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Scottish and Irish Romanticism$
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Murray Pittock

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199232796

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199232796.001.0001

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Strumming and Being Hanged: The Irish Bard and History Regained

Strumming and Being Hanged: The Irish Bard and History Regained

Chapter:
(p.92) 4 Strumming and Being Hanged: The Irish Bard and History Regained
Source:
Scottish and Irish Romanticism
Author(s):

Murray Pittock (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199232796.003.0004

This chapter begins by examining the nature and significance of the Irish public sphere, how it differed between the south and north of Ireland, and across the religious divide. It concludes that the cultural imperatives operating within it made it resistant to the new historiography being developed in Scotland. The chapter continues the exploration of the bardic, and examines the dialogue between Scottish and Irish writing in the influence of Macpherson and the work and context of the United Irishmen of the 1790s. There is extended discussion of Thomas Moore's strategies for performing self and of the novels and ideas of Sydney Owenson, which builds on earlier work by Leerssen and others to suggest the presence of a range of complex allusions in her work not dissimilar to the balancing act between metropolitan and native identities being carried out in Scottish writing. There is an extended discussion not only of the hybrid use of Irish English and English English, but also of writing across the divide between English and Irish Gaelic, including bilingual poetry, and of the role of orientalism in an Irish context.

Keywords:   Macpherson, Thomas Moore, National Tale, Sydney Owenson, Orientalism, Leerssen, public sphere, United Irishmen

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