Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know
Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know

Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know

Colm Toibin
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Book description
'There is something interesting and intriguing to be found on almost every page' Guardian

'A father . . . is a necessary evil.' Stephen Dedalus in Ulysses


In Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know Colm Toibin turns his incisive gaze to three of Ireland's greatest writers, Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats and James Joyce, and their earliest influences: their fathers. From Wilde's doctor father, a brilliant statistician and amateur archaeologist, who was taken to court by an obsessed lover in a strange premonition of what would happen to his son; to Yeats' father, an impoverished artist and brilliant letter-writer who could never finish apainting; to John Stanislus Joyce, a singer, drinker and story-teller, a man unwilling to provide for his large family, whom his son James memorialised in his work.

Colm Toibin illuminates not only the complex relationships between three of the greatest writers in the English language and their fathers, but also illustrates the surprising ways they surface in their work


'Toibin has a hawk-like eye for literary subtleties, and a generosity towards his subjects that is warm and unacademic.' The Sunday Times

'Full of insight and intrigue' Observer

'Searching, funny, generous' Irish Times

'Subtle, witty and often deeply moving' New Statesman

Product details
More Information
ISBN 9780241354414
Publisher VIKING
Format Hardback
Pages 192
Publication date 25 October 2018

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