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Chapter 8 - Placing Mary Tighe in Irish Literary History: From Manuscript Culture to Print

from Part III - Reputations

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 February 2020

Claire Connolly
Affiliation:
University College Cork
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Summary

Nineteenth-century readers accorded Tighe a prominent place in literary culture, but for twenty-first-century critics she inhabits a more liminal space as a writer committed to manuscript culture who resists or temporises any movement into print culture. Unlike friends such as Moore, Morgan, or Lefanu, Tighe satisfied her ambitions by circulating her work exclusively within her coterie. Her career not only demonstrates the vitality of coteries in this transitional period of Irish literary history, but also evidences the viability of manuscript circulation during an era in which print culture is usually thought to overtake scribal culture. I look at two editions Tighe prepared for her coterie – Psyche and Verses – to situate her as a scribal author who offers a proto-feminist position on the cultural construction of women and who evinces her quintessential romanticism in lyrics that explore the twinned themes of memory and loss, frequently conflating romantic loss with national loss.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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