Explores the outlook of certain important classes in late 19th- and early 20th-century Ireland through an assessment of Irish Catholic fiction.
The late 19th and early 20th century was a key period of cultural transition in Ireland. Fiction was used in a plainly partisan or polemical fashion to advance changes in Irish society. Murphy explores the outlook of certain important social classes during this time frame through an assessment of Irish Catholic fiction. This highly original study provides a new context for understanding the works of canonical authors such as Joyce and George Moore by discussing them in light of the now almost forgotten writing from which they emerged—the several hundred novels that were written during the period, many of them by women writers.
Introduction Upper-Middle-Class Fiction, 1873-1890 The Search for Respectability Victorian Virtues Social Conflict and Economic Reality Versions of Catholicism Transition, 1890-1900 Intelligentsia Fiction, 1900-1922 Catholic Ireland and Kickham's Knocknagow Opportunities for Changing Society Portrait of Catholic Ireland Sources of Renewal Guinan and Sheehan New Irelands Metaphors of Identity Discourse and Defeat Bibliography Index
Endorsements The symbiotic nature of the relationship between literature and history in Ireland has provided James H. Murphy with a wonderful opportunity of which he has taken full advantage. In this volume he has presented us with a perceptive analysis of how literature and the social structure integrate to produce a Catholic fiction that allows for special insight into the Irish historical process between 1872 and 1922, and the result is a most innovative and creative effort in rendering art as evidence.—Emmet Larkin^LProfessor of British and Irish History^LThe University of Chicago