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Dublin Writers Museum (Dublin, Ireland)

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      01.01.2011 23:47
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      Definitely worth a visit for those interesting in writing and history

      Dublin Writers Museum is situated in the heart of Dublin, at 18 North Parnell Square.

      As the name suggests, this museum specialises in displays and information about writers from Dublin's past. The collections include coverage of authors such as James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Oliver Gogarty and many others. The collection is quite broad, there are two main rooms in the museum, the first focuses on authors from around the nineteenth century, and the second focuses on authors from the twentieth century.

      It is worth noting, as I did find this a slight disadvantage, that there is no mention of more recent writers from Dublin, as the museum only contains displays on those who have died. This does mean that there weren't, at least when I visited, any displays on current Dublin writing talent, which would have been interesting.

      Entry to the museum costs 7.50 Euros, with concessions at 6.30 Euros and children are charged 4.70 Euros. A family ticket is available, which saves some money as against buying the tickets individually. Compared to other locations in Dublin, this seemed quite reasonable. Young children however might soon get bored, but older children may well be interested in some of the exhibits.

      The exhibits are wide-ranging, and include items as diverse as Samuel Beckett's original phone to a series of personal letters written by William Yeats, from pens used by authors to paintings that the authors owned. All in all, a real sense of the lives of these writers, and the time in which they lived. The museum also has a large library of books, some early and rare editions, as well as letters and hand-written texts from the authors.

      You are given an audio guide to the museum, which is available in a range of different languages. You can stop and start this at will, but if you don't stop it, it will last for around forty minutes. This audio guide is included in the price of admission, and I advise that you take advantage of it.

      The commentary was interesting, and it was positive to see the effort that had gone into producing the guide in so many different languages. My knowledge of Dublin and Irish authors was very limited, so I found the audio guide essential for getting the best level of understanding of the museum.

      I didn't go in the museum cafe, but one is present, called the Chapterhouse Cafe. It looked popular however, and there looked like the usual fare of sandwiches, coffees and tea, and so on. The building the museum is situated in was formerly two different houses built in the eighteenth century, and the architecture and layout of the buildings is interesting in its own right, with numerous period features.

      When I visited the museum, the opening days were Monday to Saturday, although it's best of course to check these before visiting. The museum has its own web-site at http://www.writersmuseum.com/ which has further information and contact details. The museum also has a bookshop on-site if you are inspired to read more from the authors who have featured in the museum.

      Overall, this was an interesting museum that was well worth a visit. I'd suggest that a visit takes a couple of hours, and the information is laid out clearly, with a number of interesting exhibits. Worth a look, especially if you have an interest in the works of Irish authors, and to understand the context within which they wrote.

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