Maurice O'Sullivan was born on the Great Blasket in 1904, and 'Twenty Years A-Growing' tells the story of his youth and of a way of life which belonged to the Middle Ages. He wrote for his own pleasure and for the entertainment of his friends, without any thought of a wider public; his style is derived from folk-tales which he heard from his grandfather and sharpened by his own lively imagination. The Blasket Islands are three miles off Irelands Dingle Peninsula. Until their evacuation just after the Second World War, the lives of the 150 or so Blasket Islanders had remained unchanged for centuries. A rich oral tradition of
story-telling, poetry, and folktales kept alive the legends and history of the islands, and has made their literature famous throughout the world. The 7 Blasket Island books published by OUP contain memoirs and reminiscences from within this literary tradition, evoking a way of life which has now vanished.
"I was fascinated by the language of the book, originally written in Irish: much of the idiom of that language had been retained in the English Translation" - Paul Buttle - The Independent
"Part of a unique and remarkable Irish literary archive ... compelling." - Neil Johnston, Belfast Telegraph, 24/6/00
1. In Dingle; 2. My First Journey Home; 3. The Island; 4; A Day's Hunting; 5. Ventry Races; 6. Pierce's Cave; 7. A Shoal Of Mackerel; 8. Hallowe'en; 9. The Whale; 10. The Wake; 11. A Night In The Inish; 12 The War; 13. The Shipwreck; 14. The Wanderer; 15. The Lobster Season; 16; Matchmaking; 17. The Wedding Day; 18. An American Wake; 19. The Stranger; 20 My Last Journey To The Inish; 21; I Leave Home; 22. From Dingle East; 23. The City Of Dublin; 24. The Civic Guard; 25. Connemara; 26. Conclusion