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  • Cited by 5
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
February 2020
Print publication year:
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Book description

This volume examines eighteenth-century Irish literature, highlighting the diversity of texts, authors and approaches that characterises contemporary studies of the period. Chapters consider the contexts of history, politics, language, philosophy, gender, sexuality, and the environment while situating Irish literature in relation to Ireland, Britain, Europe and beyond. Well-known authors (Jonathan Swift, Edmund Burke and Oliver Goldsmith) are read alongside less familiar writers (including Mary Barber, William Chaigneau, Frances Sheridan, and Samuel Whyte) and popular and ephemeral literatures take their place with formerly canonical texts. It demonstrates the exciting vitality and richness of eighteenth-century Irish literature - written and performed - as well as its complex intersections with different communities and traditions. This book will be a key resource to scholars and students of Irish eighteenth-century studies as well as readers generally interested in questions of Anglophone and Irish-language culture, representations of gender and sexuality, and national and trans-national identities.


‘This set will be valuable for those interested in the rich Irish literary tradition, including those desiring to reach beyond accepted historical narratives … Highly recommended.’

M. Knight Source: Choice

‘… a remarkably ambitious project, taking the temperature of Irish literature from 1730 to the present in approximately 2,400 pages.’

Anthony Roche Source: Irish Times

‘This edited collection of nineteen articles by an impressive range of contributors highlights the current trends and values in Irish eighteenth-century scholarship … One of the strengths of this particular volume is that it is aimed at not only those with an interest in Irish literature, but also those interested in eighteenth-century writing generally … the variety of material, writers, and approaches means that even readers familiar with many of these writers will find much that is new and striking. These essays bring neglected writing and writers to the fore and shed new light on others. Most significantly, these essays help to reveal the richness, complexity, and sophistication of this period in Irish letters. The real strength of these essays might be in the way they allow this writing and the issues raised to have new life and significance today.’

Jim Shanahan Source: Eighteenth-Century Fiction

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