King House, Boyle

Military Road
Co. Roscommon

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Julian Vignoles: The Woodbrook Legacy ***SOLD OUT***



‘I think of it as an Indian Summer in our literature that will never fade…’


That’s how John McGahern described David Thomson’s memoir, Woodbrook, published in 1974.

Set in Co Roscommon in the mid 20th century, Thomson’s timeless work is a potent combination of love story, history, and myth. While a student at Oxford, he came to Ireland in 1932 as tutor to the Anglo-Irish Kirkwood family. He revisited this defining time of his life in Woodbrook, elevating the family and their daughter, Phoebe to legendary status. The book’s evocation of romance, family fortunes and folly, and the darkness and light in folk belief, have made it a classic.

David Thomson was a Scottish writer, folklorist, novelist and radio producer, who became an honorary Irishman. Julian Vignoles is the author of, A Delicate Wildness – The Life and Loves of David Thomson 1914-1988.


Th talk will examine Thomson’s life, the background to Woodbrook, and the enduring appeal of Thomson’s vision.