The Irish literary tradition is one of the most illustrious in the world, famous for four Nobel Prize winners and for many other writers of international renown. In 1991, the Dublin Writers Museum was opened to house a history and celebration of literary Dublin. It is a view of Irish literature from a Dublin perspective.
The museum is located in a magnificently decorated 18th century mansion in the North City Centre, next to the Garden of Remembrance. The collection features the lives and works of Dublin's literary celebrities over the past three hundred years. Swift and Sheridan, Shaw and Wilde, Yeats, Joyce and Beckett are among those presented through their books, letters, portraits and personal items.
Highlights include a detailed replica of The Book of Kells, Samuel Beckett's phone, an amusing letter from 'tenement aristocrat' Brendan Behan to his brother; the Abbey Theatre ephemera of Lady Gregory; a 1910 letter from W.B. Yeats; opening night programmes for Oscar Wilde plays An Ideal Husband and Lady Windermere's Fan; an 1804 edition of Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift; a third edition of The Crock of Gold by James Stephens; a first edition of James Joyce's Pomes Penyeach; and a first edition of Bram Stoker's Dracula, along with an autographed letter from Stoker. The museum also includes portraits of Irish writers, including fine originals by artists such as Patrick Swift, Reginald Gray, Edward McGuire and Harry Kernoff. And the stained glass in the entrance is a beautiful tribute to Irish writers.
The museum holds occasional exhibitions, lunchtime theatre and readings. Tours of the Writers Museum are available in several languages using a handheld audioguide. A book shop on the ground floor is free to visit and includes titles not easily found elsewhere. It is a must-see for literature lovers!
Next door in No. 19 is The Irish Writers' Centre which contains the meeting rooms and offices of the Irish Writers' Union, the Society of Irish Playwrights, the Irish Children's Book Trust and more. Events are also held there regularly - check online. And you'll want to visit the Hugh Lane Gallery on the same street, which is free and highly recommended!
The Chapter One Restaurant is in the lower level of this building and has 1 Michelin Star. - Treat yourself!