Richard Hayward was one of Ireland's best loved cultural figures from the mid-twentieth century, yet now has been all but forgotten. This first biography commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of his death, and retrieves the legacy of a man who captured a changing Ireland.
Richard Hayward was one of Ireland's best loved cultural figures from the mid-twentieth century. A popular singer and actor (The Luck of the Irish, 1939) , he also wrote travel books (In Praise of Ulster,1938), led groups on tours of Ireland, and was a theatrical impresario; in between times he was a salesman for Fox's Glacier Mints and a chocolate sweet company. A largely forgotten figure in the Irish cultural world, Hayward left behind a formidable body of work in books and recordings. He moved easily between parallel worlds of film making, the theatre, broadcasting and singing and writing, and his life touched many people. In this painstakingly researched account of an extraordinary life, Paul Clements has mastered a huge amount of material. The book covers all of his life, providing fresh insights through the lens of remarkable material from hitherto unknown archive resources, and a wealth of rare photographs.Paul Clements has scrutinised thousands of documents and literary fragments in archives throughout Ireland and Britain, producing a balanced reflection on Hayward's books, songs, films and ideas, which tell the extraordinary story of his four decades in the public spotlight. This absorbing and timely biography, commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of Hayward's death in 1964, draws on an array of primary sources, including previously unseen letters, and paints a refreshingly readable portrait of the man and his times. A landmark book, it is the first biography of a man who captured a changing Ireland and retrieves his legacy.