This collection of articles, which results from the ‘Four Nations Fiction’ conference that took place in 2013, is structured around the intersection of place with gender in terms of two vibrant research fields: the archipelagic or four nations turn within literary studies and the still-expanding map of Romantic-period women’s writing. Continue reading
Home » Items tagged with 'national identity'
Items tagged with 'national identity'
This article shifts attention away from the perfections of England to explore the place of Ireland in Jane Austen’s Emma. Intrigued by Jane Fairfax’s refusal to travel with the Dixons in Ireland, Emma conjectures spitefully about an unrequited—or possibly consummated—affair between Jane and Mr Dixon. Obfuscating his actual affair with Jane, Frank Churchill uses Emma’s Irish conjectures to flirt with both women. Ireland becomes a repository of gothic potential over the course of Austen’s novel: a space upon which characters can map their unspoken and unspeakable desires. Austen accesses the Irish gothic to ask questions about national identity, legitimacy and power. Continue reading
The interplay between commerce and sensibility has been well documented: commercial activity is celebrated in eighteenth-century sentimental rhetoric for its ability to incite civility, reform manners and promote virtue. In the same way, the transformative effects of commerce informed discourses of sympathy and national identity throughout the latter half of the eighteenth century and into the Romantic period. This article considers Sydney Owenson’s focus on commercial improvement in post-union Ireland in her 1814 novel O’Donnel: A National Tale. As Owenson developed her formal experimentations with the national tale, she made a series of revisions to the 1812 edition of St Clair (originally published in 1803) in which she echoes contemporary political discussions about Ireland’s potential for trade through the navigation of its waterways, suggesting an emerging interest in Irish commercial progress that would go on to influence her subsequent novels. O’Donnel appraises the value of English schemes for Irish improvement in the form of canals, aqueducts and road building within the context of Enlightenment models of historical progress and sympathy. In doing so, Owenson provides an extended critique of ascendancy schemes of improvement and of the role of geography in the formation of Irish national identity, revealing a profound anxiety about both the ideological ‘mapping’ of the Irish landscape in the post-union period and the formation of international communities based on sympathetic identification. Continue reading
Article: Domesticating Antiquarianism
The domestic is fundamental to any analysis of Bray’s work, as by domesticating public history and antiquarianism she was able to negotiate a path between maintaining her position as a proper lady and asserting her credentials as a published author/ historian. Historically, Bray’s writing career began at a time when there had been a shift in the basic epistemological structures of history from state politics to social and affective life, family matters. Moreover, Bray’s own family, father, brother and both her husbands were antiquarians, thus her research was presented as an extension of theirs. Finally, in 1822, Bray relocated from London to Devon, a geographical space on the margins of England, and one rich in history, legend and the traditions of ‘Old England’. Yet for Bray, home was a conflicted term representing both family home and homeland, England, which she saw as under threat of losing its identity to the newly created nation of Great Britain and Ireland. In this paper I examine how, through the microcosm of family and region, Bray set about producing an antiquarian record of the English landscape, customs and traditions: an English National Tale. Continue reading
How did the stage help shape Britons’ understanding of the Napoleonic Wars? Susan Valladares’ Staging the Peninsular War: English Theatres 1807–1815 is a case study in this question. Focusing on the Peninsular War specifically, Valladares … Continue reading
I began reading Reinventing Liberty in the weeks leading up Britain’s Brexit vote in June 2016; the timing was uncanny. Price’s impressive monograph focuses on the concept of national identity as it relates to commerce … Continue reading
I have spent the ten months between my last post and this one developing my research on Egbert Martin, about whom I’ve written in the last couple of posts. As I’ve continued to fill in … Continue reading
by Emma Butcher The blow is struck—the lyre is shattered–the music is hushed at length. The greatest—the most various–the most commanding genius of modern times has left us to seek for that successor to his … Continue reading
‘British Romanticism’, writes Paul Youngquist in Race, Romanticism, and the Atlantic, ‘is white’ (p. 91). Youngquist’s volume interrogates this ideology of whiteness, critiquing its systematic erasure of the violence in and across the Black Atlantic … Continue reading
In 1802, James Hogg embarked on the first of three excursions into the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. The young Border shepherd hoped to advance himself by leasing a farm and thereby joining the increasing … Continue reading