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The Emergence of Irish Gothic Fiction - Histories, Origins, Theories?

(3 reviews)

Jarlath Killeen, Trinity College Dublin

Pub Date: 2014

ISBN 13: 9780748690800

Publisher: Independent

Language: English

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Reviewed by Margot Blair, Instructor, Portland Community College on 8/16/17

The author, Jarath Killeen argues, " . . . the gothic as a genre of global significance", and this is well-achieved. Towards the end of the book, he suggests that Longsword should be read as, ". . . imaginative rapprochement with Catholics... read more


Reviewed by Claire Cowart, Assistant Professor, Southeastern Louisiana University on 6/21/17

The subtitle of the book is History, Origins, Theories, and these aspects of Irish Gothic Literature are the main focus of the book. In examining these aspects the author is very, very thorough, demonstrating a wide-ranging knowledge of the... read more


Reviewed by Lisa Weihman, Associate Professor, West Virginia University on 12/6/16

The Emergence of Irish Gothic Fiction examines in great historical and cultural detail the foundations of Irish Gothic literature in the 17th and 18th centuries through the present day. The main argument that Killeen puts forth is that the Irish... read more


Table of Contents

Introduction: Zombieland: From Gothic Ireland to Irish Gothic

  • 1. Braindead: Locating the Gothic
  • 2. The Creeping Unknown: Re-Making Meaning in the GothicNovel
  • 3. Mad Love: The Adventures of Miss Sophia Berkley and thePolitics of Consent
  • 4. The Monster Club: Monstrosity, Catholicism and Revisingthe (1641) Rising
  • 5. Undead: Unmaking Monsters in Longsword

Conclusion: Land of the Dead

About the Book

Provides a new account of the emergence of Irish gothic fiction in mid-eighteenth century. This book provides a robustly theorised and thoroughly historicised account of the ‘beginnings' of Irish gothic fiction, maps the theoretical terrain covered by other critics, and puts forward a new history of the emergence of the genre in Ireland. The main argument the book makes is that the Irish gothic should be read in the context of the split in Irish Anglican public opinion that opened in the 1750s, and seen as a fictional instrument of liberal Anglican opinion in a changing political landscape. By providing a fully historicized account of the beginnings of the genre in Ireland, the book also addresses the theoretical controversies that have bedevilled discussion of the Irish gothic in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. The book gives ample space to the critical debate, and rigorously defends a reading of the Irish gothic as an Anglican, Patriot tradition. This reading demonstrates the connections between little-known Irish gothic fictions of the mid-eighteenth century (The Adventures of Miss Sophia Berkley and Longsword), and the Irish gothic tradition more generally, and also the gothic as a genre of global significance. Key Features * Examines gothic texts including Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Charles Robert Maturin's Melmoth the Wanderer, (Anon), The Adventures of Miss Sophia Berkley and Thomas Leland's Longsword * Provides a rigorous and robust theory of the Irish Gothic * Reads early Irish gothic fully into the political context of mid-eighteenth century Ireland This title was made Open Access by libraries from around the world through Knowledge Unlatched.

About the Contributors


Jarlath Killeen is a Lecturer in Victorian Literature at Trinity College Dublin. He is the author of British Gothic Literature, 1824-1914 (University of Wales Press, 2009), The Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde (Ashgate, 2007), Gothic Ireland: Horror and the Irish Anglican Imagination in the Long Eighteenth Century (Four Courts Press, 2005), The Faiths of Oscar Wilde: Catholicism, Folklore and Ireland (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), and the editor of Oscar Wilde: Irish Writers and Their Work (Irish Academic Press, 2010)