Monday, March 10, 2008

Roy Foster

Roy Foster is Carroll Professor of Irish History, an endowed Chair founded in 1991 and attached to Hertford College, University of Oxford. He is the author of many books on the political, social, cultural and literary history of Ireland, and the two-volume authorized biography of W.B.Yeats. His most recent work, Luck and the Irish: A Brief History of Change from 1970, concerns social and political change in Ireland in the late twentieth century.

Of Luck and the Irish, William Birdthistle wrote in the Wall Street Journal: "This deceptively brief volume is an encyclopedic survey of change throughout the national fabric of Ireland -- religious, political and cultural -- over the past three decades."

Last week I asked him what he was reading. His reply:
Scotland's Books by Robert Crawford [Penguin, literary history], because I'm giving the Clark lectures in Cambridge next year and want to talk about nationalism and romanticism in literature; The Truth Commissioner by David Park [Bloomsbury], because it's a powerful novel about Northern Ireland by a writer I deeply admire; God's Architect: Pugin and the Building of Romantic Britain by Rosemary Hill [Penguin] and Talleyrand: Betrayer and Saviour of France by Robin Harris [John Murray], because I'm a judge of a prize for literary biography & have to produce a shortlist in a week or so; and Selected Poems by Bernard O'Donoghue [Faber], because he is a poet of great distinction and subtle power who writes about the Ireland I know (or knew).
Read more about Luck and the Irish at the Oxford University Press website.

Learn more about Roy Foster's research and other publications at his Oxford faculty webpage.

--Marshal Zeringue