Author: Christina Morin

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.

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‘Gothicism’, ‘historicism’, and the overlap of fictional modes from Thomas Leland to Walter Scott
Christina Morin

1763, 1766, 1775, and 1790, and twice adapted for the stage as The Countess of Salisbury . 2 Yet, the novel remains little read today. In its twinned contemporary approbation and current neglect, Longsword stands in direct contrast to Walpole's The castle of Otranto (1764), which famously provoked controversy, especially on the publication of its revised second edition, and now enjoys the relatively uncontested reputation as the first British gothic novel. However, it is worth remembering that Walpole's tale and its self-description as ‘a Gothic story

in The gothic novel in Ireland, c. 1760–1829
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Location the Irish gothic novel
Christina Morin

Introduction: locating the Irish gothic novel Published in 1780 in a collection of tales titled Novellettes, selected for the use of young ladies and gentlemen , Elizabeth Griffith's little known but compelling short fiction ‘Conjugal fidelity’ narrates a domestic romance set against the backdrop of the 1641 Rebellion, or ‘Irish Massacre’. 1 It tells of the troubled relationship between the Protestant Mr Pansfield – the descendant of ‘an English family that had received a grant of some lands in that country [Co. Kilkenny] from Queen

in The gothic novel in Ireland, c. 1760–1829
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Christina Morin

we associate with ‘the Gothic novel’ and ‘Irish Gothic’, e.g., medievalism; Catholic Continental settings; overt supernaturalism. But, as evidenced here, many of them do not, preferring instead contemporary time periods, local geography, and a more generalised recourse to romance. Attention to the apparent deviations and exceptions to the norm highlights the heterogeneous breadth that is eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Irish gothic literature. As it does so, it re-integrates the gothic into mainstream British and Irish literary history, revealing the striking

in The gothic novel in Ireland, c. 1760–1829
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The cartographic consciousness of Irish gothic fiction
Christina Morin

Romantic-era Irish literary gothic also emphasises the falsity of our assumption that contemporary English gothic literature almost universally deploys Catholic Continental locales. Far from anomalous in the British gothic output of his day, Melville's evocative depictions of local geography represent an established pattern that has been all too often dismissed. As Kilfeather has noted, ‘critical attention to the eighteenth-century female gothic novel has been so dominated by readings of Ann Radcliffe that Radcliffe's Italian and French settings have been defined as

in The gothic novel in Ireland, c. 1760–1829
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Romances, novels, and the classifications of Irish Romantic fiction
Christina Morin

than not turns all forms of literature, factual or fictional, into latent threats. The final section of this chapter turns attention to one of the leading formal classifications of Romantic-era fiction that has led to the continued neglect of Irish gothic literature in this period: the recognition of the ‘national tale’ as distinct from ‘the Gothic novel’. Pioneered by Sydney Owenson, Lady Morgan in 1806, the national tale has become a major focal point in scholarship of Irish Romantic fiction, designated as a new literary form

in The gothic novel in Ireland, c. 1760–1829
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Regina Maria Roche, the Minerva Press, and the bibliographic spread of Irish gothic fiction
Christina Morin

part, is centrally concerned with an investigation of Irish identity and nationhood more commonly associated with the Irish national tale than the contemporary gothic novel. 117 Clermont , too, betrays a real interest in Ireland, particularly in its depiction of Lord Dunlere, the heroine's maternal grandfather and a native Irishman banished to the Continent thanks to ‘his attachment to that unhappy Prince [James II]’. 118 Described as ‘one of the most faithful and zealous supporters’ of the Jacobite cause in Ireland, Lord Dunlere loses his

in The gothic novel in Ireland, c. 1760–1829
Father– daughter incest and the economics of exchange
Jenny DiPlacidi

Freudian theory that claims girls develop incestuous desires for the fathers who raise them is not applicable to the many Gothic novels in which girls are not raised by their fathers. Its application can thus lead to misreadings that diminish the importance of incest to the narrative and position heroines as victims of fantasies rather than threats. For incest to be a result of children desiring the

in Gothic incest
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Thefts, violence and sexual threats
Jenny DiPlacidi

representation of the overthrow of a tyrannical father, by showing the father to have been a usurper all along’. 5 If this is true of Walpole’s work, then later Gothic novels take up this Oedipal drive in a different way, exposing the figure of the uncle as usurper of both the rightful father and the niece. Although many scholarly accounts claim that one of the hallmarks of the Female Gothic is a tendency to show the father as

in Gothic incest
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Disrupting the critical genealogy of the Gothic
Jenny DiPlacidi

reviewer of Eliza Parsons’s The Castle of Wolfenbach ( 1793 ), a Gothic novel that, like Walpole’s play, centres on incestuous desire, reads the work ‘with pleasure’. This is quite a departure from Burney’s and Coleridge’s reactions to reading the incestuous plot in Walpole’s play. In fact, although the villains in Parsons’s novel are described as ‘too darkly tinctured’ and the quality of writing is not

in Gothic incest