Eleanor Hull

Life
1860-1935, b. 15 Jan., Manchester, England, to Co. Down family, being dg. of Prof. Edward Hull, Dir. of Geological Survey of Ireland, 1870-90; ed. Alexandra College, Dublin; studied under Kuno Meyer and Standish Hayes O’Grady; settled in London and contrib. The Cornhill Magazine; joined London branch of Gaelic League; issued Cuchulain Saga in Irish Literature (1898), followed by Pagan Ireland (1904), and Early Christian Ireland (1904), as part of a 2-vol. Textbook of Irish Literature; fnd. with others the Irish Texts Society, 1899, and served as secretary for 30 years; sometime President of Irish Literary Society (London); ed. Irish Home Reading Magazine, with Lionel Johnson, 1894; She wrote the hymn “Be Thou My Light” based on Mary E. Byrne’s translation of Dallan Forgaill’s Patrician lyric “Rob tu mo bhoile, a Comdi cride”; d. 13 Jan. JMC IF DIB DIW DIH OCIL FDA

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Works
Cuchulain Saga in Irish Literature, being a collection of stories …
(London: David Nutt 1898), [contains an abridged translation of the Táin Bó Cuailgne by Standish Hayes O’Grady in the Book of Leinster version; infra]; Pagan Ireland (1904), and Early Christian Ireland (1904), being Vols. I & II of The Epochs of Irish History:A Textbook of Irish Literature, 2 vols. (Dublin: M. H. Gill; London: Alfred Nutt 1906), and Do. [another edn.] (1908); Cuchulainn, The Hound of Ulster (1909), Do., [another edn.] (1911), ill Stephen Reid; The Poem-Book of the Gael: Translations from Irish Gaelic Poetry into English Prose and Verse (London: Chatto & Windus 1912) [var. 1913], 370pp.; The Northmen in Britain (London: GC Harrap & Co. 1913); A History of Ireland and her People [2 vols.] (London: G. C. Harrap & Co. 1926), another edn. [2nd vol.] [(1931)]; Folklore of the British Isles (G. C. Harrap & Co. 1928).

Cuchulain Saga in Irish Literature, being a collection of stories relating to the hero Cuchullin / translated from the Irish by various scholars, compiled and edited, with introduction and notes, by Eleanor Hull [Grimms Library No. 8] (London: David Nutt 1898), lxxix, 316pp.; Contents: The birth of Conachar, adapted from the translation of K. Meyer; How Conachar gained the kingship over Ulster, adapted from the translation of E. O’Curry; The origin of Cuchullin, from the French translation of M. L. Duvau; Tragical death of the sons of Usnach, from the translations by W. Stokes and O’Flanagan; The wooing of Emer and Cuchullin’s education under Scathach, translated by K. Meyer; The siege of Howth, translated by W. Stokes; The debility of the Ultonian warriors, from the German of E. Windisch; The appearance of the Morrigu to Cuchullin before the Táin Bó Cuailnge, from the German of E. Windisch; The Táin Bó Cuailnge, analysis with extracts by S. H. O’Grady; The instruction of Cuchullin to a prince, from the translations of E. O’Curry and M. D’Arbois de Jubainville; The great defeat on the plain of Muirthemne before Cuchullin’s death, translated by S. H. O’Grady; The tragical death of Cuchullin, translated by W. Stokes; The tragical death of King Conachar, from the translation by E. O’Curry; The phantom chariot of Cuchullin, from the translation by O’Beirne Crowe.

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Criticism
“AE” [George Russell], ‘The Cuchullin Saga’, review of Eleanor Hull, ed., The Cuchullin Saga in Irish Literature (London: Alfred Nutt 1898), in New Ireland Review (January 1899), pp.333-38; Joseph Sweeney, ‘Why “Sinn Féin?”’, in Éire-Ireland, 6, 2 (Summer 1971), pp.33-40 [infra]. See also Irish Book Lover, Vols. 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, & 13.

