Dublin: OCLC ‘s research in 16,000 libraries around the world had brought out some surprising findings. Guess whose is the most famous Irish literary work? Your brain will be pushing the names of celebrities like George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Samuel Bucket, WB Yeats and Seamus Heaney, to your mind.
But the answer is none of the above. You might fell surprising, but that the fact. OCLC Vice President Lorcan Dempsey reveals that the most widely read works are by Irish author Jonathan Swift.
It was not just in Ireland and Dublin, but OCLC’s research in 16,000 libraries around the world and has led to these surprising findings. The research was carried out by OCLC, a global library cooperative.
This study proves a lot of things. Even after ages, a writer lives through his books and words; their works will be read again and again. The research has also recorded details like the readers preference for each book, how many times have they took that from the library.
It was from this close and detailed analysis the study found that it’s Jonathan Swift’s works which was the most read one. His “Gulliver’s Travels“ is ranked number one read book in the world.
The head of the Trinity College of English in Dublin, Dr. Eileen Douglas says that “Gulliver’s Travels” is not an Irish literature, but world literature, its value is increasing over the period of time.
Oscar Wilde, Eve Bunting, Bernard Shaw, and Oliver Godsmith are the writers of other four most widely read Irish works in the world.
The top four books according to the study are, Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’, Doldsmith’s ‘The Vicar of Wakefield’, Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Picture of Derian Gray’, and Ein Kolfer’s ‘Artemis Foul’.
Dempsey points out that the above works illustrate the depth of Irish writing prowess. Ireland’s dominance in fiction is nowhere to be found. Larkan Dempsey points out that Irish writers are on the verge of imagination when writers from other countries write factually.
Even though Bram Stoker’s Dracula was not very popular at the time of writing, researchers found that it was re-read over 50 years.
OCLC conducted similar research in Scotland. The works of Robert Louis Stevenson, novelist and travel writer, were found to be the most widely read.