Foster, R. F.
National characteristics, English. National characteristics, Irish. British -- Ireland. Culturele betrekkingen. Ireland -- Civilization -- English influences. England -- Civilization -- Irish influences. Ireland -- Relations -- England. England -- Relations -- Ireland. Great Britain History
xvii, 382 p.
New York, N.Y.
A. Lane, The Penguin Press ill. ; 25 cm. History and the Irish question -- Varieties of Irishness : cultures and anarchy in Ireland -- Interpretations of Parnell : the importance of locale -- Parnell and his people : the ascendancy and home rule -- Knowing your place : words and boundaries in Anglo-Irish relations -- The Irishness of Elizabeth Bowen -- Love, politics and textual corruption : Mrs O'Shea's Parnell -- 'Fatal drollery' : parliamentary novels, outsiders and victorian political history -- Paddy and Mr Punch -- Good behaviour : Yeats, Synge and Anglo-Irish etiquette -- Protestant magic : W.B. Yeats and the spell of Irish history -- To the Northern counties station : Lord Randolph Churchill and the orange card -- Thinking from hand to mouth : Anglo-Irish literature, Gaelic nationalism and Irish politics in the 1890s -- Marginal men and Micks on the make : the uses of Irish exile, c. 1840-1922. Includes index. R.F. Foster. Book
LC: DA925; Dewey: 941
ISBN: 0713990953; 9780713990959 LCCN: 94-128325
Elizabeth Bowen, one of the writers considered in this book, described the relationship of Ireland and England as 'a mixture of showing-off and suspicion, nearly as bad as sex'. In these essays Roy Foster explores the patterns of resentment, exploitation, dependence and rejection which were created by centuries of proximity, colonization and emigration. Often seen through the individual experiences of people 'caught' between England and Ireland (a varied gallery including Randolph Churchill, Thackeray, Trollope, Yeats, Parnell and the notorious Mrs O'Shea), these intersections also cut across subjects like the representation of the Irish in Victorian journalism and fiction, the roots of constitutional nationalist agitation, and the making of literary reputations. The last essay, 'Marginal Men and Micks on the Make', is a wide-ranging discussion of the uses of exile, both to and from Ireland. Against the cut and dried stereotypes of Anglo-Irish relations, an overall ambiguity is asserted here, whether the topic examined is the flawed structure of the Act of Union, the way words are used in Irish political rhetoric, or the divided allegiances of Parnell, Yeats and Bowen. These closely linked essays stress assonances as well as dissonances, and provide a commentary on neglected aspects of literary history and national identity.