Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.580967
Title: The making and unmaking of an Irish woman of letters
Author: Breen, Mary Catherine
ISNI:       0000 0004 1673 6514
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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Abstract:
Dorothea Herbert was an Irish provincial writer who did not publish during her lifetime. Only three of her manuscripts are now extant: a collection of poetry, Poetical Eccentricities Written by an Oddity (1793), an illustrated memoir, Retrospections of an Outcast (1806) and a Journal which covers the years 1806-7. All three manuscripts were missing for long periods and some doubts as to their existence and authenticity made many scholars reluctant to study her work. There is almost no documented historical evidence of her life and our only access to her is through her writing. The internal evidence of her writing suggests that by 1806 she was suffering from a serious mental illness. Nevertheless, her works reveal a relatively hidden world of literary practice in Ireland in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Studied alongside the manuscripts and printed works of a range of contemporary writers, Herbert’s extant manuscripts uncover a complex and informal literary culture. This textual world is dependent on print culture but operates independently of it in a closed system of gift-giving and manuscript circulation. In this thesis I explore the influence of print culture on the writing and reading practices of Herbert and her contemporaries. The thesis is divided into five chapters which examine: the history of Herbert’s manuscripts and those of her contemporaries, their writing as material practice, the cultures in which they read the writing and circulation of manuscripts and the history of the print trade in Ireland in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
Supervisor: McDonagh, Josephine Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.580967  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History of the book ; English Language and Literature ; Dorothea Herbert ; life-writing ; 18th century writing ; women's writing
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