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Revolutionary Dublin's Literary Networks

The sources of the current exhibition in UCD Library’s Special Collections Reading Room are to be found in the Curran-Laird Collection of letters, papers, books, photographs, literary and political ephemera.

Constantine Curran (1883-1972) was a lawyer and historian of 18th Century Dublin architecture, sculpture, and plasterwork. He also held a life-long interest in art and literature. attended UCD where he graduated BA (1902) and MA (1906). It was at UCD that Curran first met James Joyce, with whom he would maintain a lifelong friendship and association. He also knew other early 20th Century Irish writers including W.B. Yeats, Æ, James Stephens and Padraic Colum.

Actress, costumier, teacher, and suffragist, Helen Laird (1874-1957) was born in Limerick. She was involved in the Irish National Theatre Society (later the Abbey company) from its inception, as a costume and set designer as well as a player. Curran and Laird married in 1913.

This exhibition allows people to fully appreciate the depth and range of the Curran-Joyce friendship against a background of revolution, civil war, and the Irish Revival and displays examples of correspondence and early signed editions of Joyce’s work including a first edition of Ulysses. The exhibition act as a showcase not only for Curran, Laird, and Joyce but also other important literary and political actors of this period.

This exhibition was curated by Dr Niels Caul.

View the exhibition booklet ((opens in a new window)on Issuu)

Download the exhibition booklet (English) ((opens in a new window)PDF - 12.3MB)

Download the exhibition booklet (Irish) ((opens in a new window)PDF - 18.3MB)

Booklet as Gaeilge

UCD Special Collections

James Joyce Library, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 7149 | E: special.collections@ucd.ie