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Saturday 23 August 2014

Written in the bars: capital's novel attractions win spot in tourist bible

Louise Hogan

Published 18/10/2013 | 05:00

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Lonely Planet suggested taking in a show at the city's Abbey Theatre
Lonely Planet suggested taking in a show at the city's Abbey Theatre

WEAVING your way through the warren of Dublin city streets, and their network of pubs, has been touted as one of the world's best getaways.

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The trove of literary treasures to be sampled – from the ornate Book of Kells to the smelly gorgonzola sandwich consumed by James Joyce's character Leopold Bloom in 'Ulysses' – have seen the UNESCO city of literature featured in the latest travel book from Lonely Planet, 'Great Escapes'.

The star attraction is listed as the beautifully illustrated 1,200-year-old Book of Kells.

And a visit to TCD's 18th Century library, the Long Room, left the travel writers feeling they had stepped into a scene from 'Harry Potter', which is somewhat apt as the library featured in a new fantasy short film set in Terry Pratchett's Discworld that premiered earlier this week.

According to the guidebook, the city has "long been a hotbed of writing talent, throwing up such diverse geniuses as Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett and Bram Stoker".

LECTURES

In addition, there are plenty of modern-day writers, festivals and lectures to be explored in haunts around the city, said Anne-Marie Diffley, visitor services manager at Trinity College's Long Room.

"There are all these literary heroes but there are modern-day ones too. There is John Banville," she added.

Julianne Mooney, programme director of the Dublin Book Festival, said that a few hours exploring the capital's small, independent book shops is always worthwhile.

She added that visitors to the city will have the chance to hear playwright Frank McGuinness, established author Patrick McCabe, and a bevvy of young talent from November 14 – 17.

Irish Independent

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