That Mangan is Ireland’s foremost Romantic poet is by now a commonplace. The poetry of this self-proscribed ‘Out-and-Outer’ may have contributed to the picture of an eccentric genius writhing in romantic agony, far removed from the daily throng. But there was a public side to this private poet. In reality, from the age of 28, with his publication of the politically engaged ‘The Two Flats: Our Quackstitution’, this poète maudit remained in constant dialogue with the wider reading public. Prose afforded the poet his podium. And much of his mature poetry is contained within prose articles. In prose, Mangan taught, thought, deliberated, parodied, and afforded glimpses of himself which were hidden from his poetic alter ego. In his German and Oriental Anthologies, he opened up a world of literature to his Irish readers. Articles like ‘A Sixty-Drop Dose of Laudanum’ betray his mastery of the well-turned aphorism. Stories like ‘The Man in the Cloak’ manifest his light-hearted fascination for the Gothic. C.P. Meehan prefaced his pioneering Essays in Prose and Verse by J.C. Mangan with the apologetic observation that ‘every scrap of writing from Mangan’s pen … deserves to be rescued from the countless contingencies to which manuscripts are exposed.’ Having rescued Mangan’s work in our collected edition, we offer no such apology: our best of Mangan’s prose shows a man with his finger on the pulse, following his one precept — not to bore.