Joyce. Swift. Wilde. Stoker. Shaw. Yeats. Beckett. It’s incredible that so many great writers were produced by the very same city! We can’t wait to embark on our first summer of Literary Dublin, a week dedicated entirely to this great Irish city’s history, folklore, and the literature it inspired.
As we prepare for this literary adventure abroad, we’d like to share with you some of the most exciting sites we plan to visit during our trip.
James Joyce Centre
It’s impossible to avoid James Joyce while in Dublin. His most famous works, including Dubliners and Ulysses, were shaped by their setting, and in many ways the city shines as a main character in these iconic works.
James Joyce Centre allows visitors to explore and interact with both the life of James Joyce, and his most famous novel Ulysses, chapter-by-chapter. The Centre also leads Joyce-themed walking tours of Dublin, which feature the real-life locations that inspired Joyce’s best-known stories.
In such a literary city, you’re apt to find a bookshop every time you turn a corner. One of our favorites is the Gutter Bookshop, themed for Oscar Wilde, whose character Lord Darlington famously said “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” This independent bookshop is certainly not the largest in Dublin, but it offers a quaint atmosphere and a unique selection of reading material. In addition to an array of Wildean memorabilia, the Gutter is also known for their amazing children’s book section.
This unique museum is about so much more than leprechauns (but it’s also very much about leprechauns). Tours are led by storytellers who lead guests through the history of Irish mythology and a number of interactive exhibits, including the Giant’s Causeway and a fairy hill. Visitors even get to experience the world from the perspective of Ireland’s favorite mythological creature, the Leprechaun.
Okay, so this history happens to also be very literary, but can you blame us?
Trinity College Old Library
If you’re a true bibliophile like we are, just a picture of Trinity College’s Old Library should be enough to convince you that you need to go to Dublin. Just look at it!
Were you to go to the Old Library, pull out a dictionary, and look up “library,” you would find a picture of yourself standing in the library holding a dictionary. This is the Platonic ideal of libraries, right on the very campus where we’ll be living during Literary Dublin!
In addition to being the largest library in Ireland, the Trinity College Old Library is also home to a number of exhibits, including the Book of Kells, a ninth-century manuscript of the Gospels so beautiful it is considered to be Ireland’s national treasure.
Nestled within the gorgeous original architecture of an 18th-century Dublin home, the National Writer’s Museum pays tribute to Ireland’s great writers of the past and present. With all its writers in one place, a visit to the National Writer’s Museum is a perfect way to sum up a literary tour of Dublin.