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Having no intimates, and no one to whom she could confide her feelings, Frances Burney addressed them confidently to Nobody.
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Bascombe Is Back

Richard Ford's Frank Bascombe is back in a new novel, Let Me Be Frank with You. The only thing John Banville doesn't like is the title.
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Dublin At Your Feet

A number of pavement lights on the streets of south central Dublin bear the name Hayward Brothers. They were produced by the same family which also gave us a noted Irish actor, singer and travel writer.
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Tread Softly

Is Thomas Davis on the way to becoming a forgotten hero, yet another of those monumental figures from the past which say to us 'who is it now, who exactly was he?'
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In Proud And Glorious Memory

It has been suggested that many participants in the First World War sleepwalked into a conflict whose future dimensions they could not at the time imagine. But Italy walked into it wide awake ... having first devoted some thought to who was likely to win.
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GBS: An Old Man's Dreams

Whatever we have done, or whatever we have failed to do, may pursue us through restless nights for many decades after our conscious minds have forgotten it all.
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This Won't Hurt

In among the dross, occasional nuggets of gold can be found at the bottoms of the pages of many academic works, the historian of learning Anthony Grafton suggests.
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Byron in Venice

The great romantic poet found the Adriatic city to be a place where he could indulge both his spiritual and intellectual longings and his more carnal ones.
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Statue-breaking

When an empire ends and a country becomes independent the imperial soldiers leave - but the visible heritage they have left behind is sometimes found to be disturbing or unacceptable.
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Wandering Jews

The late historian Tony Judt rose from a poor London Jewish background to become a world-renowned scholar and political thinker. Would he have achieved the same had he been born in Ireland, where his father shipped up in the 1930s?
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It's the real thing

Colm Toibin's new novel, Nora Webster, has been garnering some very high praise from the critics.
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Speaka Da Eengleesh

Why is it that so much 'excellence' is to be found in the university sector in the English-speaking world, and so little elsewhere?
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A Pot of Gold

Paul Laurence Dunbar was considered the most promising African American writer at the turn of the twentieth century. A musical for which he wrote the lyrics was performed in Dublin 110 years ago.
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Give us your ould Lingo

A spoken word festival, a first for Dublin, comes to the city later this month.
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Siegfried Lenz: 1926-2014

German novelist Siegfried Lenz, who has died aged 88, was a political collaborator of Günter Grass and a champion of reconciliation between Germany and the countries it had devastated in the Second World War.
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It's Poetry: Read it Out Loud

A new anthology of poetry for young people with links to through smartphone or tablet to recordings will make the best Christmas present - evvah.
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Please Mister Postman

The British knew quite a bit in advance about the intentions of the IRB before 1916. One of their most valuable informants was a man called 'Redmond'.
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Love as a principle, order as its base

In advance of the first round of Brazil’s presidential election, Tom Hennigan reflects on the significance of the country’s unusual ‘retro-futurist’ national flag and in particular of its famous motto celebrating order and progress.
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Fighting over the flag

Some sections of unionist opinion fought a rearguard action after Irish independence, though harassed by Sinn Fein in particular. God Save The Queen was sung at the horse show at the RDS even in the late 1940s.
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The thickness of books

Books are a different class of object, argues Toby Munday, profoundly unlike magazines, newspapers, blogs, games or social media sites. They will be damaged if they are treated as if they are the same.
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