Cré na Cille. First Edition (1949)

Author: Mairtin Ó Cadhain

Book ID: 67849

Price: 450.00

Cré na Cille. Aithris I nDeich nEadarluid. Illustrated by Charles Lamb. Dublin: Sairseal & Dill, 1949. First Edition. Pp, 364. Black buckram boards, publisher’s pictorial silver dust jacket. Light chipping along margins, with some loss, book a little bowed, contents in very good condition.

First issue of this Irish language classic, charmingly illustrated with full-page pen drawings by Charles Lamb R.H.A.

Cre na Cille (Churchyard Clay) won the Oireachtas literary competition in 1947. Recognized almost immediately as a classic, the book, set among the dead in a Connemara graveyard, was serialized in the Irish Press between February and September of 1949, the same year it was published in Dublin by Sairseal agus Dill. O Cadhain, responding to suggestions that he was inspired by Dostoevsky, claimed that his inspiration actually came from a throwaway comment he heard after digging a grave for an elderly resident of An Cnocan Glas.

The novel features Caitríona Pháidín, a recently deceased Irish matriarch whose history is revealed through conversations with others lying in the graveyard as each new arrival relates the progress of events above ground. It emerges that her life’s passion was the besting of her sister Neil. The novel depicts the unpleasant side of Irish rural life. It is unflinchingly honest, very funny, and fiercely eloquent.

Ephemera relating to the publisher ‘Sáirséal Agus Dill’ loosely inserted.

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