This collection contains new readings of nineteenth-century Irish women's prose works by a wide range of international scholars. The authors place nineteenth-century women's writing in new contexts and offer a fresh view of the nineteenth century through women's literary perspectives. The authors covered include: Elizabeth Hamilton, Lady Blessington, Selina Bunbury, Mrs Hungerford, M.E. Francis, Somerville and Ross. The authors look at writers who have been previously ignored in Irish Studies and they draw attention to women's contributions to literary genres commonly associated with male writers. Serious attention is also given to devalued genres such as the romance. The authors also examine prose writing that does not fit the usual categories and they research the cultural and material contexts of women's literary production. The authors read nineteenth-century Irish women's works according to the main themes that emerge in the novels and texts, not according to any overarching principle based on aesthetic or ideological criteria. This means that the contexts in which women's writing are usually understood are often changed.The designation 'Irish' is widened so that writers whose works were important in Ireland but who themselves did not live there have been included, although most of the writers discussed lived in various parts of Ireland.
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