"In reconfiguring our maps of the Irish nineteenth century, Nolan provides a persuasive archeology of the present moment, revealing just how many of our current triumphs and frustrations were anticipated in some now-neglected texts. Lucid, bold, and unfailingly incisive, Catholic Emancipations will be recognized as an over-arching vision of Irish culture by a radical critic of immense subtlety and imaginative power."
—Declan Kiberd, author of Inventing Ireland
"Catholic Emancipations illuminates the distinctive features of an important and largely unexplored tradition in Irish fiction. The book offers a rich, compelling account of how Catholic fiction in Ireland grappled with the ambitions and anxieties of a politically advancing Catholic middle class."
—Marjorie Howes, author of Yeats’s Nations: Gender, Class, and Irishness
Tracing the history of the Catholic-authored novel in nineteenth-century Ireland, from its origins during the Catholic political resurgence of the 1820s to its transformation by James Joyce’s Ulysses in 1922, Emer Nolan offers a unique tour of Ireland’s literary landscape. Exploring a literary line too often overlooked in favor of Irish Gothic, she challenges received histories of nineteenth-century Irish fiction, and shows how an emergent and sometimes combative Catholic middle class generated its own idiosyncratic narrative forms.
She offers a major reassessment of such figures as Thomas Moore, George Moore, and Charles Kickham and of sentimental fiction in nineteenth-century Ireland. With keen insight and deft arguments, Nolan presents a highly original exploration of James Joyce and his relationship to his nineteenth-century Irish Catholic predecessors. At once provocative and enlightening, Catholic Emancipations is an invaluable addition to the fields of Irish studies, Joyce studies, and the nineteenth-century novel.
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Emer Nolan lectures in English at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. She is author of Joyce and Nationalism (1995) and editor of Thomas Moore: Memoirs of Captain Rock (2007).
5 1/2 x 8 1/2, 240 pages, notes, bibiography, index