8. Dublin: 3-Hour Irish Literature Walking Tour
Dublin is a city of literature with three of Ireland's Nobel Prize in Literature winners hailing from this fair city. The capital has been immortalized in the works of James Joyce, Flann O'Brien and Roddy Doyle, to mention a few in the pantheon. On this tour, you will get to know about some of the greatest writers and read their words on the cobblestones where they once stood.
The tour will begin at Merrion Square at the former home of Oscar Wilde. In the central green of the square you will find a humorous statue of a youthful Wilde basking on a rock with some of his wittier quotes on display. You will hear key extracts from "The Portrait of Dorian Gray," "Importance of being Earnest" and "The Ballad of Reading Gaol." Around the corner from Merrion Square, you will enter Sweny's Pharmacy, a James Joyce museum, where you will hear a ballad sung in the Gaelic tongue. In the National Library of Ireland, you will find a permanent exhibit charting the life and times of W.B. Yeats. Before you enter this significant building, you will read excerpts from "Easter 1916" and "The Lake Isle of Innisfree," two of his finest poems. At St. Anne's Church on Dawson Street, you'll discuss the gothic writers Bram Stoker and his inspiration Sheridan Le Fanu. Stoker married Florence Balcombe here in 1878. Nearby at the Duke Pub, frequented by a young James Joyce, and McDaids, the haunt of Patrick Kavanagh, you will hear some humorous stories about two of Ireland's greatest writers over an Irish coffee.
Next on your journey, you will enter Trinity College Dublin, which produced three Nobel Prize in Literature winners: Samuel Becket, George Bernard Shaw and W.B. Yeats. The career of alumni Beckett, Oliver Goldsmith and Shaw will be discussed and you will read excerpts from "The End," "The Vicar of Wakefield" and "Pygmalion." At the Palace Bar at the entrance to Temple Bar, you will stop in the famous haunt of Flann O'Brien and Brendan Behan and hear about the life and works of two men considered to be the greatest writers of their generation. Over a pint, you will read from "At Swim Two Birds" and "Borstal Boy." After much needed refreshment, you will continue the tour with a discussion of Dublin's greatest female writers, Lady Augusta Gregory, Edna O'Brien, the Gore-Booth sisters, at a series of murals dedicated to their memory. Then, visit the Ulysses murals and read more from James Joyce. By Dublin Castle and St. Patrick's Cathedral, you will meet the father of modern Irish literature, Jonathan Swift, who was once the Dean of the cathedral. Read from the fantastical "Gulliver's Travels" but also from the satirical "A Modest Proposal for Ireland." Stop at the National Theatre of Ireland the Abbey. Founded in 1904 as a stage for developing Irish literary talent by Yeats and Lady Augusta Gregory, two of its most controversial talents were J.M. Synge and Sean O'Casey. Finish your tour at the Irish Writer's Museum in Parnell Square where you will learn how their literature became legacy.