"The astonishing archival labor supporting Wright's arguments yields a number of glittering insights that establish Irish Romanticism as a literary movement unto itself."—The Keats-Shelley Journal
"A highly engaging, richly researched study of the longstanding association between land, national identity, and Irish literary production, Representing the National Landscape in Irish Romanticism begins with traditional, Herderian-driven ideas of cultural nationalism only to overturn them."—Eighteenth-Century Fiction
"A tour de force. . . . Succeeds quite brilliantly as an object lesson in reading and situating familiar and less familiar texts together in new and interesting ways and thereby reframing how we see the literary landscape."—Canadian Journal of Irish Studies
"Offering an insightful, global view of the Romantic age, Wright reworks the familiar theme of the centrality of land in the varied expressions of Irish identity and nationality."—Choice
Ireland is a country which has come to be defined in part by an ideology which conflates nationalism with the land. From the Irish Revival’s celebration of the Irish peasant farmer as the ideal Irishman to the fierce history of land claim battles between the Irish and their colonizers, notions of the land have become particularly bound up with conceptions of what Ireland is and what it is to be Irish. In this book, Wright considers this fraught relationship between land and national identity in Irish literature. In doing so, she presents a new vision of the Irish national landscape as one that is vitally connected to larger geographical spheres. By exploring issues of globalization, international radicalism, trade routes, and the export of natural resources, Wright is at the cutting edge of modern global scholarly trends and concerns. In considering texts from the Romantic era such as Leslie’s Killarney, Edgeworth’s “Limerick Gloves,” and Moore’s Irish Melodies, Wright undercuts the nationalist myth of a “people of the soil” using the very texts which helped to construct this myth. Reigniting the field of Irish Romanticism, Wright presents original readings which call into question politically motivated mythologies while energizing nationalist conceptions that reflect transnational networks and mobility.
Julia M. Wright is professor of English at Dalhousie University in Halifax. She is the author of Ireland, India, and Nationalism in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Blake, Nationalism, and the Politics of Alienation.
6 x 9, 366 pages