I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Nine Years of the Dublin Review of Books


Nine years ago today the first issue of the Dublin Review of Books appeared online, carrying review essays by Stephen Wilson on Gore Vidal’s memoir Point to Point Navigation, an essay by Brian Earls on oral culture and popular autonomy in Ireland, an interview with Riszard Kapuściński on Poland’s past and future, a review of a study of the Irish painter Camille Souter by Paddy Gillan, an exploration of the concept of “eastern” Europe by the Slovenian diplomat Leon Marc and a study of Albert Camus’s career as a journalist by Enda O’Doherty.

Nine years later the drb is still publishing twenty or more items per month, all on free access online. It has had 1,462,733 page views, as logged by Google Analytics: that is to say that that number of items published by it has been seen, or read, in that period. It has attracted, once or more than once, 441,211 individual readers, while several essays first published in the drb have been taken up and published in other languages (Italian, Spanish, Ukrainian, Slovenian).

The number of readers for each individual piece can vary hugely, depending on the extent of the general appeal of the essays themselves. The highest “score” tends to go to essays which attract an international audience. Among these, essays which have been accessed by more than 10,000 people include “History Is To Blame”, a study of Samuel Pepys by Maurice Earls, “Sharp Mind, Sharp Tongue”, a review of a biography of the historian Hugh Trevor-Roper by Éamon Ó Cléirigh, and “The Romantic Englishman”, a review of a study of George Orwell’s “Englishness” by Enda O’Doherty. Our most-read essay, at 15,102 has been “How Scientific Inquiry Works”, by Seamus O’Mahony, whose book The Way We Die Now, is to be published by Head of Zeus in May.

As we enter year ten, we hope to keep up the pace and to keep up the standard.