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Definitions of Irishness in the ‘Library of Ireland’ Literary Anthologies

MacCarthy, Anne

Definitions of Irishness in the ‘Library of Ireland’ Literary Anthologies

Series: Reimagining Ireland - Volume 34

Year of Publication: 2012

Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2012. XIV, 257 pp.
ISBN 978-3-0343-0194-7 pb.  (Softcover)

Weight: 0.400 kg, 0.882 lbs

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Book synopsis

This detailed study explores the significance of the ‘Library of Ireland’, a book series originated in the 1840s by the Young Irelanders Thomas Davis and Charles Gavan Duffy. Focusing on the literary anthologies and literary histories published in this series, the author demonstrates how they attempted to articulate a new national identity for Irish readers based on Young Ireland ideas.
Despite the vast amount of scholarly work on Irish nationalism and literature, very little attention has hitherto been paid to the ‘Library of Ireland’ series. This book recovers the fundamental role played by the series in the creation of a sense of Irish identity, and also examines the publications within the wider theoretical context of anthology studies. It is an original and highly stimulating contribution to the literary and cultural history of nineteenth-century Ireland.


Contents: Literary anthologies – Literary histories – Anthology studies – Nineteenth-century Irish literature – Young Irelanders.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

Anne MacCarthy was a senior lecturer in English Literature at the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Her main research interest was in nineteenth-century Irish literature, especially the period from 1800–1850, with a particular focus on authors such as James Clarence Mangan and Edward Walsh. She also published widely on James Joyce and carried out research on nineteenth-century English translations of Spanish literature. This book is published posthumously, generously edited for publication by Dr Jefferey Simons.


Reimagining Ireland. Vol. 34
Edited by Eamon Maher