By Mary Jean Corbett
Corbett explores fictional and nonfictional representations of Ireland's courting with England in the course of the 19th century. She considers the makes use of of familial and household metaphors in structuring narratives that enact the ''union'' of britain and eire. Corbett situates her readings of novels by means of Edgeworth, Gaskell, and Trollope, and writings by way of Burke, Engels, and Mill, in the various historic contexts that form them. She revises the severe orthodoxies surrounding colonial discourse that at the moment be successful in Irish and English reviews, and provides a clean viewpoint on very important points of Victorian tradition.
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Extra resources for Allegories of Union in Irish and English Writing, 1790-1870: Politics, History, and the Family from Edgeworth to Arnold
The stranger’s responsibility, Hewitt seems to say, is precisely to acknowledge the traﬃc between here and there, present and past, implicit in his own history and in that of the places he and his have inhabited, which also continuously inhabit him. Introduction In performing this gesture, Hewitt’s stranger acknowledges the implication of one place, one history, in another. For Padel, writing from another position, albeit also as a stranger, there is a diﬀerent kind of responsibility in traveling as she does, literally and metaphorically, between England and Ulster.
Patrilineal inheritance, as I have noted, is central to Burke’s thinking about the reproduction of political and economic forms; he represents it as sure and certain, while revolutionary change is dangerous and unpredictable in its outcomes. ¹³ Burke’s conﬁdence in the security of hereditary transmission depends, in other words, on the tacit assumption of marital chastity among women, who act as the unacknowledged ground for and guarantors of familial, economic, and political legitimacy. In this light, his concern about the illegitimacy of ‘‘counterfeit wares’’ and alien cyons betrays a speciﬁcally gendered, culturally pervasive anxiety: that no principle of transmission can be fully secure if feminine ﬁdelity is not maintained.
Were manifestly the eﬀects of national hatred and scorn towards a conquered people; whom the victors delighted to trample upon, and were not at all afraid to provoke . . every measure was pleasing and popular, just in proportion as it tended to harass and ruin a set of people, who were looked upon as enemies to God and man; and indeed as a race of bigotted [sic] savages who were a disgrace to human nature itself. (Writings and Speeches ) Connecting this most recent colonial conquest of Ireland to the penal laws enacted on its heels, and showing both to be among ‘‘the eﬀects of national hatred and scorn,’’ Burke rereads the historical event celebrated in the Reﬂections as the great stabilizing moment of English liberty from a very diﬀerent perspective in an Irish context.