A final interview from our annals.
Interview date: 15 January 2010
What book do you wish you had written?
There are so many possible choices – but deep down for me it would have to be a book on Dublin and particulary one focussing on Swift’s Dublin. Therefore my choice would be Dublin 1660-1860 by Maurice Craig first published in 1952. It was one of the first history books that I ever bought as a teenager.
What would you do if you were not a historian?
In my case, I am not a professional historian, having worked in banking for over 35 years. However, if I had not pursued the career in banking I would of course have wanted to be A HISTORIAN (when I grew up).
When was the last time you looked at Wikipedia?
This week to get some biographical information on eighteenth century Irish landscape painters who had painted the Salmon Leap Cascade in Leixlip which I am currently researching.
What event had the greatest impact on history in Ireland?
Battle of the Boyne – it set the scene for all that has followed.
What are you reading now?
Brean Hammond’s new (2010) critical appraisal of Jonathan Swift in the fine Irish Academic Press Irish writers in their time series. It is both an excellecnt summary of the current state of Swift scholarship as well as a clear statement of Hammond’s own views on the various controversies which still surround all things Swiftian over 260 years after his death.