The gothic novel in Ireland, 1760–1830 offers a compelling account of the development of gothic literature in late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth century Ireland. Against traditional scholarly understandings of Irish gothic fiction as a largely late-nineteenth century development, this study recovers to view a whole body of Irish literary production too often overlooked today. Its robust examination of primary texts, the contexts in which they were produced, and the critical perspectives from which they have been analysed yields a rigorous account of the largely retrospective formal and generic classifications that have worked to eliminate eighteenth-century and Romantic-era Irish fiction from the history of gothic literature. The works assessed here powerfully demonstrate that what we now understand as typical of ‘the gothic novel’– medieval, Catholic Continental settings; supernatural figures and events; an interest in the assertion of British modernity – is not necessarily what eighteenth- and nineteenth-century readers or writers would have identified as ‘gothic’. They moreover point to the manner in which scholarly focus on the national tale and allied genres has effected an erasure of the continued production and influence of gothic literature in Romantic Ireland. Combining quantitative analysis with meticulous qualitative readings of a selection of representative texts, this book sketches a new formal, generic, and ideological map of gothic literary production in this period. As it does so, it persuasively positions Irish works and authors at the centre of a newly understood paradigm of the development of the literary gothic across Ireland, Britain, and Europe between 1760 and 1830.
The ideas informing this edited collection were initially developed at a round table event in 2016 and the editors would like to thank Maurice Hamington, Caoimhe McAvinchey, Jonathan Petherbridge, Pam Smith, Robert Stern and Lois Weaver for their participation, being such good critical friends and so generously responding to our invitation to join us in this highly productive dialogue about the relationship between performance and care ethics. We would also like to thank all those who contributed to the Performing Care Symposium at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in December 2016, particularly Maurice Hamington who gave such an engaging keynote. We would also like to thank Maria Delgado, Dan Hetherington and Central’s research office for their invaluable support for these events and the development of the edited collection. Our thanks are also extended to Sally Baggott for her excellent editing skills, to Adelina Ong and James Rawson for their help with the referencing and indexing process and to Tony Fisher for being a source of support throughout in so many ways. We would also like to thank David Harradine for his thoughtful input and Fevered Sleep for granting us permission to use the wonderful image from Men & Girls Dance. Our thanks also go to Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, for kindly permitting us to republish James Thompson’s article. Finally, we would like to send our warmest thanks to Matthew Frost and Manchester University Press for working with us on this project and supporting our desire to ground this book in an interdisciplinary interrogation of performance and care.
Caoimhe McAvinchey would like to thank Clean Break for supporting her access to the company, particularly Lucy Perman for her generous reflections and Anna Herrmann and Deborah Bruce for kindly giving permission to quote from the unpublished text, Hear (2016).
Ella Parry-Davies would like to thank Dima el Mabsout for sharing such generous insight into her work over several years and for her comments on Ella’s critical responses to it. Ella also extends her thanks to Zeina Assaf, Kélina Gotman, Jane Rendell, Fiona Wilkie, Liang Peilin and Matthew Yoxall for their comments at various stages of the writing of her chapter, and to interlocutors at PSi 2015 in Lebanon and PSi 2016 in Australia.
Matt Jennings, Pat Deeny and Karl Tizzard-Kleister would like to thank Luke Merritt and Harrison McCallum, who contributed to the development of Chapter 11 and Mary Findon-Henry, Lecturer in Mental Health and Forensic Healthcare, School of Nursing, Ulster University for her support and guidance with the project.