Nineteenth-century Irish fiction: Irish identity, O'Connell and the transnational
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This project contributes an analysis of the representation of Irish identity in the novel post-Catholic Emancipation (1829) to the turn of the twentieth century. The thesis focuses on the works of Gerald Griffin, William Carleton, and George Moore. The construction of Irish identity by the authors and O'Connell is focused on the use of transnationalist elements. The main theme is the transnational and anti-transnational response in fiction to the construction of Irish identity in politics, literature, and culture particularly the image propagated by Daniel O'Connell's political narratives. Additionally, a chief interest of Irish fiction post-Catholic Emancipation was a satirical treatment of the political culture. The spectre of Daniel O'Connell features heavily in the satire. In turn, both the authors and O'Connell are portrayed in a nationalist vein in the Freeman's Journal. The narratives of O'Connell's politics have a role in the political manufacturing of these authors' images in newspapers. The transnational identity of the O'Connell and Moore family provides a context for the transnationalist narratives created by the authors and politicians. The response of Moore to his father's politics and the narratives of Catholicism in Irish culture showcase Moore's knowledge of the European novel. The reconfiguration of Irish tenant and landlord character moulds throughout the work of Griffin, Carleton, and Moore's fiction is framed within the evolution of Irish satire in the nineteenth century. Newspapers are used to trace the available narratives of political and transnational clout which are present in Irish satire. Pointedly, political satire whether in literary or political narratives, offer a transnational dimension to Irish identity. Consequently, the far-reaching transnational legacy of Daniel O'Connell, as his narratives of Irish identity reverberated throughout the nineteenth century, modifies in representation in fiction, newspapers, and criticism as the requirements of Irish identity changed. Furthermore, the focus of this thesis is to branch out from the hereto defined historical narratives of the Catholic and Anglo-Irish novel. This is achieved through detailing the nuanced transnational characters that the authors used to construct Irish identity beyond the confines of a relation to the British Empire.
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