Like that other great Scottish-born Irishman, James Connolly, he had a deep sympathy with Dublin’s working people. But his task was not to politicise them, nor to caricature them with bold pigments, but rather to cherish their warm particularities, and portray their idiosyncrasies. This, too, was to conserve and advance their humanity. How much, indeed, do the people of “Strumpet City” owe to the denizens of “Paradise Alley”?
I’ll be coming back to Sheridan’s “Paradise Alley” in later blog posts, a book frequently described as “a great Dublin novel”, covering the time of the 1913 Lockout.