William F. P. Stockley

Criticism

Life
1859-1943 [William Frederick Paul Stockley]; b. Templeogue, Co. Dublin; ed. Rathmines School and TCD; taught English in Canada up to 1905; appt. lecturer in English and History at Queen’s College, Cork, and and appt. Professor of English at UUC, 1909-31; joined Sinn Féin; elected alderman of Cork, 1920-25; survived an assassination attempt by Crown agents, 1920; elected TD for NUI, 1923-23; he opposed the Treaty and supported de Valera; wrote on Shakespeare and Newman; also issued an anthology; he is the object of a caricature, deemed unfair, in Sean O’Faolain’s Vive Moi. DIH

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Works
Essays in Irish Biography (Cork: University Press 1933), 191pp. [Moore and Ireland; The Religion of Thomas Moore; Canon Sheehan and His People; Dr. Henebry].

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Criticism
For an account of Stockley and O’Faolain’s abuse of him - incl. details from a correspondence with Aloys Fleischmann, see John A. Murphy, ‘O’Faolain and U.C.C.’, in The Irish Review, 26 (Autumn 2000), pp.38-50.

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References
British Library holds Stockley, ed., The Dream of Gerontion, [by] J. H. Newman, with some words on the poem (1923); Gold Medallist Essay [on] Newman (Dublin University Philosophical Soc. n.d.); Essays in Irish Biography [‘Moore and Ireland’; ‘The Religion of Tom Moore’; ‘Canon Sheehan and the People’; ‘Dr. Henebry’] (Cork UP 1933), 191pp.; King Henry V’s Poet Historical: A Study of the Plays of Shakespeare (London: Heath Cranion 1925); Newman, Education and Ireland (London: Sands & Co. 1933); Julius Caesar (London: Longmans 1914), x, 91pp.

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Hyland Books (Cat. 224) lists Essays in Irish Biography (Cork: University Press 1933), signed copy to ‘ladies of Drishane Convent’.

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Notes
Sean O’Faolain, She Had to Do Something (Abbey 1939) is a play based on the German wife of Prof. Stockley, born in Munich of a Bavarian father and a French mother, who is bored by the drabness of Cork, who engages a corp of Russian ballet dancers, causing nationalist riots at such immoral entertainment; actually based on the visit of Anna Pavlova Ballet Co. in 1931, inducing pulpit denunciations. [See Aloys Fleischmann, memoir, in Sean O’Faolain Issue of Cork Review, 1991.]

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Douglas Hyde’s diary records meetings and talks with Stockley, who was present at O’Leary’s house, and who ‘sang Who fears to speak of 98 in Ingram’s presence’ on 14 Oct. 1888. [See Dominic Daly, Young Douglas Hyde, 1974, p.95.]

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Robert Kee, The Green Flag: A History of Irish Nationalism (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson 1972), writes of an assassination attempt directed at Professor Stockley by police agents in Cork, 1920: ‘Superficially it looked like a standard attempt by one of the Volunteer assassination squads: women in civillian clothes came up to the Professor and fired at him with revolvers at close range. But the curious thing was that Stockley was a Sinn Fein supporter. / Amazingly the bullets passed through his coat leaving him unharmed, and the next day at a meeting appropriated of the Public Health Committee of the Cork Corporation, he was congratulated on his marvellous escape.’ (p.669.) Further: ‘Professor Stockley ... had noticed one significant thing about his would-be assassins. They had talked, he said, “like strangers”.’ (Cork Examiner, 19 March 1920; Kee, 670).

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