The poetry of The Nation, 1842-1848 : a descriptive and critical study with some reference to the influence on the poetic development of W. B. Yeats.
Chapter One examines the personal and literary background of the
founders or The Nation, studies Duffy's first newspaper, The Vindicator
(1839-42), but finds it unimpressive an a literary organ.
Chapter Two examines the true poetry policy of The Nation, produces
evidence of an unexpected variety in the poetry of the first year but
concedes that the tone of the year's political poetry is responsible for
the derogatory terms coat frequently used about "Young Ireland" poetry.
Chapter Three examines the poetry of year two, dispels the myth of
uniformity of style and tone, even in political poetry, and demonatrates
the movement away from political and propagandistic verse. It further
proves that non political poets considerably outnumber political in year
three and that The Elation adopted a policy for poetry much more liberal
than it had originally proposed.
Chapter Four again demonstrates that the poetry of year four was
predominantly non political and argues that this year produced the paper's
best poetry in the Gaelic translations of Mangan. It further shows how
the movement away from political verse continued in year five, a year in
which dependence on the poetesses "Mary", "Iva" and "Speraaza" became
considerable and notes that disillusionment with O'Connell was the main
theme in political poetry. The chapter concludes by regretting; the dimming
of The Nation's noble literary experiment in year six when, after the outbreak
of revolution in France, the paper allowed its literary columns to
be flooded with wretched political verse.
Chapter Five argues that Yeats's main criticisms of "Young Ireland"
poetry were based mainly on the unrepresentative anthology. The Spirit
of the Nation and that personal animosity influenced his literary pronouncements
after his defeat by Cavan Duffy in the Nov Irish Library
Chapter Six argues the need for a properly representative anthology
of "Young Ireland" poetry.