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Title: Life on the land : the interrelationship between identity and community in the Irish fiction of Maria Edgeworth, William Carleton and Charles Lever
Author: O'Brien, George
ISNI:       0000 0001 3451 3283
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1979
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This thesis examines and evaluates the response made by three nineteenth century Irish writers of fiction to the most pressing social problem of their time, namely: How might life on the land be firmly established and maintained? The three writers concerned — Maria Edgeworth, William Carleton and Charles Lever — are shown to possess a common artistic vision, which is preserited as an answer to the question posed. The answer consists of a demonstration of how the resources of an enabling individual must blend with the requirements of life on the land as it is. By way of introduction, the significance of the theme for both the literary and socio—political contexts of the period (1800-1872) is described, and the problems of dealing with-nineteenth century Irish fiction — problems concerned with its status in the national cultural heritage, its variety and its artistic characteristics — are outlined. The four Irish novels of Maria Edgeworth are given a special status in her overall output, and her handling of the theme in them is considered as the prototype of her successors' manner of dealing with it. Carleton and Lever are taken as portraying the Edgeworth model under stress. Carleton's work is represented by a selection of pieces from his Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry; Lever's by three novels from the 1850's and '60's. All three writers are located in their contemporary cultural milieux, and their individual treatments of the theme are described and compared. In conclusion, a general characterisation of the type of fiction produced by the trio is offered, and a basis for its artistic relationship to Irish fiction of more recent times is rehearsed. The thesis facilitates a new periodisation of the history of nineteenth century Irish fiction. It also offers a revised conception of a tradition, of Irish fiction. These are the contributions it makes to knowledge of the subject treated.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PR English literature