A Cultural History of the Irish Novel, 1790-1829 by Professor Claire Connolly

By Professor Claire Connolly

Claire Connolly bargains a cultural heritage of the Irish novel within the interval among the unconventional decade of the 1790s and the gaining of Catholic Emancipation in 1829. those a long time observed the emergence of a gaggle of proficient Irish writers who constructed and complicated such leading edge types because the nationwide story and the ancient novel: fictions that took eire as their subject and surroundings and which regularly imagined its background through household plots that addressed wider problems with dispossession and inheritance. Their openness to modern politics, in addition to to contemporary historiography, antiquarian scholarship, poetry, tune, performs and memoirs, produced a chain of remarkable fictions; marked such a lot of all by way of their skill to model from those assets a brand new vocabulary of cultural identification. This booklet extends and enriches the present knowing of Irish Romanticism, mixing sympathetic textual research of the fiction with cautious ancient contextualization.

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29 This insight into the Nugent household economy prepares readers for the fable of monetarism that follows in this chapter. The context of the ‘new scene’ that presents itself to Lord Colambre is the buying and selling of golden guineas for the purposes of the payment of the rent. 30 As with the earlier description of the greasy hats thrown on the sofa, a knowing and well-intentioned local guide suggests a dark reading of the scene and directs the attention of Colambre and the reader to the telling details.

The final chapter considers Irish novels that address the boundary between life and death, from the fake wake in Castle Rackrent to depictions of suspended animation and uncanny apparitions in the fictions of the 1820s. The chapter considers the rich yield of uncanny images of states in between life and death found in fiction not normally characterised in terms of ‘Irish Gothic’. Novels by Gerald Griffin and the Banim brothers self-consciously draw on Irish folkloric treatments of death and its meanings while also mobilising a more immediate historical context that includes debates about body-snatching, wakes and keens.

McCormack has observed how the text can be described as a Union novel in two distinct ways. As a novel which depicts ‘Ireland under the Union’, The Absentee testifies to the Union’s status as an enduring fact of history. 53 It is this latter, stricter and more materialist sense of Union which I employ below, in the belief that the relationship between politics and culture must sometimes be sought for in specific material content rather than reduced to pre-ordained notions of political tendencies.

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