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Irish Novelists and the Victorian Age$
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James H. Murphy

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199596997

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199596997.001.0001

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Fin de Siècle: Vortex of the Genres

Fin de Siècle: Vortex of the Genres

(p.215) 10 Fin de Siècle: Vortex of the Genres
Irish Novelists and the Victorian Age

James H. Murphy

Oxford University Press

The last decades of the century saw great changes in the writing of fiction. In Britain, where George Moore, Oscar Wilde, and Bram Stoker were among the most prominent novelists, high-culture movements such as naturalism, decadence, and early modernism, vied with popular forms such as detective fiction, the imperial adventure, and science fiction. Authors like B. M. Croker wrote novels of life in India, while Robert Cromie was prominent in science-fiction and future-war fantasies. In Ireland groupings of writers wrote for differing audiences. Ulster fiction began to emerge in the north with Shan F. Bullock and others. Meanwhile, in the south, Anglo-Irish novelists like Somerville and Ross took to comedy and satire, while Catholic-intelligentsia writers began to scrutinize a changed society. Some novels explored the possibilities of the renewal of society while others interrogated the newer sets of relationships that were possible across traditional class lines and the great landlord–tenant divide, now that the latter was in the process of dissolving.

Keywords:   naturalism, decadence, Gothic, George Moore, Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, science fiction, satire, Ulster, Bullock, Catholic intelligentsia, social class

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