Homespun Books: Creating an Irish National Children’s Literature

  • Julie Anne StevensEmail author
Part of the Critical Approaches to Children's Literature book series (CRACL)


Belvedere House, the main building of the Catholic teacher training institution, St. Patrick’s College, lies close to the National Botanic Gardens. The Coghill family once owned the house, while the Botanic Gardens contains works by female botanical artists such as the Northern Irish Presbyterian, Sophia Rosamond Praeger. The various traditions suggested by these places might also be discerned in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century children’s books in the College’s Cregan Library. Women artists/writers Edith Somerville (a Coghill niece) and Praeger introduced close study of Irish material culture into some of their children’s books. The contribution of these craftswomen anticipates the development of a distinctly Irish national children’s literature by Padraic Colum as shown in A Boy in Eirinn (1913) illustrated by Jack B. Yeats.


Irish Child Flower Painting Female Artist Irish Material National Botanic Garden 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of English, All Hallows Campus, Dublin City UniversityDublinIreland

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