Heathcliff and the Great Hunger: Studies in Irish Culture
When James Joyce called the Irish 'the most belated race in Europe', he stated a complex truth about the history of his people and the nation they had been creating since the eighteenth century. The Irish would, in Joyce's lifetime, write many of the masterpieces of modernism in English, while at the same time forging a nation-state in many ways still backward-looking and traditionalist. This paradox of Irish history is one of the many topics addressed in Terry Eagleton's latest book. Heathcliff and the Great Hunger reads Irish culture from Swift and Burke to Yeats and Joyce in the light of the torturous, often tragic socio-political history that conditioned it. Eagleton opens with a brilliant conjugation of Wuthering Heights in the context of the famine in Ireland, highlighting the Irish connections of the Bronte family. He follows with a powerful analysis of the Protestant Ascendancy's failure to achieve hegemony in Ireland; a dissection of the paradoxes of the Act of Union; a detailed account, spanning fiction from Swift and Maria Edgeworth, through Lady Morgan, Mauturin, Le Fanu and Stoker, to George Moore, of why the realist novel never flourished in Ireland; and a pointed consideration of the two great Irish exiles, Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw. The book also looks at the radical culture of Ulster and the cultural politics of nineteenth-century Ireland.
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aesthetic Anglo-Irish Arthur Griffith Artist Ascendancy become Britain British Carleton Catholic Celtic Revival century civil colonial Constance Markiewicz culture D.P. Moran Daniel O'Connell discourse doctrine Dublin economic Edgeworth Edmund Burke eighteenth eighteenth-century England English essay fact Famine fiction force Gaelic gentry Gothic Heathcliff hegemony human Hutcheson idealism identity ideology Irish history Irish nationalism Irish novel Irish society J.M. Synge James John Joyce kind labour land landlords landowners language liberal literary Literature MacDonagh Maria Edgeworth mass Melmoth middle class modern modernist Moore moral sense narrative nationalist native Nature nineteenth-century O'Connell once Oxford Parnell peasant political popular Protestant question Quoted Rackrent radical realism reality reason relations remarks Revival revolution revolutionary rhetoric Romantic ruling Samuel Ferguson Seamus Deane social order speak spiritual style symbolic Synge tenants theatre Thomas Tom Dunne traditional truth Union United Irishmen whole Wilde William writes Yeats Young Ireland