Hardcover. 8vo. Original cloth . Irish Literature. Donn Byrne at Coolmain Castle Donn Byrne was born Brian Oswald Patrick Donn-Byrne on 20 November 1889. His South Armagh parents were on a business trip to the United States when Donn Byrne was born in New York. The family returned to Ireland soon after the birth. Byrne says of his family: "We were about the only one of the four big Irish families of the gap in the North to still keep our mouths, if not our heads, above water." At fourteen, he met Bulmer Hobson, founder of Irish volunteer movement. Hobson took him to an early meeting of the volunteers (1906), when he was accompanied by Robert Lynd of the London Daily News. Lynd wrote of that meeting, mentioning the singing of a little fair haired boy (Donn-Byrne). Through Hobson, he acquired a taste for Irish history and nationalism that the culture was deeply immersed in at the time. He entered local Irish festivals (Feiseanna) using the name Brian O'Beirne, and he frequently won. He was equally fluent in Irish and English, growing up in an area were Gaelic was still spoken. In 1907 he went to the University of Dublin to study Romance languages. While at the school he published in The National Student, the student magazine. At this time he also met Dorothea (Dolly) Cadogan. After graduation he moved to Paris and Leipzig to continue his studies at the Sorbonne and Leipzig University, with the hope of joining the British Foreign Office as a diplomat. He turned down his PhD. when he learned that he would have to wear evening clothes to his early morning examinations, which no true Irish gentleman would ever do.