Dublin Writers Museum – A Literary Legacy


On my recent visit to Dublin, I took the opportunity to not only visit the Abbey Theatre, but also to visit The Dublin Writer’s Museum. The  City can boast a tremendous amount of talent, and writers of historical and literary importance. From a theatrical point of view it is the home/birthplace of several theatrical luminaries.

One of several George Bernard Shaw portraits.

I was pleased that so much of the museum was dedicated to the playwrights that have come from this city and their works. I also found it an educational experience as fresh writers were brought to my attention.

I especially liked the displays on George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett (including his phone that had a big red button on it, that he pushed when he didn’t want to be disturbed) and Oscar Wilde.

First Edition of Waiting for Godot!

My only disappointment was with the bookshop. As a dedicated bibliophile I was hoping the bookshop would have shelves and shelves of the literary delights I’d just read about and seen in the museum. Alas, I found it a real let down, and I can’t understand why the space isn’t used more fully and why it doesn’t carry a fuller stock? Aside from that if you’re interested in Irish playwrights, I recommend a visit to the museum, I found it a suitable conclusion to my Irish playwriting studies.


2 thoughts on “Dublin Writers Museum – A Literary Legacy

  1. I want one of those phones!

    I think it’s recently changed but writers (maybe all artists, but I’m not sure) used to have massive tax breaks or not pay tax at all in Ireland, which not only meant an understanding of the freelance nature of their work and sporadic income but also gave respect and respectability to their art. Of course Beckett famously left, and many modern playwrights have moved to London because there just isn’t the population in Ireland to support them, but any country that actively supports its artists gets my vote.

    Incidentally, you’ll be pleased to know that plans to build a new Abbey Theatre have just been shelved.

  2. Yes the phone was great.

    Ireland as a whole does seem to value their artists more than the UK. Whilst there I read Peter Bowles autobiography (which I also need to review on here). He mentioned that whenever he’s been in Ireland, he’s impressed by how eveyone seems to be interested/value the arts there. Not sure if that’s a generalisation, but I certainly got a different vibe there to London. My visit to the Abbey, was an amazing experience, the audience were primarily 16 – 40. Now that could have been just the night I went and the play, but it was a pleasant surprise.

    I wasn’t aware of the plans being shelved, so thanks for updating me on that too Anna!

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