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.
‘Gothicism’, ‘historicism’, and the overlap of fictional modes from Thomas Leland to Walter Scott
's concern with the past as providing essential lessons for the present, particularly in terms of governmental rule and the security of individual rights and liberties.
With its central interest in British history's relevance to contemporary society, Longsword has readily lent itself to analysis as an early example of the historicalnovel more commonly associated with Sir Walter Scott. 5 The gothic elements of the text indicated by Summers’ terminology have less frequently garnered attention. Rolf and Magda Loeber describe Longsword as a pre
, and while resilience can be a
measure of the abiding strengths of natural systems, it can also result in
new environmental woes in its own right (such as a preponderance of
invasive Phragmites reeds, and the further decline of megafauna like
elephants that I hinted at above).
Science fiction, speculative fiction and the pre-posterous
That all four of the terms I just spent some time defining are marked, in
varying degrees, by ambiguity underscores their structural importance
to the narratives in which they are employed as tropes, owing to a
Sarah Orne Jewett, The Tory Lover, and Walter Scott, Waverley
diﬀerent’, The Tory Lover (1901), her historicalnovel about Patriot/
Loyalist tensions during the American War of Independence. It was Scott,
I believe, who helped her negotiate the complexities of this civil conﬂict
in the creating of nations.3 I want to argue that this was not simply some
vague inﬂuence diﬀused through popular, partial views of Scott’s novels,
but was based on a more thoughtful reading that may also help us with
the vexed question of how Jewett positioned herself socially and politically in her ﬁctions.
Starting in the winter of 1777–78 when
considers the naming of Walpole's The castle of Otranto and Leland's Longsword as ‘historicalnovels’, exploring these texts’ shared interest in comparing and contrasting the past with the present. The first part of this chapter is especially concerned with re-locating the formal and generic origins of the body of literature we now define as gothic by examining the manipulation of the Gothic past in The castle of Otranto , Longsword , and several other early Irish gothic texts, including the works of James White (1759–99) and Anne Fuller's novel, Alan Fitz
overlaps between gothic fictions and apparently distinct forms such as the historicalnovel and the national tale, and positioning the literary gothic not as the disreputable, popular output of hack writers unworthy of cultural memory but as an invaluable body of widely read literature vital to the transnational development of nineteenth-century literature and culture.
The aim of this book has been to outline a new model of gothic literary production reflective of these realities without falling prey either to the trap of unnecessarily limiting
Romances, novels, and the classifications of Irish Romantic fiction
2 Gothic genres: romances, novels, and the classifications of Irish Romantic fiction
In his Revelations of the dead-alive (1824), John Banim depicts his time-travelling narrator encountering future interpretations of the fiction of Walter Scott. In twenty-first-century London, Banim's narrator realises, Scott is little read; when he is, he is understood, as James Kelly points out, ‘not as the progenitor of the historicalnovel but rather as the last in line of an earlier Gothic style’. 1 According to the readers encountered in his travels
The cartographic consciousness of Irish gothic fiction
British nation that could function, at one and the same time, as retreat or refuge and uncanny, near otherworldly space. Evidently influenced both by Burke and contemporary travel writing, while also foreshadowing the scenes of geographical and cultural encounter made familiar in the national tale and historicalnovel, The history of Lady Barton opens with its heroine's descriptions of wild Celtic scenery. Having just been married to the Anglo-Irish Lord Barton, Lady Louisa Barton recounts her adventures travelling from her family seat in England to her husband's home
Anna Davin, ‘Imperialism and
motherhood’, History Workshop , 5 ( 1978 ), 9–65.
See Joanna Troloppe, Britannia’s
Daughters: Women of the British Empire (London, Melbourne,
Auckland and Johannesburg: Cresset, 1983 ).
Troloppe is a writer of historicalnovels who celebrates
adaptations. Bryher's Beowulf is a queer, feminist masterpiece of documentary realism and modernist whimsy in which the Old English Beowulf plays a pivotal and underappreciated role, and whose marginalization within the field of early medieval studies is a consequence of a masculinizing ethos that often goes unchallenged, even in feminist scholarship on the poem.
Throughout this chapter, I will argue that Bryher's Beowulf , while overtly a historicalnovel about the London Blitz during the Second World War, also practises a unique kind of queer