Biography Douglas Hyde
- Time Period1860 - 1949
A portrait of Douglas Hyde is on the Irish fifty-pound note. He was Ireland's first president, a promotor and enthusiast of the Gaelic language, and a writer of such works as Beside the Fire (1890), Love Songs of Connacht (1894) and A Literary History of Ireland (1899).
Born in Sligo, the son of Rev. Arthur Hyde, he was tutored at home and learnt Irish from local tenant farmers. He started writing poetry, prose and plays in English and Irish in his teens. Educated at Trinity College Dubilin, he won prizes for English verse and prose. In 1891 he went to Canada for a year as interim professor modern languages in the University of New Brunswick. Returning to Ireland, he continued his literary pursuits, and began to collecte folklore and poetry from country people. 1893 saw the foundation of the Gaelic League; Hyde was its first president.