BOOKS AND BOATS: A Passage to Honfleur


The first part of my journey took me over the Irish Sea towards the English Channel

On 20th July, in the company of my partner and two friends, I boarded the MS Magellan, a 728.00 ft cruise ship travelling from Liverpool to Honfleur, via Dublin, St. Mary’s, St. Peter Port and Rouen.

This was our second experience of travelling on a liner, having embarked for the Norwegian Fjords on the very same ship almost twelve months previously (though, I should like to point out that I spent considerable time around smaller vessels in my youth). Regular visitors to Book Jotter may recall I’m an inveterate thalassophile and a lover of islands but none too keen on flying. Therefore, sailing is not merely a less stressful mode of travel but one on which I positively thrive, whether in, on, under or near the sea – even (nay, especially) when the wind blows.

Over the course of two posts, I will share with you some the highlights of this trip, with a special emphasis on all things literary.



So fascinating a city is Dublin, it cannot be explored in a day. This was my third visit to Ireland’s capital, but I am still no closer to having ‘done’ this beguiling, ancient, multi-layered metropolis. I doubt it is even possible.

We docked at 7am and immediately came ashore, scrambling to the top of a hop-on, hop-off bus at Upper O’Connell Street, which allowed us to get off at any point and investigate an area of interest before catching the next one to come along and resume our tour.

The Dublin Writer’s Museum


I have long wanted to visit the Dublin Writers Museum at 18 Parnell Square, established to promote interest, through its collection and displays, in Irish literature and the lives and works of individual Irish writers. Next door is the Irish Writers’ Centre, which focuses on promoting contemporary Irish writers, while the Museum presents the literary heritage left by writers of the past. There are also smaller, more detailed museums dotted about the city devoted to people like Joyce, Shaw, Yates and Pearse, but alas, time didn’t permit me to seek them out.

There was, in any case, a vast collection of photographs, portraits, letters, first editions and evocative personal possessions on display. I could easily have spent several days poking around in this wonderful 18th century house, built by Thomas Sherwood.









Other Literary Discoveries


Merrion Square with the Oscar Wilde statue


EPIC – The Irish Emigration Museum

Sadly I didn’t make it to the Library of Trinity College or any number of other cultural attractions. They are for another time.

Look out for Part Two, when I head towards the Seine.

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26 replies

  1. Oscar!!!!!!! (I love Oscar). Looks like a wonderful trip so far – look forward to the next leg! 😀

  2. Sounds wonderful! Is it just me or does that bust of Oscar look like Virginia Woolf? I love them both so I’m quite happy at the resemblance 🙂

  3. Also love boats and being on, by or in ( not so much under) the water. Am enjoying your literary cruise!

  4. Dublin sounds wonderful. I can’t think why I’ve never been! Looking forward to part two now 🙂

  5. I loved this post! Thanks. I had just read about the museum and loved seeing the photos.

  6. What a wonderful post, Paula! I’ve been waiting for this and can’t wait for part two! You made some wonderful literary stops. I am with you on sailing! I adore it and would love to take a cruise just like this.

    • Thank you, Jennifer. Dublin is stuffed to the gills with literary history. You can barely walk down a street in the city centre without spotting a blue plaque honouring some writer or other who lived or worked there. I also like Dubliners’ sense of humour – it’s one on its own! 😀

  7. Hi. Nice photo with Oscar!

    My wife and I were in Ireland in 2006. In Galway I took a photo of her sitting on a bench alongside a replica of Oscar that was also on the bench. See you —

    Neil S.

  8. This sounds incredible, but I can understand why even visit number 3 isn’t enough. I love how you describe Dublin, as a “beguiling, ancient, multi-layered metropolis”. I’ve never been but I’d certainly love to go. Maybe next time you can check out all of those smaller museums dotted around 😉
    Caz xx

  9. Lovely photos, particularly the one with Oscar Wilde, looks like you’re both in harmony with each other and the environment. I never got to Dublin on my quick trip to Ireland, so thanks for the travel tips.

  10. Oscar’s pants look eminently pet-able. Like they are flannel, not stone. I love it.
    You’ve added yet another destination to my imaginary-visit-Ireland trip.
    Thanks for the peeks into your journey! (And I would much prefer a ship/boat over a plane, too.)


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