|"Short Directions for Reading Irish" - from The Life of Saint Patrick, Apostle of Ireland. Dublin: H. Fitzpatrick, 1810.|
A good overview of the history of Irish typefaces may be found in Mathew Staunton's work Trojan Horses and Friendly Faces: Irish Gaelic Typography as Propaganda in which the earliest Irish type is revealed to be the work of Queen Elizabeth I. The Irish themselves wasted no time in appropriating the idea, and a number of native Irish typefaces were developed which were far less Roman in appearance and more related to medieval letter forms.
By the 1830s the rise of Irish nationalism and interest in Irish history spurred the development of Irish types such as the semi-uncial produced by George Petrie for use in the first bilingual edition of one of Ireland's key historical sources, known as the Annals of the Four Masters.
|Opening words of the Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland. Dublin: Hodges, Smith, 1856|