The Dracula Society
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Dublin Trip 2014
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION REFERS TO A PAST SOCIETY TRIP, AND IS PRESENTED FOR INTEREST ONLY,
TO ILLUSTRATE THE TYPE OF TRIP THAT THE SOCIETY ORGANISES OUTSIDE THE UNITED KINGDOM
The Dracula Society and A Ghostly Company are commemorating the 2014 bicentenary of the birth of Gothic horror writer Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (28 August 1814 – 7 February 1873) by spending a long weekend in his birthplace, Dublin.
We will be visiting sites associated with Le Fanu’s life and work, in the company of our expert resident guide, Society member and Children of the Night Award winner Brian J. Showers.
J. Sheridan Le Fanu, who is best remembered for his ghost and mystery fiction (Carmilla, Green Tea, Schalcken the Painter, Uncle Silas, The House by the Churchyard, etc.) was born, lived his whole life, and died in Dublin.
We will spend three days in his footsteps (as well as those of a certain Bram Stoker), with opportunities to visit many of Dublin’s attractions (the Castle, Writers' Museum, National Gallery and Museum, St. Michan’s Church, etc.)
Our evenings will include a Le Fanu ‘Birthday Dinner’.
“Dublin is a dreadful place” wrote M. R. James in 1927.
“..... the only excursion I made was to Chapelizod to see the House by the Churchyard, which is quite unmistakable”.
We heartily disagree with Monty’s pronouncement on Dublin, this being the Dracula Society’s third trip to the Irish capital.
Friday 29th August:
3.45pm: meet in the lobby of the National Gallery (Clare Street) for a private viewing of a Le Fanu portrait not normally on display.
7.00pm: meet at The Ginger Man pub.
Talk on the life and works of Le Fanu by Jim Rockhill, editor of Le Fanu’s collected supernatural stories. Finger buffet included.
Jim Rockhill is a Le Fanu scholar, noted for his excellent biographical and critical introductions to the definitive Ash-Tree Press, three volume edition of the collected supernatural tales.
Saturday 30th August:
The Dublin Literary Trail led by Brian J. Showers. Assembly at the Oscar Wilde statue in Merrion Square at 10.00am.
The precise route and locations will be determined on the day, but will include the following:
• Trinity College
• 21, Westland Row (plaque - Oscar Wilde’s birthplace)
• 1, Merrion Square North (Oscar Wilde’s house)
• 70, Merrion Square South (Sheridan Le Fanu’s home from the 1850s until his death)
• Ely House (8 Ely Place, home of Thornley Stoker until 1910)
• 30, Kildare Street (plaque – Bram Stoker’s first address after moving from Clontarf)
• St. Ann’s Church (where Stoker was married to Florence Balcombe on 4th December, 1878)
• The Shelbourne Hotel (Stoker met Sir Henry Irving here - possibly first contemplated becoming Irving’s manager)
• 7 St. Stephen’s Green North (Stoker moved here from his brother’s house in Harcourt Street in 1877)
• Aungier Street (setting for Le Fanu’s ghost story)
•  York Street (demolished, but where Charles Maturin lived and died)
Disperse for lunch at suitable pubs; Brian will take people to ‘The Bleeding Horse’ - mentioned in Le Fanu’s first novel The Cock and the Anchor – for those who want to have lunch there….
7.45 pm: meet at Toners Pub (upstairs), 139 Lower Baggot Street, for a performance of Green Tea by Wireless Mystery Theatre (starting at 8.00 pm)
The Wireless Mystery Theatre and Green Tea
For the bicentenary of Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, Wireless Mystery Theatre presents Green Tea.
In this classic tale, a country vicar is driven to madness and death by the surreal, but sinister appearance of a demonic monkey. But is the creature a real portent of doom or the side effect of the reverend's new beverage? Performed in the half-light, this eerie tale uses a combination of voice acting, hand-operated sound foley, and live music to recreate the world in the audience's imaginations, bringing out the story-telling power of the words and the human voice.
Wireless Mystery Theatre is Northern Ireland's only audio theatre company, specialising in live staged radio plays and broadcast material. They have toured the UK and the Republic of Ireland and their work has been broadcast on BBC Radios 3 & 4, as well as in Canada, Germany, and the United States.
Sunday 31st August
• Visit to Mount Jerome Cemetery (Le Fanu’s memorial grave)
Optional visit to Phoenix Park & Chapelizod
Le Fanu connections – The House by the Churchyard, and Ghost Stories of Chapelizod.
7.30 pm: assemble for dinner (included) at Le Bon Crubeen restaurant.
Dublin highlights for free time include:
• Dublin Castle - Dame Street (www.dublincastle.ie)
• Writers' Museum - Parnell Square (www.writersmuseum.com)
• St. Michan’s Church - Church Street (www.stmichans.com)