The Little Museum of Dublin has brought history to life with 15 short films covering nugget-sized pieces of Ireland’s history. This week’s topic is Samuel Beckett and the letter he wrote to the young boy who lived in his childhood home, in Foxrock, Dublin.
The series, "The Little History of Dublin," tells the story of this great city in 15 bite-sized clips. Made with the generous support of Aer Lingus and the Department of Foreign Affairs, the films are now finding a global audience on IrishCentral.
Presented by ‘Professor’ Jamie Harrington – proud young Dub and YouTube sensation – the films cover subjects as diverse as Switzer’s department store, Nelson’s Pillar and the Celtic Tiger.
In this clip Harrington introduces Samuel Beckett, who he quite rightly points out, recently had a bridge in Dublin city named after him.
Beckett is regarded as one of the finest authors, playwrights, directors and poets that Ireland has ever produced, winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969 and being responsible for plays and other works that included Waiting for Godot, Watt and Endgame.
Among his written works was, of course, this letter, which now resides at the Little Museum. Beckett wrote this letter to John Hughes, a schoolboy who was living in Beckett’s childhood home of Cooldrinagh in Foxrock, in Dublin.
Here’s a transcript of the letter:
Dear John Hughes,
Thank you for your letter.
My schools were:
Miss Ellner’s kindergarten on the Leopardstown crossroad between the old Leopardstown level crossing and the main Bray road. The house was then called Tavernus[?].
Earlsford House School, Dublin, as a dayboy.
Portora Royal School, Enniskillen, as a boarder.
As a boy I slept with my brother in the room at the top of the house next the [word corrected] attic where the water tank is – or was then.
As an undergraduate, before I went to live in T.C.D. [Trinity College Dublin] , I slept in the tiny room, originally my father’s dressing room, beside the big bedroom with the bay windows (where incidentally I was born).
If you ever meet my ghost in house or grounds, give it my regards. Wishing you happy years in that old home, I am
Read more: Remembering Samuel Beckett
The Little Museum, voted the number one museum in Dublin on Yelp, is located on St. Stephen’s Green, in a beautiful Georgian building. The collection, created by public donation, reveals the history of the city over more than 100 years, from Queen Victoria’s visit to U2’s global success. In fact, Alfie Byrne’s own family donated 4,000 archive items to the museum. Entry to the museum is by guided tour only and most tours sell out.
Museum director Wissame Cherfi explained the idea behind the new movies. He said, “The idea was to create a series of videos that are fun and informative. I’ve always thought that the best way to learn and remember something is to have fun while doing it. We also wanted the films to be accessible to a broad audience, reaching young and old alike.”
“Casting Jamie Harrington as the main character in the films was instinctive,” says Wissame, “as I have worked with Jamie on a couple of projects in the past and I knew he was the right fit. His natural talent allowed us to experiment a lot in terms of directing and creating the right character so that everyone can relate to him.”
“We had great fun making these films and we really hope you'll enjoy watching them – and that you will, hopefully, learn something new about Dublin's rich history.”
For more information visit www.littlemuseum.ie.
Here’s a video report, by the Irish Times, created when the museum opened: