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From influential novels to poetic prose, Irish authors have penned a plethora of literary classics.

Many of the Irish authors contributions are still relevant today. 

Questia, the premier online research tool for students, has released a list of the ten most read Irish authors in their library and made the following reference works on them free for a month!

Irish authors

Visit their topic pages on Irish drama, Irish literature and Irish poetry for quality content on Irish authors.

  • James Joyce:  

An Irish novelist and poet, Joyce was one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century.  He is best known for his work Ulysses, in which the events of Homer’sOdyssey are paralleled in a variety of literary styles.  [Dubliners Celebrate James Joyce 100 Years after He Wrote ‘Ulysses’.  Shawn Pogatchnik]

  • Oscar Wilde:  

Wilde may be remembered for his career as a playwright, but the writer’s only novel The Picture of Dorian Gray has become a classic reference in the mainstream media.  [Oscar Wilde Our Contemporary.  Nils Clausson]

  • George Bernard Shaw:  

A playwright, Shaw wrote more than 60 plays throughout his life.  He examined social problems such as education, marriage, religion, government, health care and class privilege through his work, incorporating comedy into the stark themes.  [George Bernard Shaw: Man of the Century.  Archibald Henderson]

  • C.S. Lewis:  

A novelist, poet, academic medievalist, literary critic and essayist, to name a few, Lewis is known for both his fictional and non-fictional pieces.  His works have been translated into more than 30 languages and have sold millions of copies.  [Teaching C.S. Lewis: A Handbook for Professors, Church Leaders, and Lewis Enthusiasts.  Ronald Coy]

  • Samuel Beckett:  

Widely regarded as one of the most influential writers of the 20th century, Beckett’s works often offered a bleak tragicomic outlook on human nature, usually coupled with dark comedy and gallows humor.  [The Critical Response to Samuel Beckett.  Cathleen Culotta Andonian]

  • Jonathan Swift:  

Although portions of his work were published under aliases or anonymously, Swift is considered the foremost prose satirist in the English language.  In fact, he is known for being a master of two styles of satire; the Horatian and Juvenalian styles.  [Jonathan Swift and the Vested Word.  Deborah Baker Wyrick]

  • Edmund Burke:  

An Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist and philosopher, Burke has generally been viewed as the founder of modern conservatism as well as a representative of classic liberalism.  [Edmund Burke and Ireland: Aesthetics, Politics, and the Colonial Sublime.  Victoria Myers]

  • Brian Friel:  

Hailed by the English-speak world as “the universally accented voice of Ireland,” Friel’s career as a dramatist has generated classic plays such as “Philadelphia, Here I Come!” and “Dancing at Lughnasa.”  [Irish Playwrights, 1880-1995 A Research and Production Sourcebook.  Bernice Schrank, William W. Demastes]

  • Sean O’Casey:  

One of the first Irish playwrights to write about the Dublinworking class, O’Casey was involved in groups such as the Gaelic League and the Irish Republican Brotherhood to represent the interests of unskilled laborers.  [The Voice of Nationism: One Hundred Years of Irish Theater.  Stephen Watt]

  • Oliver Goldsmith:  

An Anglo-Irish writer and poet, Goldsmith is well-known for his novel The Vicar of Wakefield as well as numerous poems.  He is also thought to be the source of the phrase “goody-two-shoes.”  [The Poems of Oliver Goldsmith.  Austin Dobson]

These facts on Irish authors were all found using Questia, which saves students valuable time on research papers and projects.

With Questia, students can accurately cite sources in seven different styles and organize their notes, research and sources all in one place.

Librarians have specially selected Questia’s 77,000 academic books and 4 million journal articles—many of which are peer-reviewed.

Since Questia is accessible 24/7, students can research any time of day from anywhere, with the confidence that they’re using credible content from trustworthy sources.

Thank you to Questia for providing this information celebrating famous Irish authors during Irish-American Heritage month.


Pat Wyman

 Pat Wyman is the founder of HowToLearn.com and a best selling author. 

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