Since the very successful four-volume Cabinet of Irish Literature, published in 1912 and long out of print, there has been no publication which demonstrates the growth, variety and achievement of Irish writing in the nineteenth century. There are no anthologies available which are suitable for students, senior school children, and general readers. The proposed volume remedies this situation. Taking in prose, poetry, and drama, this volume not only contains work by major authors but also includes less obvious material gleaned from sources such as letters, diaries, court reports, newspapers, and journals. This accessible anthology, introduced and annotated by two leading scholars of Irish literature, is destined to become standard reading for a generation of students and general readers. This, the first of three volumes, spans the first third of the nineteenth century. It documents Ireland's significant literary contribution to an age of invention, with Thomas Moore's romantic Melodies, Maria Edgeworth's regional fiction, and Charles Maturin's voyeuristic Gothic stories. It witnesses the rise of a quest for authenticity-mapping and transmuting the Gaelic past (in Hardiman's Irish Minstrelsy, Petrie's essay on the round towers, and O'Curry's research into Irish manuscripts) and faithfully depicting the real Ireland (in the first-hand accounts of Mary Leadbeater, William Hamilton Maxwell, Asenath Nicholson, the peasant fiction of William Carleton, and the Catholic fiction of the Banim brothers). In Jonah Barrington's Sketches, it records the demise of the rollicking squirearchy, while in the stories of Lover, it portrays the rise of the stage Irishman. But it also offers a selection from political documents and speeches, and from popular writings which were imprinted on the Irish consciousness. These are contextualised by historical documents, and by Irish forays into European Romanticism.