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
Home » Items tagged with 'nationalism'
Items tagged with 'nationalism'
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
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
It’s not often that you get the chance to go to a conference which will involve a trip to the pier, a day spent at one of Wales’ national treasures, and introductions to several undeservedly-forgotten … Continue reading
In July, I travelled to Sydney to take part in the second biannual conference of the Romantic Studies Association of Australasia. Founded in 2010, the RSAA aims ‘to promote the study of the literary, artistic, … Continue reading
Article: Hazlitt’s Prizefight Revisited
The essay looks at the masculine sporting culture that flourished in the 1820s, revolving in particular around the boxing world dubbed ‘The Fancy’. Focusing on the 1821 prizefight between Tom Hickman and Bill Neate, Snowdon examines the ways in which the event was depicted by the pens of William Hazlitt, Pierce Egan, and John Badcock. An extended discussion of the popular Boxiana series, which was first written by Egan, and then taken up by Badcock, before legal proceedings allowed Egan to publish once again under the Boxiana imprint. Continue reading
This essay provides an overview of patterns of reception and production of Irish fiction published between 1800 and 1829, with particular discussion of the fiction of Maria Edgeworth and Sydney Owenson (Lady Morgan). The essay is followed by a bibliographical checklist of 114 works of fiction published during the survey period. Continue reading
Article: ‘Saxon, Think not All Is Won’
I ‘Few poetic careers can have been more thoroughly devoted to the construction of national identity than was that of Felicia Hemans’s, writes Tricia Lootens, in her contribution to Angela Leighton’s Victorian Women Poets: A … Continue reading