On Wednesday, Consul General Michael Lonergan will host the U.S. launch of The Bell Magazine and the Representation of Irish Identity by Kelly Mathews which was released by Four Courts Press, Dublin, in June.
This new study of The Bell magazine opens a window onto the Irish literary and cultural landscape of the mid-20th century. The Bell, which appeared monthly from 1940 to 1954, consciously promoted a multi-faceted version of Irish identity, one that could embrace both rural and urban realities, Gaelic and European influences, northern and southern traditions, wealthy and poor social classes, and many other seemingly contradictory voices in Irish culture.
Kelly Matthews chronicles the colorful history of the magazine and discusses The Bell’s contribution and response to the transformation of Irish society in the mid-20th century, as the experience of war and wartime censorship, the expansion of international relations, and the encroaching tide of technological modernization irrevocably changed the patterns of traditional Irish life.
The book has been very well received in Ireland, with full-page reviews in the Irish Independent and Sunday Times, and the author has made appearances on Newstalk radio in Dublin and on RTE. Kelly Matthews is an Assistant Proffessor in the Department of English at Framingham State University, and is married to Ronnie Millar, Deputy Director at the Irish International Immigrant Center.
Further information is available online at http://www.fourcourtspress.ie/product.php?intProductID=1091 and the book can be purchased via Amazon.com and other outlets.