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Commentary
W. P. Ryan, The Irish Literary Revival (London 1894), writes of Miss Eleanor Hull, on the staff of the Literary World, to which she contributes Irish matter; well considered as a lecturer to the Irish Literary Society [116]

Joseph Sweeney, ‘Why “Sinn Féin?”’, in Éire-Ireland, 6, 2 (Summer 1971), pp.33-40: ‘Eleanor Hull, a distinguished Irish scholar of [Douglas] Hyde’s generation feared that [the meaning of the words] Sinn Féin had been widely misunderstood. [...] Sinn Féin’s true meaning of Irish self-reliance, she suggested, could best be understood through the words of a poem by John O’Hagan, written before “the Society which called itself by the name was ever heard of.” (Hull, A History of Ireland and Her People, [1931], p.392; Sweeney, p.37). Sweeney quotes the first verse of O’Hagan’s poem ‘The work that should to-day be wrought, / Defer not til to-morrow; / The help that should within be sought / Scorn from without to borrow. / Old maxims these - yet stout and true - / They speak in trumpet tone, / ’ To do at once what is to do, / And trust Ourselves Alone.’ (Sweeney, p.38.) Sweeney adds that John O’Hagan became a prominent Justice who edited the collected poems of Samuel Ferguson, published a translation of The Song of Roland, and wrote an introduction to an edition of Thomas More’s Utopia. John O’Leary, who knew him in Paris, said that he was a fine conversationalist. (O’Leary, Recollections of Fenians and Fenianism, 1806, Vol. 2, p.62; Sweeney, p.38.)

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Quotations
Sense of Place: ‘[T]here is hardly a bay, a plain, or a hill in Ireland, around which romance, pagan or Christian, has not woven some tale or legend’ (The Cuchullin Saga in Irish Literature, 1898, rep. NY AMS Press 1972, p.xxxiv; quoted in J. W. Foster, Fictions of the Irish Literary Revival, 1987, p.15.) [Foster cites further from this work.]

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References
New English Hymnal (Canterbury Press 1986, and eds. to 1990), incls. 8th-century poem, prob. Irish, trans. by Mary Byrne (1860-1931) and versified by Eleanor Hull (1860-1935): ‘Be thou my vision, O Lord of my Heart / Be all else but naught to me, save that thou art / Be thou my best thought in the day and the night / Both waking and sleeping they presence my light ... Still be my vision whatever befall / Still be thou my vision, O Ruler of All’.

Church of Ireland Hymnal (1960, 1987), incls. “Grusab tú mo bhoile / be thou my vision”, called early Irish [322]; “Baoth a csoidhe, a Mhic Dé”, by Murdock O’Daly [i.e., Muireadach Albanach Ó Dálaigh], 13th c., trans. Eleanor Hull [324]; “Do budh mian dom anmáin-se [My spirit lists]”, trans. from Old Irish [227]. .

Library of Herbert Bell, Belfast holds A Text Book of Irish Literature, 2 vols. (Dublin [n.d.]); Cuchulain, The Hound of Ulster (London 1911); do., 2nd copy (London n.d.), ill. by Stephen Reid; Edward Hull, The Physical Geology, Geography of Ireland (London 1878).

Belfast Public Library holds under Hull 12 titles; 2 mythology, and 10 geology, incl. Cuchulain, the Hound of Ulster (1911); Early Christian Ireland (1905); History of Ireland and her People (1931); On the Geol. Age of the Ballycastle Coalfield ( [n.d.]); Pagan Ireland (1908); The Physical Geol. and Geog. of Ireland (1891); Poem-Book of the Gael (1912); Reminiscences of a Strenuous Life (1910); A Textbook of Irish Literature (1908); [Hull, pere], Explan. memoir ... [with] sheets 37, 38 and part of 29 of maps of the geol. survey of Ireland (1871).

University of Ulster Library, Morris Collection holds Folklore of the British Isles (1928); A History of Ireland and her People to the Close of the Tudor Period (1926); The Poem Book of the Gael, translation from Gaelic poetry into English prose and verse (1912); A Text Book of Irish Literature, Vol. 1 (Gill 1906).

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Notes
Irish Book Lover (July/Aug. 1935), records that Hull was a favourite pupil and close friend of Standish Hayes O’Grady.

Douglas Hyde called Eleanor Hull ‘the most intelligent and best educated girl in Dublin’ in his diary (20 March 1889; see Dominic Daly, Young Douglas Hyde, 1974, n., p.208.)

Namesake: Vernam E. Hull is the author/ed. of Hessens Irisches Lexikon. Kurzgefasstes / Hessen’s Irish Lexicon [begun by H. Hessen and continued by S. Caomhánach, R. Hertz, V. E. Hull and G. Lehmacher] (Halle 1933- ); ed. Longes Mac N- Uislenn/The Exile of the Sons of Uisliu [MLA Monograph Series, 16] (NY: OUP: London: MLA 1949), ix, 187pp.; A Collection of Irish Riddles [Univ. of California Pubs./ Folklore Studies, 6] (California UP 1955), xiv, 129pp.

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