Mad Bad Dangerous To Know


In ‘Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know’, the author turns his incisive gaze to three of Ireland’s greatest writers, Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats and James Joyce, and their earliest influences: their fathers.

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ISBN: 9780241354421 Category:


An intimate study of three of Ireland’s greatest writers from one of its best-loved contemporary voices, Colm Tóibìn

In Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know Colm Tóibìn takes three of Ireland’s greatest writers – Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats and James Joyce – and examines their earliest influences: their fathers.

With his inimitable wit and sensitivity, Tóibìn introduces us to Wilde Senior, the philandering doctor whose libel case prefigured that of his son; the elder Yeats, an impoverished artist who never finished a painting; and to John Stanislaus Joyce, the hard-drinking, storytelling father of James, who couldn’t feed his own family.

This is an illuminating study of how each of these men cast a long shadow not only over the lives of their famous sons, but over the works for which they are celebrated and cherished.

‘Astonishing to read. Tóibìn has a hawk-like eye for literary subtleties, and a generosity towards his subjects that is warm’ Sunday Times

‘Funny, exciting, illuminating, wonderful, so engaging. Tells us more than a little about our own selves along the way’ Irish Times

‘There is something interesting and insightful on almost every page’ Observer

‘Sparkling, subtle, witty and often deeply moving . . . A classic’ Fintan O’Toole, New Statesman

‘Scintillating, imaginative, enlightening and powerfully moving throughout’ Roy Foster, Spectator

Additional information

Weight 0.14 kg
Dimensions 19.8 × 12.9 × 1.2 cm










820.99415 (edition:23)


General – Trade / Code: K