Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
O'Halloran, Clare
Spenser Studies
From Antiquarian Text to Fictionís Subtext: The Extended Afterlife of Spenserís View of the Present State of Ireland
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Optional Fields
Early nineteenth-century Ireland Gaelic Irish Protestant Spenser View of the Present State of Ireland
This article analyzes significant traces of the View of the Present State of Ireland in Irish novels published in the aftermath of the Act of Union of 1800. Written by Protestants, they aimed to explain the Irish problem to an English audience, and thereby foster more harmonious relations between the two islands. Spenserís View, which had long been a resource for antiquaries, was taken up by these novelists in a variety of ways, ranging from plundering his hostile descriptions of Gaelic Irish mores to add color and an alleged authenticity to their characters and plots, to engaging with his politics and pointing to his complicity in the colonial project in Ireland. That some novelists employed both of these approaches simultaneously shows not only the continuing Protestant ambivalence toward the Gaelic Irish, and particularly the still-threatening peasantry, but also the centrality of Spenserís View to fictive depictions of early nineteenth-century Ireland.
Grant Details