"The drb sustains a level of commentary on Irish and international matters that no other journal in Ireland and few elsewhere can reach. It deserves all the support that can be given it." X
Space to Think, a new book celebrating ten years of the Dublin Review of Books More Information 

Romancing the Stone

Richard Tillinghast
Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin put paid to the Georgian and Regency styles and became the premier architect of the Gothic Revival. He designed one of the world’s most instantly recognisable landmarks, the clock tower popularly known as Big Ben. He can rightly be said to have changed the architectural face of Ireland too, his buildings being particularly common in Co Wexford.
Jul 9, 2008, 18:35 PM

The Work of Giants

Michael Barry
The architectural profession, peacock-like, has sprung to the fore in modern Ireland. But in Victorian Ireland the heroes were the engineers, and justifiably so.
Sep 9, 2013, 11:01 AM

The Stilled World

Nicola Gordon Bowe
Unsentimental, sparing and unspecific, the painter Patrick Pye has sought figurative images to represent symbolically “the archetypes of our humanity” depicted in an alternative universe where expiation has been achieved.
Jun 16, 2013, 12:58 PM


Nathan Hugh O’Donnell
A stroll along Dublin’s river Liffey, from Heuston Station, past Eve and Adam’s and out to the bend of the bay, reveals the city’s seventeen and a half bridges and the stories behind them.
Nov 3, 2013, 20:25 PM

No Partition, No Planning, No Poverty

Breandán Mac Suibhne
Some old familiars are to be encountered in a historical geography of Donegal, but it is more surprising what is not encountered.
Nov 18, 2013, 15:01 PM

Nurse of the Infant Nation

Nicola Gordon Bowe
Alice Milligan, political activist and feminist and the first architect of Ireland’s national theatre movement, died in poverty and was largely forgotten by later generations.

Jul 22, 2012, 16:18 PM

The Wild Harvest

Cormac Ó Gráda
Before the inexorable advance of the conifer, the picking of wild berries on Irish hillsides often provided a welcome seasonal boost in income for poorer rural families.
Apr 22, 2013, 16:27 PM


Nicola Gordon Bowe
A collection of essays pays timely tribute to one of the greatest scholars that Ireland has ever produced.
Nov 16, 2012, 18:20 PM

The Light from the East

Tadhg Foley
A new book demonstrates the longlasting and deep engagment of various Irish scholars and practitioners with the religious and cultural traditions of eastern Asia.
Dec 1, 2013, 19:26 PM

The Beat on the Streets

David McKechnie
From Phil Chevron of the Radiators to Stompin’ George Verschoyle spinning rockabilly hits at the Magnet Bar, it is the evocations of the Dublin music scene that stand out in a new miscellany of pieces on the city’s social and cultural history.
Dec 17, 2012, 20:42 PM

Back in the GDR

Fergal Lenehan
Elizabeth Shaw, born in Belfast in 1920 to a bank manager father from Sligo, became a celebrated children’s author and book illustrator in postwar East Germany and a member of the state’s cultural elite. A primary school is named after her in Berlin.
Dec 15, 2013, 20:50 PM

Words At Will

Seamus O’Mahony
To get into the best English society, Oscar Wilde thought, one must either feed people or shock people. And so, while they fed him, he shocked them with his wit and insolence. And yet he managed for the most part to insult the English without offending them.
Feb 9, 2014, 20:55 PM

That Kind of Beauty

Niamh Nic Ghabhann
It is difficult to define the picturesque, and yet it is a term commonly associated with the Irish landscape. What makes one site or location a more worthy attraction than another may seem arbitrary, but there is a religious and cultural architecture to what we might consider accidental beauty.
Feb 9, 2014, 21:20 PM

The Death of a Language

Joe Mac Donnacha
When does a language begin to die? When children raised to speak it struggle to acquire a native-speaker level, and therefore the “language community” fails to regenerate itself linguistically, Joe Mac Donnacha argues. According to that definition, the evidence suggests that the condition of the Irish language has indeed become terminal.
Feb 23, 2014, 20:59 PM

Bohemian Rhapsodist

Micheál Ó hAodha
Walter Starkie was an enthusiast for Gypsy music and culture, a professor of Romance languages, a director of the Abbey Theatre, an accomplished violinist, a literary translator and a harbourer of the hope that Ireland might experience a spiritual awakening which would incorporate a great deal of fascist political doctrine, ‘properly understood’.
Mar 11, 2014, 19:33 PM

Homo Ludens

Paul Rouse
Sport may change over time, and individual sports come and go, but the essential remains, for this mundane activity also offers us a brief snatch at transendence, the moment arising out of chaos when all your teammates occupy ideal positions, when the universe seems to be arranged by a meaningful will that is not yours.
Jun 2, 2014, 16:00 PM

The People’s Music

Jeremy Kearney
The British folk music scene began to thrive through its extensive club circuit in the 1950s and gave a platform to many Irish singers. It was seldom without tension, however, between purists like Ewan MacColl and others who put greater stress on enjoyment.
Jun 2, 2014, 16:59 PM

Back to the Well

Fáinche Ryan
The ‘ressourcement’ movement helped create the intellectual climate for the Second Vatican Council through its critique of a theology which had as its dominant concern not so much seeking an understanding of faith and mystery, as responding to and opposing heresies.
Nov 5, 2014, 16:49 PM

A Voice Seldom Heard

John Bradley
There are two ways of responding to perceived injustice: you can complain, or you can get out. If you are loyal to the organisation you will not get out; your choice then is between speaking out and remaining silent. Micheál Mac Gréil chose to stay in and speak out.
Dec 1, 2014, 18:58 PM

Imagining the Irish

David Blake Knox
Good-humoured, charming, hospitable and gregarious, yet drawn to tragedy. Are the Irish subject to some kind of collective manic depression ‑ lurching wildly from exuberant craic to existential despair? Or is this just the kind of moonshine we like to feed our customers?
Dec 1, 2014, 19:10 PM