Completing the union : Charles Robert Maturin and the (ir)reconciliations of romantic national fiction
Citation:Christina M. Morin, 'Completing the union : Charles Robert Maturin and the (ir)reconciliations of romantic national fiction', [thesis], Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland). School of English, 2007, pp 310
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This thesis analyses the novels of Charles Robert Maturin in order to highlight the author’s engagement with contemporary literary forms, including the Gothic, the national tale, and the historical novel. By first offering a biographical account of the author’s life and works, it emphasises the ways in which Maturin’s background as an Irish Anglican clergyman contributed to his fascination with literary forms concerned with the resolution of personal and national alienation. Then, through a detailed comparison of Maturin’s novels with the national tales of Maria Edgeworth and Sydney Owenson, and the historical novels of Sir Walter Scott and John Banim, it suggests a reconsideration of generic conventions understood to characterise these forms. Specifically, it argues that an implicit violence ultimately undermines the apparently happy, allegorical marriages that conclude works such as The Wild Irish Girl (1806), The Absentee (1812), and Waverley (1814), challenging the equation of happy marriage with happy national union often taken for granted in these novels. The following chapters are devoted to detailed discussions of each of Maturin’s six novels. Outlining the author’s response to, and transformation of, both the national tale and the historical novel, these chapters suggest the ways in which Maturin both employed and dramatically skewed the generic conventions of the national tale, the historical novel, and the Gothic in order to suggest, much more forcefully than do his contemporaries, the difficulties attendant to arriving at a reconciled identity, either personal or national.
Author: Morin, Christina M.
Advisor:Ross, Ian Campbell
Publisher:Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland). School of English
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Type of material:thesis
Availability:Full text available