Central to literary, social and political writings of nineteenth-century Ireland are arguments regarding men and women’s ‘proper’ sphere. This volume examines the significance of gender in shaping public and private life during a century of complex and changing power relations. The interdisciplinary character of the collection ensures a rich variety of perspectives.
Contributors explore the roles assigned to men and women in political, social and religious institutions and highlight the consequences of these roles. Investigations of the extent to which gender influenced key historical events such as the Great Irish Famine, the 1848 rising and the Fenian movement are among the many original insights offered by this volume. Essays range through the central discourses of nineteenth-century Ireland, from political economy and education to literature and journalism. In an important extension of the literary canon, many neglected writers of the period are restored to attention.
Alongside the continuing recovery of women’s past and facilitated by this work, gender history attends to the historical relations within and between the sexes. By examining nineteenth-century Ireland from the perspective of gender history, this volume is a pioneering study. It casts new light on the relations between men and women, and between public and private spheres, with significant implications for an understanding of the past and its legacies.
About the Editors
Margaret Kelleher lectures in English at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth.
James H. Murphy lectures in English at All Hallows College, Dublin.