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Chapter 15 - The Transition of Reputation: Gerald Griffin

from Part III - Reputations

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 February 2020

Claire Connolly
Affiliation:
University College Cork
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Summary

This chapter moves the reputation of Gerald Griffin’s The Collegians outside a predominantly Catholic context and argues that the transnational dimensions of the novel connect local with global forces. Griffin’s depiction of multicultural Catholic characters suggests a shifting version of Irish identity that can be constructed outside of morality and religion. The chapter highlights the cultural and political moments that shaped Griffin’s standing and suggests new ways of framing his achievements. It also shows Griffin was phased out of an emerging nationalist narrative of Irish literature, in part via the political reception of William Carleton in nationalist and Fenian newspapers of the 1840s. Meanwhile the movements in academic criticism in the 1960s that rescued Dion Boucicault from obscurity had the effect of reducing Griffin’s reputation to the creator of the Colleen Bawn.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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