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Irish Women'S Writing, 1878-1922Advancing the Cause of Liberty$
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Anna Pilz and Whitney Standlee

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780719097584

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719097584.001.0001

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Works, righteousness, philanthropy, and the market in the novels of Charlotte Riddell

Works, righteousness, philanthropy, and the market in the novels of Charlotte Riddell

(p.17) 1 Works, righteousness, philanthropy, and the market in the novels of Charlotte Riddell
Irish Women'S Writing, 1878-1922

Patrick Maume

Manchester University Press

The literature of the fin de siècle coexisted with that of older writers, who show how earlier literary tropes and cultural debates continued to influence the later period. The novels of Charlotte Riddell indicate that long-standing debates about the possibility of regenerating the Irish land system survived into the era of the Land War and the New Woman. Her references to a wide range of nineteenth-century Irish writers and her reimagining of contemporary events such as the murder of Lord Leitrim (1878) and the land agitation in Donegal reflect not only her own inability to turn her literary success into financial security but also a perceptible ambivalence on her part. This chapter focuses in particular on Riddell’s novels Berna Boyle (1884), The Earl’s Promise (1873) and The Nun’s Curse (1888) by showing how her late Victorian self-questioning reflects themes of earlier eras’ hopes for political economy or aristocratic regeneration.

Keywords:   Charlotte Riddell, Philanthropy, Land management, Economics, Maria Edgeworth, Charles Lever

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