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Ireland and the Fiction of Improvement - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Ireland and the Fiction of Improvement

Helen O'Connell


This book studies Irish improvement fiction, a neglected genre of 19th-century literary, social, and political history. The book shows how the fiction of Mary Leadbeater, Charles Bardin, Martin Doyle, and William Carleton attempted to lure Irish peasants and landowners away from popular genres such as fantasy, romance, and ‘radical’ political tracts as well as ‘high’ literary and philosophical forms of enquiry. These writers attempted to cultivate a taste for the didactic tract, an assertively realist mode of representation. Accordingly, improvement fiction laboured to demonstrate the value of ... More

Keywords: Irish literature, Ireland, Mary Leadbeater, landowners, Charles Bardin, Martin Doyle, William Carleton, didactic tract, improvement fiction, peasantry

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2006 Print ISBN-13: 9780199286461
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199286461.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Helen O'Connell, author
Lecturer, Department of English Studies, University of Durham
Author Webpage