Irish Novelists and the Victorian Age

Hardcover | February 6, 2011

byJames H. Murphy

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This is the first comprehensive study of the neglected Irish writers of the Victorian age, whose work was highly popular with the British reading audience and therefore disparaged and largely forgotten from the era of W.B. Yeats and the Irish Literary Revival, with its culturally nationalistagenda, onwards. It is based on a reading of around 370 novels by 150 authors, including William Carleton, the peasant novelist who wielded much influence, and Charles Lever, whose serious work was destroyed by the slur of 'rollicking', as well as Joseph Sheridan LeFanu, George Moore, EmilyLawless, Somerville and Ross, Bram Stoker, and three of the leading authors from the new-woman movement, Sarah Grand, Iota, and George Egerton. James H. Murphy examines their writing in a variety of contexts: the political, economic, and cultural developments of the time; the vicissitudes of the reading audience; the realities of a publishing industry that was for the most part London-based; the often difficult circumstances of the lives ofthe novelists; and the ever changing genre of the novel itself, to which Irish authors often made a contribution. Politics, history, religion, gender and, particularly, land, over which nineteenth-century Ireland was deeply divided, featured as key themes for fiction. Finally, the book engages withthe critical debate of recent times concerning the supposed failure of realism in the nineteenth-century Irish novel, looking for deeper causes than have hitherto been offered and discovering occasions on which realism turned out to be possible.

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This is the first comprehensive study of the neglected Irish writers of the Victorian age, whose work was highly popular with the British reading audience and therefore disparaged and largely forgotten from the era of W.B. Yeats and the Irish Literary Revival, with its culturally nationalistagenda, onwards. It is based on a reading of...

James H. Murphy is Professor of English and was also for a time Director of Irish Studies at DePaul University, Chicago, having previously taught in Ireland. He specialises in nineteenth-century Ireland, focusing particularly on the history of the novel and on the political history of the period. He is the author or (co-) editor of te...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pagesPublished:February 6, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199596999

ISBN - 13:9780199596997

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Approaches to Reading Irish Fiction2. The Fashionable Potato: Lady Blessington and W.H. Maxwell3. Peasant or Pheasant novelist? The Authority of William Carleton4. Ruin through Rollicking: Poor Charles Lever5. Sensational Stalwarts: Irish Victorian Novelists in Mid Century6. 'Two Nations on One Soil': Land, Fenians, and Politics in Fiction7. 'Real Protestantism never Slumbers': Religious and Historical Fiction8. Frenzied Form: The Land-War Novel9. Grania and her Sisters: New Women Abroad and at Home10. Fin de Siecle: Vortex of the Genres11. The Lives of the Irish Novelists12. Conclusion: Contested RepresentationsBibliographyIndex