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This Companion provides an authoritative introduction to the historical, social and stylistic complexities of modern Irish culture. Readers will be introduced to Irish culture in its widest sense and helped to find their way through the cultural and theoretical debates that inform our understanding of modern Ireland. The volume combines cultural breadth and historical depth, supported by a chronology of Irish history and arts. A wide selection of essays on a rich variety of Irish cultural forms and practices are complemented by a series of in-depth analyses of key themes in Irish cultural politics. The range of topics covered will enable a comprehensive understanding of Irish culture, while the authors gathered here - all acknowledged experts in their fields - provide stimulating essays that together amount to an invaluable guide to the shaping of modern Ireland.
Claire Connolly offers a cultural history of the Irish novel in the period between the radical decade of the 1790s and the gaining of Catholic Emancipation in 1829. These decades saw the emergence of a group of talented Irish writers who developed and advanced such innovative forms as the national tale and the historical novel: fictions that took Ireland as their topic and setting and which often imagined its history via domestic plots that addressed wider issues of dispossession and inheritance. Their openness to contemporary politics, as well as to recent historiography, antiquarian scholarship, poetry, song, plays and memoirs, produced a series of notable fictions; marked most of all by their ability to fashion from these resources a new vocabulary of cultural identity. This book extends and enriches the current understanding of Irish Romanticism, blending sympathetic textual analysis of the fiction with careful historical contextualization.
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