Work of the Fellows: Monographs

The Four Masters and Their Manuscripts: Studies in Paleography and Text

By Padraig A. Breatnach (NHC Fellow, 2000–01)

Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 2013

From the publisher’s description:

Led by Brother Míchél Ó Cléirigh, O.F.M., the Four Masters worked together between 1630 and 1636 to compile a series of historical tracts and records that are among the most important Irish writings from any century. No part of these productions was destined to appear in print in the years following completion, but in all cases autograph manuscripts have survived the intervening centuries. The distinction of The Four Masters and their manuscripts is that it treats the compilers as scribes as well as chroniclers, and their collaboration as combining individual endeavours, capable of being differentiated through palaeographical and textual analysis. The scribal styles and independent manuscript legacy of each of the two most outstanding members of the group Míchél Ó Cléirigh and Cú Coigcríche Ó Cléirigh are documented here for the first time. A final chapter looks at their lives and those of their two associates Fear Feasa Ó Maoil Chonaire and Cú Coigcríche Ó Duibhgeannáin in the aftermath of their joint enterprise, when war and conquest impacted around them with destructive consequences for the culture and learned institutions of Gaelic Ireland.

History / Literature / Irish History / Irish Literature / Manuscripts / Textual Criticism /

Breatnach, Padraig A. (NHC Fellow, 2000–01). The Four Masters and Their Manuscripts: Studies in Paleography and Text. Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 2013.