Contributors and Contents
The Irish Review was, by its own subtitle, “A Monthly Magazine of Irish Literature, Art and Science.” Its revivalist mission was intended as not uniquely a literary endeavour, but rather “the application of Irish intelligence to the reconstruction of Irish life” (IR, Mar. 1911). For this reason, the Review also featured articles on current affairs, agriculture, economics, science and politics.
George Russell for example regularly contributed articles on the conditions of rural Ireland; Oliver St. John Gogarty published an article advocating for ‘The Need of Medical Inspection of School Children in Ireland’ with striking photographs of emaciated children (IR Mar. 1912); and James Connolly wrote about the Dublin lockout in ‘Labour in Dublin’ (IR Oct. 1913). Other frequent contributions by intellectuals and activists included articles by Arthur Griffith, Maude Gonne, Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington, Roger Casement under the pseudonym ‘The Shan Van Vocht’ and more. Literature was inevitably a primary concern of the Review, which published poetry, drama, short fiction, criticism and book reviews. Unsurprisingly, poetry both by male and female poets was highly championed. The Review included poems by its own editors MacDonagh, Colum, Stephens, Plunkett, by other male poets such as Joseph Campbell (Seosamh Maccathmhaoil) and W.B. Yeats (‘On Those who disliked the Playboy’, IR Dec. 1911 and ‘At the Abbey Theatre’, IR Dec. 1912), along with significant contributions from female voices such as Emily Lawless, Winifred Letts, Ella Young, Katharine Tynan and Susan Mitchell.
Fiction and drama were also published: Stephens’s novel The Charwoman’s Daughter was first serialized in the magazine as Mary: A Story; MacDonagh’s play Metempsychosis was also published in the Review and both Stephens and Padraic Colum contributed short fiction. Irish language material was supplied mainly by P.H. Pearse, who published translations from the Irish in prose and poetry, e.g. ‘Sliocht Duanaire Gaedhilge/ Specimens from an Irish Anthology’ and the ‘Danta Griosuighte Gaedheal/Songs of the Irish Rebels’. According to the initial prospectus, the Review was keen on producing ‘a long critical article each month on a recently published work of Irish interest’ ("The Irish Review," 1). Some of these articles were contributed by writers such as Mary Maguire, who honed her skills as a critic and essayist in the Irish Review before emigrating to the United States and working for high-profile magazines such as Scribner’s, The New York Review of Books and others.