About the Author
"Padraic Colum (8 December 1881 - 11 January 1972) was an Irish poet, novelist, dramatist, biographer and collector of folklore. He was one of the leading figures of the Celtic Revival.
Colum was born Padraic Columb in a County Longford workhouse, where his father worked. He was the first of eight children. When the father lost his job in 1889, he moved to the United States to participate in the Colorado gold rush. Padraic and his mother and siblings remained in Ireland. When the father returned in 1892, the family moved to Glasthule, outside Dublin where his father was employed as Assistant Manager at Sandycove and Glasthule railway station. His son attended the local national school.
When Colum's mother died in 1897, the family were temporarily split up. Padraic and one brother remained in Dublin while the father and remaining children moved back to Longford. Colum finished school the following year and at the age of seventeen, he passed an exam for and was awarded a clerkship in the Irish Railway Clearing House. He stayed in this job until 1903.
During this period, Colum started to write and met a number of the leading Irish writers of the time, including W. B. Yeats, Lady Gregory and AE. He also joined the Gaelic League and was a member of the first board of the Abbey Theatre. It was at this time that he dropped the 'b' from his surname. He became a regular user of the National Library of Ireland. Here he met James Joyce and the two became lifelong friends.
He was awarded a five year scholarship to University College Dublin by a wealthy American benefactor Thomas Kelly." (Quote from wikipedia.org)