiosities of Irish Literature’, Dublin University Magazine, IX (1837).

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Commentary
Leerssen, Mere Irish & Fíor Ghael (1986,), Samuel Derrick, Irish born successor to Beau Nash as master of Ceremonies at Bath, published a description of various places in Ireland in 1767 ... incl. Killarney, ‘one of the most beautiful and romantic spots in this kingdom.’ Letters written from Leverpoole, Chester, Corke, the lake of Killarney, 2 vols. (Dublin 1767). [p.76]

Alspach, Irish Poetry (Penn. UP 1959): cites lines addressed to St. Patrick enquiring why he troubled to kill snakes ‘When as thou left’st more spiteful beasts/Within this fertile land’, signifying Irishmen. (Alspach, p.35.)

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Quotations
Of the Irish (1): ‘For in verie trothe my harte abhorreth their dealynges and my soul dooeth deteste their wild shamrocke manners.’ (from Image; cited in Alannah Hopkins, Living Legend of St. Patrick, 1989, p.112.)

Of the Irish (2): ‘Yet do thei loke to shaking Boggs, / such vertue hat that grounde: / that they are wurse than widlest Karne, / And more in Sin Abound’. (Quoted in John Wilson Foster, ‘Encountering Traditions’, in Foster and Helena C. G. Chesney, ed., Nature in Ireland: A Scientific and Cultural History (Dublin: Lilliput 1997), p.27.

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