Paul Clements Romancing Ireland: Richard Hayward, 1892-1964


Code 9781843516521
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Author: Paul Clements

Date Published: 31-May-2015

Richard Hayward was one of Ireland's best-loved cultural figures of the mid-twentieth century. A popular Irish travel writer, actor and singer, he led an intense and productive life, leaving behind a remarkable body of work through his writings and recordings. However, since his death in a car crash in 1964, the man who was a celebrated Irish household name has suffered neglect. Born in Southport, Lancashire, Hayward was raised in Larne on the Antrim coast. He buried his English past and devoted his days to promoting Ireland. As a pioneering filmmaker, he appeared in the first black-and-white Irish 'talkies' and broke new ground in his BBC radio work alongside Tyrone Guthrie. On Radio Éireann, he sang with Delia Murphy and recorded with Decca and HMV. In his travel books and enthusiasms, Hayward opened up an unknown Ireland to thousands of people. Published to mark the fiftieth anniversary of his death, Romancing Ireland draws extensively on Hayward's original notebooks, private papers and hitherto unpublished letters. They reveal a man with an explosive temper whose detractors envied his success. Paul Clements brings to life the flamboyant personality, laced with hubris, of a largely forgotten figure who contributed a cosy and unthreatening narrative to the construction of an Irish cultural world. Romancing Ireland exposes fascinating details and rare photographs that have lain unseen for decades. It uncovers an extraordinary man with limitless energy and passionate perceptions, who captured a newly independent Ireland in all its changing hues.

About the Author
Paul Clements is a travel writer and broadcaster. He is the author of three other books on Ireland: Irish Shores: A Journey Round the Rim of Ireland (1993), The Height of Nonsense: The Ultimate Irish Road Trip (2005), and Burren Country: Travels Through an Irish Limestone Landscape (2011). He has written and edited two books on travel writer and historian Jan Morris, and is a contributing writer to Fodor's Guide Ireland and Insight Guide Ireland. A former BBC journalist, he is a fellow of Green Templeton College, Oxford, and lives in Belfast.
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'A product of great industry and astuteness, a social history, and a worthwhile exercise in reinstatement ... it restores a measure of prominence to a long-neglected figure.' - Patricia Craig, Irish Times; 'Hayward was a pioneering figure and this is a vivid story of the man and his time.' - Michael Viney, Irish Times; 'A magnificently produced book about a life packed with fascinating stories.' - Sean O'Rourke, RTE Radio; 'A masterful biography which sheds new light on the cultural history of the early 20th century North.' - Eamon Phoenix, Irish News; 'A meticulously assembled and highly readable biography that resurrects a now obscure but still compelling figure.' - Andy Pollak, Dublin Review of Books; 'A treasure trove of information, superbly researched and packed with detail' - BBC Radio; 'A comprehensive biography in which the multifarious aspects of Hayward's colourful life are stitched together in one coherent narrative ... well served by Lilliput Press in an extensively illustrated tome.' - John Gray, Culture Northern Ireland; 'Romancing Ireland uncovers a man with limitless energy and passionate perceptions who captured a newly independent Ireland.' - Irish Arts Review; 'A book that will help restore the name of one of Ireland's best-loved cultural figures to its former glory.' - Impartial Reporter

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