Charles Welsh

WorksCriticismCommentary

Life
1850-1914; taught literature at the Catholic University of America (Washington, DC) and was later appt. Professor of English at Notre Dame University, where he served as managing editor of the Irish Literature, 10 vols. (NY 1904) - which he effectively edited, co-ordinating a team of editorial advisors including Yeats, Lady Gregory, Douglas Hyde, et al.; his own editorial essay covers the subject of fairy tales and pleads for a greater regard for Irish traditions considered as a positive ingredient in the making of American culture.

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Works
Irish Literature, gen. ed., Justin McCarthy, MP, 10 vols. (Philadelphia: Morris & Co. 1904); and Do. [10 vols. in 5] (Washington: Catholic Univ. of America 1904).

Irish Literature, gen. ed. Justin McCarthy (1904) is available at All volumes [1-X] in Philadelphia Edn. (1904) at Internet Archive [Google Books] online ; also in part at Archive.org in two formats - viz., pdf & text*

See Charles Welsh, “Irish Fairy and Folk Tales” [intro. essay], in Irish Literature, gen. ed. Justin MacCarthy, Vol. III (Philadelphia: John Morris & Company 1904), p.xvii-xxv - in RICORSO Library, “Criticism” > Monographs, via index or attached.

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Quotations
Irish Literature (Washington 1904), Vol. I, Foreword, pp.xvii-xxiii, ‘Before Irishmen were forced to express themselves in English they had a literature of which the wealth and the wonder have been revealed in these later uears by Dr. Whitley Stokes, Dr Kuno Meyer, Eugene O’Curry, John O’Donovan, Miss Eleanor Hull, Lady Gregory, Dr Douglas Hyde, M. de Jubainville, and Professors Zimmer and Wundlich and others too numerous to mention ... /After all, however, the great bulk of Irish literature consists of the contributions of Irishmen and Irishwomen to English literature. For the first time they are given their due in this library, and Irish people themselves will be astonished to find how the Irishmen and women who have written in the English language, and never been credited with their work as Irish, but have ever been classified under an alien name, have preserved an individuality, a distinctive characteristic, a national spirit, a racial flavour, which entitle their work to a place apart’ (xviii); ‘always bright, always attractive, no acres of dryasdust in ‘Irish Literature’; ‘Mr Justin McCarthy’s article introductory takes the reader by the hand, as it were, and genially described to him the flowery paths along which he may wander ...’ [Cont.]

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Irish Literature (Washington 1904): ‘[T]he Irish is the most readable literature in the world; it is entertaining, amusing, bright, sunny, poetical, tasteful, and it is written with an ease and fluency which have been the salt that has seasoned the whole body of English literature’ (xix); ‘[The anthology] focuses the whole intellectuality of the Irish people’ (idem.) Note that the term ‘intellectuality’ derives from Douglas Hude’s usage: ‘with her language she lost her intellectuality.’ (Quoted in Nuala C. Johnson, ‘Making Space: Gaeltacht Policy and the Politics of Identity’, in In Search of Ireland: A Cultural Geography of Ireland, Routledge 1997, Bibliography, 174-91, p.179, citing Ó hAilín, ‘Irish Revival Movements’, in The Gaelic League Idea, ed. S. Ó Tuama, Cork: Mercier Press 1972, p.96.) [Cont.]

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Irish Literature (Washington 1904): ‘Mr William Butler Yeats, the accomplished orator and poety, who has left such a good impression the hearts of all Irish-American people, deals with Modern Irish Poetry (xxi); ‘The work of assembling the contents of this library is not that of one man. It is the outcome of the combined wisdom, taste, literary judgeent, and editorial skill of a group of the foremost living Irish scholars and critics, as will be seen by the list of ladies and gentlemen form the Editorial Board and Advisory Committee. First of all, the whole field of Irish literature in the English language from the seventeenth century down to our own day, including the works of translators from the ancient Irish, was carefully surveyed, and a mass of material was collected sufficient in quantity for two or three such libraries as this. Lists of these authors and of these examples of their work were then prepared and forwarded to each member of the Committee of Selection, who subjected these lists to a most careful and critical process of winnowing and weeding. The results of their independent recensions were then carefully brought together, compared, and combined. A new list of authors and their works based upon this was made, and this was in turn finally exmanined and passed upon by the Editor in Chief Mr Justin McCarthy and the eminent critic, Mr. Stephen Gwynn in personal conference. (xxiii); ‘[Special thanks to] S. J. Richardson of The Gael who has placed at our disposal the treasure of his Encl Hib. and materials for illustration. (xxv.)

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Irish Literature (Washington 1904): ‘A Glance at Ireland’s History’, Irish Literature, Vol. IX, pp.vii-xii: ‘The intensity of Fenianism was one of the causes that lead to the disestablishment of the Irish Church in 1869, and the passing of the Irish Land Act in 170 ...’ (xi-xii); Various [other] measures of relief affecting education and ownership of land have been passed by the British Government since then [viz, Local Govt., Act. 1898], but much remains yet to be done in this and other directions.’ [End.]

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Notes
Namesake?: Charles Welsh appears also to have issued A bookseller of the last century : being some account of the life of John Newberry, and of the books he published (London: For Griffith, Farran, Okeden & Welsh, 1885), Character Portraits from Dickens (Chatto & Windus 1908); A Catalogue of English and American chapbooks and broadside ballads in Harvard College Library [ed. with William H. Tillinghast] (Harvard UL 1905), and sundry works.

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