Romantic Ireland: From Tone to Gonne; Fresh Perspectives on Nineteenth-Century Ireland

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Paddy Lyons, John Miller, Willy Maley
Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Oct 17, 2013 - Literary Criticism - 430 pages
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The long nineteenth century, arguably the most significant period in Irish history, is marked by a series of events that changed the political landscape of the nation forever and gave rise to art and ideas of international importance. At one end of this tumultuous period, we have Grattan’s Parliament, the United Irishmen, the Rebellion of 1798 led by Wolfe Tone, and the Union of 1801, and at the other, the fall of Parnell, the Easter Rising, Civil War and partition. Between times there are the great hinge events of Catholic Emancipation, the Famine, and the Land War. From Wolfe Tone to Maud Gonne, Ireland went through a period of enormous upheaval that carved out the culture and politics of the modern nation. Irish Studies has not yet fully engaged with the range and richness of this material, nor have critics in the various Anglophone literary fields grasped the extent to which Irish and Scottish events and authors contributed decisively to the development of their own areas.

Bringing together an international line-up of established and emerging scholars, Romantic Ireland: From Tone to Gonne takes Irish Studies in new directions, in particular in terms of a cross-cultural comparison with Scotland and the distinct phenomenon of Unionism, thus breaking out of the double binds of Anglo-Irish approaches. The Irish-Scottish interface throws up fascinating insights that enhance our awareness of the interaction between colonialism, nationalism and culture. All of the major figures of the period are represented here, from Edgeworth and Moore to Yeats and Synge, but there are other, often less noticed but hugely significant writers, such as Charles Robert Maturin, Dion Boucicault and May Laffan. There are non-Irish commentators on Ireland like Cobbett and Engels, as well as a series of key Scottish figures – including Burns and Scott – in addition to lesser-known or lesser-noticed Scottish writers with strong Irish interests such as R. M. Ballantyne and Robert Tannahill – whose work opens up new and promising avenues into Irish writing.

 

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About the author (2013)

Paddy Lyons is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Glasgow. In Irish Studies, he has published on the history of literacy, and on Brian Friel, May Laffan, Martin McDonagh, and W. B. Yeats. He also works on Restoration writers, and is editor of The Complete Poems and Plays of Earl of Rochester, and Female Playwrights of the Restoration.

Willy Maley is Professor of English Literature at the University of Glasgow. His most recent work is an edited collection, with Alison O’Malley-Younger, Celtic Connections: Irish-Scottish Relations and the Politics of Culture (Peter Lang, 2013).

John Miller is Lecturer in Nineteenth-century Literature at the University of Sheffield. He is author of Empire and the Animal Body (Anthem Press, 2012) and co-author, with Louise Miller, of Walrus for Reaktion Press’s Animal series.

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