Hopkins in Ireland
Gerard Manley Hopkins spent five unhappy years in Ireland before his death in 1889, during which time he wrote perhaps the most interesting group of all his poems. Although he is one of the most well known and liked of poets, he is still one of the least understood. This is a full-length study of Hopkins’s time in Ireland, when he was Professor of Classics at University College Dublin, and it is both a biography and a critical account of the poetry. Norman White examines the poet’s personality and shows him as a sick and self-lacerating human being. This is not a conventional biography and it does not aim to be an account of Hopkins’s doings in Ireland: the important things that happened to Hopkins in Ireland were mental, and so the book is an exploration of the poems written in Ireland largely as a form of psychological biography, working outwards from Hopkins’s most intimate creations.