By John Strachan, Claire Nally (auth.)
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Additional info for Advertising, Literature and Print Culture in Ireland, 1891–1922
GENERAL REDUCTION in all items of CHANDLERY. [. ] JAMES L. , begs to announce to his Friends and the Public that he has OPENED his office at 31, EDENQUAY, where he proposes carrying on in the Coal Trade. N. promises good value to those who favour him with their orders. Sober and informative though these announcements might be, the eye is not caught as it is by the Hyam’s verse copy. Hyam’s tongue-in-cheek verses, however ludicrous they might seem to the modern reader, are certainly memorable. The fact that Hyam’s advertisements often used verse is not as surprising as it might initially appear.
The remediation of Irishness in key parts of contemporary popular culture, such as dance and sport, is one of the defining characteristics of the Revival, and this phenomenon, we want to argue, was also evident in advertising copy. In a famous 1892 lecture which is perhaps the founding document of the Irish Revival, Douglas Hyde had called for ‘The Necessity for De-Anglicising Ireland’, and commercial culture, with its frequent genuflection to English products, was one place ripe for de-Anglicisation alongside language, sport and music.
OBSERVE! 50 In like manner to the ventilated chapeau, in the Gazette’s next column Stephenson’s Soap and Candle Manufactory offered both the temptingly exotic and Frenchified ‘Le Grand’s Colza Oil’ (‘which has been refined by a peculiar French process’),51 alongside the none-too-homely sounding British product ‘Young’s Patent Non-Explosive Parraffine Oil’. London copywriters had been appealing to an English sense of the sophistication of the French for years, and their Dublin equivalents sometimes did the same, a sprinkling of (none too difficult) French in the copy only adding to the product’s allure (in the manner in which, towards the end of the century, a few words of Irish would boost the claims of the ‘Irishness’ of a product).