Chapter

Oaks, Serpents and Dandies: Pseudoaristocracy in Maria Edgeworth's <i>Castle Rackrent</i> and John Pendleton Kennedy's <i>Swallow Barn</i>

Ellen Crowell

in The Dandy in Irish and American Southern Fiction

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780748625482
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652051 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748625482.003.0002
Oaks, Serpents and Dandies: Pseudoaristocracy in Maria Edgeworth's Castle Rackrent and John Pendleton Kennedy's Swallow Barn

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This chapter compares dandyism in Anglo-Irish and Anglo-Southern literature, focusing on Maria Edgeworth's Castle Rackrent and John Pendleton Kennedy's Swallow Barn. It argues that in these two texts, considered as foundational in the Irish big house and southern plantation novel traditions, the dandy figure's cultural and sexual decadence threatens colonial aristocracy. The chapter suggests that a common merger of aesthetics and proactive reform links the Anglo-Irish big house and Southern plantation novel literary traditions from their inception.

Keywords: dandyism; Anglo-Irish literature; Anglo-Southern literature; Maria Edgeworth; Castle Rackrent; John Pendleton Kennedy; Swallow Barn; plantation novels; colonial aristocracy; aesthetics

Chapter.  16992 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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