Sensational Stalwarts: Irish Victorian Novelists in Mid‐Century

James H. Murphy

in Irish Novelists and the Victorian Age

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199596997
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191723520 | DOI:
Sensational Stalwarts: Irish Victorian Novelists in Mid‐Century

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J. S. LeFanu was a leading member of the novelists of sensation in the 1860s, who included Charlotte Riddell and Frances Browne. Irish writers wrote other sorts of novels, too, sometimes in derivative relationship with English writers: Julia Kavanagh's work both influenced and was influenced by that of Charlotte Brontë . Many Irish novelists proved themselves to be prolific stalwarts of the British publishing market in the mid- and late Victorian periods. Among them were Annie French (Mrs Alexander), Mrs Cashel Hoey, May Crommelin, and Margaret Wolfe Hungerford. These Irish writers rarely wrote about Ireland. Ironically, the Irish were appearing in major English novels at the time in the form of immigrants in Britain, particularly in the condition-of-England or industrial novels of Charles Kingsley and Elizabeth Gaskell, where they feature as the feared other. With the possible exception of Mary Anne Sadlier, Irish American novelists, who mostly had their own agenda for Irish Catholic immigrants into the United States, made little impact on Ireland.

Keywords: sensation; Joseph Sheridan LeFanu; Julia Kavanagh; America; immigration

Chapter.  13605 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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