‘Two Nations on One Soil’: Land, Fenians, and Politics in Fiction

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:
‘Two Nations on One Soil’: Land, Fenians, and Politics in Fiction

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The newer Irish land novel of the 1840s and beyond was different from what had gone before inasmuch as it essentially charted a struggle, both ideological and physical, between landlords and tenants for the future of the land. Ironically, this was pioneered in the work of Charles Lever and Anna Maria Hall, who were despised by Carleton, the traditional moralism of whose own work had few emulators. By contrast Trollope's Irish novels of this period are ultimately uninterested in the land situation. In the 1870s and 1880s realism was achieved in the work of Margaret Brew and Annie Keary. The 1860s also saw the development both of the Fenian novel and of the Irish political novel, the latter due to the efforts of Trollope and his character Phineas Finn, who features in several of the Palliser novels. It was carried on, largely single-handedly, by the moderate Irish nationalist parliamentarian Justin McCarthy (1830–1912), who continued to write political novels for thirty years or so.

Keywords: land novel; Anna Maria Hall; Anthony Trollope; Fenians; politics; Phineas Finn; Justin McCarthy; realism; Margaret Brew; Annie Keary

Chapter.  15637 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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