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Description: Fr. Matthew Russell, S.J. (1834-1912) intended to found a devotional magazine with the name Catholic Ireland in 1873, but it emerged as a literary journal named The Irish Monthly. Russell, who edited the magazine until his death, had a great talent for friendship, so people of many different backgrounds and beliefs wrote for him. He treated authors as members of a family circle and encouraged many women to write. He published W.B. Yeats, Oscar Wilde, Hillaire Belloc, Katherine Tynan and Dora Sigerson Shorter, amongst many others. The success of the Irish Monthly was remarkable at a time when the average Irish magazine had a five-year life span.
Fr. Lambert McKenna, S.J. (1870-1956) was the next Editor. He had a great interest in the Irish language, so the journal published many unpublished Irish bardic poems. He changed the emphasis from a literary journal to concentrate on Catholic social and educational thought.
By 1933, the Monthly was in financial trouble, but efforts were made to revive it. With a circulation of about 600, it was in competition with Studies, the quarterly review published by Irish Jesuits since 1912. Given Ireland's small size and, therefore, small subscription base, in 1954 the Irish Monthly ceased.
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