The Irish Wellspring

Jay R. Tunney, author of a highly praised book about the close
friendship between his father, the boxing champion Gene Tunney and
Nobel Prize-winning playwright Bernard Shaw will speak May 31, 2012
on The Irish Wellspring, the creative energy that dominates most
Irish arts. Both Tunney and Shaw were Irish and the author maintains
that it was their distinctive Irishness that not only fuelled and
supported their relationship but inspired both to pursue excellence
in becoming champions in their own respective fields

Jay’s talk will take place on Thursday May 31st in the Seminar Room in the Global Institute UCD at 1.00pm


THE PRIZEFIGHTER AND THE PLAYWRIGHT: Gene Tunney and Bernard Shaw chronicles the unlikely connection between the champion boxer and world-famous playwright.  From appearances their association seemed unusual as Tunney was 40 years younger, and the men could not have had more diverse backgrounds and career paths.  However, Tunney was a boxer who prepared for fights by reading Shakespeare, Butler, Maugham, and Shaw.  The latter was a literary giant, with extensive knowledge of boxing and had even written about the sport in one of his early novels.     


Author Jay R. Tunney is the son of the famous fighter, and after presenting the acclaimed BBC radio program, "The Master and the Boy," decided to further document his father’s friendship with Shaw.  He explores in rich detail the world his father inhabited, when boxers were the sports celebrities of the era, and when it was commonplace even then, for the rich and famous to be besieged by the paparazzi.  Tunney’s extensive research included conducting more than a hundred interviews, twenty-five file drawers of letters and diaries in his family’s private collection, as well as hundreds of photographs, family movies, and postcards. 


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