Farming in Modern Irish Literature: The writers who found ­fertile ground

Nicholas Grene's history of rural Ireland’s literary heritage gives space to the light as well as the dark

Joys and pains: The childhood family farm is recalled as a place of gentleness and hardness

Jim O'Brien

In the great scheme of things, the emergence of the family farm in rural Ireland is a relatively recent phenomenon. The Land Acts of the late 19th and early 20th century changed the character of rural communities, and the character of the people. They enabled tenants to become owners, leading to a new stratification of society. They also gave rise to a new strain of literature.