Percy French (1854-1920) is famous for his songwriting, journalism and painting. He is particularly remembered for songs such as ‘Are ye Right There Michael’ and ‘The Mountains of Mourne’. Between 1889-1890 he edited and contributed to The Jarvey, a weekly comic periodical, which gives a vivid account of life during this period.
The centrepiece of this exhibition is a 10 volume restored facsimile edition of The Jarvey. A CD-ROM of the original Jarvey, containing photographic images of all 104 issues, was obtained by the Percy French Society from the National Library. The Society, under the direction of Mr. David McShane, then set about the lengthy (and expensive!) task of digitally editing and manipulating these digital images to make a facsimile copy. This took over 6 years to complete. A set of surrogate editions of the Jarvey, prepared in this way, was presented the National Library.
An original volume of The Jarvey from the National Library’s Printed & Visual Collections, is also on display. The exhibition will also focus on French’s songwriting and watercolours with a display case given over to both these aspects of his career.
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