Hubert Butler (1900–1991), Kilkenny man-of-letters, remains a largely undiscovered treasure of Irish literature. Proud of his Protestant heritage while still deeply committed to the Irish nation, he sought in his life and writing to ensure that Ireland would grow into an open and pluralistic society. His four volumes of essays are masterful literature in the tradition of Swift, Yeats and Shaw, elegant and humane readings of Irish and European history, and ultimately hopeful testimony to human progress. To commemorate Butler’s life and writing, Dublin Writers Festival presents a series of three panel discussions focusing on different aspects of Butler’s work.
The first discussion looks at Butler’s relationship with Ireland. With unfailing prescience, Butler wrote on a wealth of Irish topics as diverse as the Irish Saints, archaeology, local history, the Anglo-Irish Big House, the Irish Literary Revival, the Churches, nationalism, republicanism, and Partition. The historian and biographer Roy Foster, the novelist John Banville and the journalist Olivia O’Leary will discuss Butler on life in Ireland. The Hubert Butler discussions are brought to you in association with the journal Irish Pages and are funded by the Arts Council through their participation in the Cultural Programme to mark Ireland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union, supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.