J. M. Synge
J. M. Synge, playwright, poet, essayist and translator, was a key figure in the Irish Literary Renaissance. Born in County Dublin in 1871, he studied at Trinity College Dublin and then at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. With Lady Gregory, William Butler Yeats and others, he was a co-founder and later a director of the Abbey Theatre. He is best known for The Playboy of the Western World, which famously provoked a riot on its opening night, and his travel writing – notably, The Aran Islands and Travels in Wicklow, West Kerry and Connemara. He died in 1909, aged thirty-seven.
Julian Bell is a painter and writer whose books include Mirror of the World: A New History of Art and What is Painting? Representation and Modern Art. He is a regular contributor to the London and New York Review of Books.
Jack B. Yeats
Jack B. Yeats was born in 1871, son of the portraitist John Butler Yeats. Widely regarded as twentieth-century Ireland's greatest painter, he also worked as an illustrator and cartoonist and was the author of a number of acclaimed novels. He died in 1957.