The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Hyde, Douglas
HYDE, Douglas, Irish author and historian: b. Frenchpark, County Roscommon, 1860. After receiving his bachelor's degree from Trinity College, Dublin, in 1884 and his LL.D, three years later, he became interim professor of modern languages at the State University of New Brunswick (1891). Hyde's chief title to fame rests on his splendid studies of Irish literature and his collections of Irish folklore. He is a prominent figure in the Irish national revival. He was president of the Irish National Literary Society (1894-95), and was one of the prime organizers and first president of the Gaelic League, residing from that office in 1915. In Ireland he is popularly known by the Gaelic pseudonym of “An Craoibhin Aoibhinn” (sweet little branch). In 1906 he visited the United States in order to raise funds for the support of the league, and was successful in collecting some $55,000. He was president of the Irish Texts Society; examiner in Celtic to the Royal University of Ireland; assistant editor of the New Irish Library; a member of the Royal Commission on Irish University Education; and a member of the senate and professor of modern Irish in the National University of Ireland (1909). Hyde's most monumental work is his ‘Literary History of Ireland’ (1899), a fine piece of pioneer scholarship. His other writings are in varied literary forms: lyrics, essays, folktales, plays and history. He writes with equal fluency and skill both in Gaelic and English. His numerous works include ‘Leabhar Sgeuluigheachta’ (1899); ‘Beside the Fire’ (1890); ‘Cois na teincadh’ (1891); ‘Love Songs of Connacht’ (1894); ‘Three Sorrows of Story Telling’ (1895); ‘Story of Early Irish Literature’ (1897); ‘An Sgeuluidhe Gaodhalach’ (1898-1901; translated into French, 1901); ‘Mediæval Tales from the Irish’ (Vol. I of Irish Texts Society, 1899); ‘Ubhla den Chraoibh’ (Irish poems, 1900); ‘Casadh an tsugáin’ (a play in Irish, 1901); ‘Sgéalta’ (1902); ‘Filidheacht Ghaedhalach’ (1903); ‘Raftery's Poems’ (1904); ‘The Bursting of the Bubble,’ ‘An Pósadh,’ ‘An Cleamhnas,’ ‘King James,’ ‘The Tinker and the Fairy’ (Irish plays, 1905); ‘The Religious Songs of Connacht’ (1906); ‘Sgéaluidhe Fíor na Seachtmhaine’ (1909); ‘Maistin an Bheurla’ (a play, 1913); ‘Legends of Saints and Sinners from the Irish’ (1915). Many of his poems reproduce the exact metre of the original Gaelic verse, and are replete with quaint conceits which show a sympathetic and scholarly handling of the translations. Dr. Hyde has kept aloof from the political and religious embroilments which have torn the Irish nationalists, preferring always to keep the main problem above party interest.