By: Jane Barlow (1857-1917)
Strangers at Lisconnel
Strangers at Lisconnel is a sequel to Jane Barlow’s Irish Idylls. The locations and most of the characters are common to both. There is great humor and concomitantly a certain melancholy in most of these stories of the most rural of rural places in Ireland. Although of a higher social class than her characters, Our Jane seems to have a touch of softness in her heart for their utter simplicity, abject poverty and naiveté. From the following brief example of dialogue, can be seen that Ms Barlow could only have come to write these words after having heard them countless times in person: Mrs...
Irish Idylls is a collection of short stories about Irish peasantry during the 19th Century. Ms Jane Barlow, an Irish lass, having, unbelievably, an uncertain date of birth, has a turn of phrase that delights and simultaneously enmeshes the reader/listener with compassion for her tableau. She captures the tune and lilt of dialogue so delightfully. A tiny sample: "So, by hook or by crook, Lisconnel holds together from year to year, with no particular prospect of changes; though it would be safe enough to prophesy that should any occur, they will tend towards the falling in of derelict roofs, and the growth of weeds round deserted hearthstones and crumbling walls...