Born on a farm near Newmarket in County Cork, Alice Taylor worked as a telephonist in Killarney and Bandon. When she married she moved to Innishannon where she ran a guesthouse at first, then the supermarket and post office. She and her husband, Gabriel Murphy, who died in November 2005, had four sons and one daughter. In 1984 she edited and published the first issue of Candlelight, a local magazine which has since appeared annually. In 1986 she published an illustrated collection of her own verse.

To School Through the Fields was published by Brandon in 1988 and was an immediate and unprecedented success, becoming the biggest selling book ever published in Ireland, and her sequels, Quench the Lamp, The Village, Country Days and The Night Before Christmas were also outstandingly successful. Since their initial publication these books of memoirs have also been translated and sold internationally. In 2008 and 2009 her latest memoir, The Parish was again a bestseller, in hardback and paperback.,

In 1997 her first novel, The Woman of the House, was an immediate bestseller in Ireland, topping the paperback fiction lists for many weeks. It was followed by her second novel, Across the River in 2000, and by her third, House of Memories in 2005. Alice Taylor is also a poet, and in October 2009 Brandon publish her fourth collection, The Journey: New and Selected Poems.

“She has become the most popular and universally loved author in memory.” Mail on Sunday.



Alice has thirteen published books and is currently working on her fourteenth.  We met with Alice in October in Cork to talk about her prolific writing career and her books which have touched so many people across the world.  Below you will find a podcast featuring Alice in conversation with Jho Harris.

To listen now click the play button or download to listen later.
For more details on Alice Taylor’s books you can visit Brandon Books by clicking here.

Alice is one of 10 authors who have presented our special series of podcasts ‘The Writers’s Passage’ to listen to Kate’s episode featuring ‘To School Through The Fields’ click Here

The Writer’s Passage is a series exclusively produced for under the Arts Council of Ireland’s Literature Project Award.

In this series we are bringing you ten shows, each one detailing the location or locations from a well known book. In each episode the author of that book will bring us on a tour of the areas which are relevant to them and to some of the context within the pages of their book. The Writer’s Passage will bring you on a journey from Sligo to Roscommon, Longford, Kilkenny, Mayo, Tipperary, Antrim, Waterford, Cork, and Dublin.