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Distributed for University College Dublin Press

Maria Edgeworth

Women, Enlightenment and Nation

This innovative book reassess the place of Maria Edgeworth within the Irish literary canon by illuminating the connections between her views on gender and her construction of Ireland, beginning in the revolutionary decade of the 1790s and ending in the aftermath of Catholic emancipation and parliamentary reform. O Gallchoir addresses the full scope of Edgeworth’s writing, creating a context within which Edgeworth’s Irish novels can be read alongside tales and novels set in England and France: undervalued texts are recovered and better-known ones are shown in a new light. Edgeworth’s commitment to the values of the Enlightenment is explored in the context of her indebtedness to the work of French women writers and her sophisticated awareness of the precarious position of the woman writer in society.


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Table of Contents

Introduction Enlightenment, Gender and the Nation Women, Writing and the Irish Public Sphere after the Union - Irish Identity in Castle Rackrent and An Essay on Irish Bulls Revolution and Memory in Madame de Fleury, Emilie de Coulanges and Ennui German and Irish heroes in Patronage and The Absentee The Language of an Irish Gentleman in Ormond . ’Apres nous le deluge’ - The Woman Writer in the Age of O’Connell Afterword - ’Big House Novelist’ or ’Irish Woman Writer’? Notes Bibliography Index.

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