Irish literature

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Irish literature Body of work produced by inhabitants of Ireland. The earliest written works, mainly heroic sagas, date from the 7th to the 12th centuries and were composed in Gaelic. A number of lyric poets were also active during this period, writing on historical or religious subjects. Between the 13th and 17th centuries, Gaelic was gradually eroded by Norman and English encroachment, preserved only in poetic works commissioned by wealthy patrons. Leading figures in English literature, such as Jonathan Swift, Laurence Sterne and Oscar Wilde, were of Irish descent. Inspired by the movement for Irish Home Rule, the late 19th and early 20th centuries saw an Irish literary renaissance. Although largely writing in English, the movement drew on the traditions of Gaelic culture. The revival was led by W. B. Yeats. The Abbey Theatre hosted the resurgence in Irish drama, staging plays by J. M. Synge, George Bernard Shaw and Sean O'Casey. James Joyce and Samuel Beckett reflected on Irish culture from self-exile. Leading contemporary Irish writers include Brian Friel and Seamus Heaney.

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Irish literary renaissance

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