Page 14 - The 15th Percy French Festival: French Awakenings
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a real a$ection for charac ters like the Jarvey, Murphy, Slattery, and
              others; and although P.French spoke through a myriad of such charac -
              ters and had an aversion to being serious, we can, as pointed out on
              a close reading divine his feelings, his outlook, and political leanings.

           In conclusion, Dr Travers argues that:
             ‘It would be wrong to dismiss P.French’s work as unimportant or trivial
             as it has been for the last %'' years, and it would be wrong to dismiss the
             charac ters inhabiting his songs and stories as paddywhackery or stereo -
             typical. Percy French was a man of his time, was well aware of what was
             going on and the politics that were being played out at the time and he
             very carefully chose ways to highlight this’.

           This is the PF we want to re-present to you, a living, thriving Percy French
           in the present, and in view of the fact that his own residence in Roscommon
           was demol ished, we have given him a new home.

           Here at Castlecoote House, PF can dwell in his native and beloved County
           Roscommon, in a somewhat similar period home as the one he grew up in.
           Castlecoote House itself re.ects the architec tural culture of PF’s time and
           embodies an authentic re.ection of the period he grew up, as well as having
           the library, big rooms and the facilities he had. Not to mention the landscape
           setting which he would likely adore. Equally importantly too it gives him
           a sense of place, and place is one of the great metaphors for minds and
           French’s mind was expansive to an extraordinary degree.

           What we want to do above all is to create a context, where even if Percy
           French’s name were not on this festival, he would be the !rst one to jump
           over the gate or swim across the River Suck to hear what is being said,
           to hear what is going on.

           Being alive to Percy French today
           Nowadays an avalanche of topics engulfs us all, through a range of media
           impossible in French’s time. Inevitably it sweeps us into contact with all sorts
           of concepts whether we are individually comfortable with them or not.

           So, the Festival is not a history club; its interest is not pastiche. While respect ing
           French’s lifetime achievements in music, plays, poems, and paintings, our

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