Life on the land : the interrelationship between identity and community in the Irish fiction of Maria Edgeworth, William Carleton and Charles Lever
O'Brien, George (1979) Life on the land : the interrelationship between identity and community in the Irish fiction of Maria Edgeworth, William Carleton and Charles Lever. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1751309~S15
This thesis examines and evaluates the response made by three
nineteenth century Irish writers of fiction to the most pressing
social problem of their time, namely: How might life on the land
be firmly established and maintained? The three writers concerned
— Maria Edgeworth, William Carleton and Charles Lever — are shown
to possess a common artistic vision, which is preserited as an answer
to the question posed. The answer consists of a demonstration of
how the resources of an enabling individual must blend with the
requirements of life on the land as it is.
By way of introduction, the significance of the theme for
both the literary and socio—political contexts of the period
(1800-1872) is described, and the problems of dealing with-nineteenth
century Irish fiction — problems concerned with its status
in the national cultural heritage, its variety and its artistic
characteristics — are outlined.
The four Irish novels of Maria Edgeworth are given a special
status in her overall output, and her handling of the theme in them
is considered as the prototype of her successors' manner of dealing
with it. Carleton and Lever are taken as portraying the Edgeworth
model under stress. Carleton's work is represented by a selection
of pieces from his Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry;
Lever's by three novels from the 1850's and '60's. All three
writers are located in their contemporary cultural milieux, and
their individual treatments of the theme are described and compared.
In conclusion, a general characterisation of the type of fiction
produced by the trio is offered, and a basis for its artistic
relationship to Irish fiction of more recent times is rehearsed.
The thesis facilitates a new periodisation of the history of
nineteenth century Irish fiction. It also offers a revised
conception of a tradition, of Irish fiction. These are the
contributions it makes to knowledge of the subject treated.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||P Language and Literature > PR English literature|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Edgeworth, Maria, 1767-1849 -- Criticism and interpretation, Carleton, William, 1794-1869 -- Criticism and interpretation, Lever, Charles James, 1806-1872 -- Criticism and interpretation, Agriculture in literature, Irish fiction -- 19th century|
|Official Date:||September 1979|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies|
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