Mounsey, Chris. ‘Oliver Goldsmith and John Newbery’, Eighteenth-century Ireland/Iris an dá chultúr, Vol. 13 (1998), pp 149-158.
This article gives an account of London publisher John Newbery’s business relationship with Oliver Goldsmith. Mounsey considers Newbery’s dealings with Goldsmith and other authors including Johnson, Smart and Dodd, and refutes John Ginger’sportrait of Newbery as a ‘Good Samaritan’, with whom Goldsmith was fortunate to be associated. On the contrary, an assessment of Newbery’s business accounts reveals that his authors were low paid, and that Newbery forced them into a position in which they were in debt him. Mounsey concludes that in the eighteenth-century it was common that ‘the newly educated bourgeois writers writing for money had to dance to their publisher’s tune and their works should be read accordingly’. In Goldsmith’s case, Newbery’s influence was so strong that we should, perhaps review the idea that Goldsmith’s works genuinely reflect his own views. When Newbery died and Goldsmith moved out of Islington prison, it must have been a joy to him ‘to regain control over his life and work’.
Morley, Vincent. ‘Tá an cruatan ar Sheoirse’ folklore or politics?’, Eighteenth-century Ireland/Iris an dá chultúr, Vol. 13 (1998), pp 112-120.
This article begins by referring to what seem to be two differing positions held by S. J. Connolly of the significance of the song ‘Tá an cruatan ar Sheoirse’ written by Eoghan Rua Ó Súilleabháin during the American War of Independence. In Religion, Law and Power: The Making of Protestant Ireland 1660-1760 (Oxford, 1992), Connolly had described the song as far removed from ‘informed engagement with contemporary diplomacy and military strategy’ whereas in a recent article, Connolly had cited the song in support of ‘the startling assertion’ that the central premise of Irish jacobitism was the ‘continued incorporation’ of Ireland in the British state. Morley undertakes a detailed analysis of the poem, its contexts and its commentators. He asserts that ‘Tá an cruatan ar Sheoirse’ was composed for a specific audience : the Irish-speaking Catholic population of Munster whose interests in war were in Europe. For the first time since 1763, Britain was engaged in an international war which had the potential to overturn the Revolution settlement. Connolly had criticized Ó Súilleabháin’s song for its lack of American revolutionary references and its failure to understand ‘contemporary diplomacy and military strategy’. But Morley challenges Connolly’s assumptions about Ó Súilleabháin and about levels of English literacy and political comprehension amongst the native Irish, and discusses factors that may have contributed to Connolly’s misreading of the text. In general, Morley believes that ‘the song was written by someone with a good understanding of contemporary diplomacy and military strategy, and that the sentiments expressed in the song are incompatible with continued Irish dependence on Great Britain’ and that Professor Connolly’s reading of the poem is ‘egregiously wrong’.
Magennis, Eoin. ‘A “Beleaguered Protestant”?: Walter Harris and the Writing of Fiction Unmasked in Mid-Eighteenth Century Ireland’, Eighteenth-century Ireland/Iris an dá chultúr, Vol. 13 (1998), pp 86-111.
This article looks at the attitudes and writings of the eighteenth-century historian Walter Harris within the context of Jacqueline Hill’s theory of the ‘beleaguered Protestant’. According to Magennis, Harris is an example of the complexity of Protestant opinions in mid-eighteenth century Ireland: he was an antiquarian enthusiast, yet sceptical of the Gaelic past and a ‘tribune for Ireland’s achievements and improvements but only in so far as these seemed to lessen the gap in civility with England’. Harris’s patriotism combined with anti-Catholic sentiments and a strong connection to the Church of Ireland, provided the basis of his writing of Fiction Unmasked. Magennis assesses the work in some detail and concludes that Harris’s position is too complex for him to fit easily into Jacqueline Hill’s definition. It would be wrong to see him as a throwback to an earlier age and more accurate to see him as a reflection of how diverse and complex Protestant attitudes actually were in the mid-eighteenth century.
Type: Review Article
Mac Craith, Mícheál. ‘Breandán Ó Buachalla, Aisling Ghéar’, Eighteenth-century Ireland/Iris an dá chultúr, Vol. 13 (1998), pp 166-71.
This is a review (in English) of a major work on Irish Jacobitism : described by Mac Craith as a work of deep scholarship and of meticulous research, ‘a labour of love which has taken the best part of twenty years’ — currently available only in Irish. Non Irish-speakers have consistently underestimated the importance of the evidence of Jacobitism provided by poetry in Irish. ‘While in the English-speaking world, Jacobite ideology, rhetoric and propaganda is contained in a wide variety of sources, varying from broadsides to sermons and political tracts, from medallions and glassware to street demonstrations and effigies, poetry was the sole medium for the expression of Jacobite sentiment in the Gaelic-speaking world’. Thus Gaelic poetry is the key resource for the study of Irish Jacobitism and, as Mac Craith notes, Ó Buachalla quotes from 646 poems from Gaelic Ireland and Gaelic Scotland, many of them unpublished, in the course of this magisterial work. Mac Craith elaborates on the content, argument and significance of each section of Ó Buachalla’s book ‘a particularly useful aspect of the review from the point of view of non-Irish speaking scholars’ and concludes that ‘no serious scholar of Jacobitism in these islands can afford to ignore the evidence provided by Gaelic literature. Breandán Ó Buachalla has placed us all in his debt.’
Le Juen, Yves. ‘The Abbé MacGeoghegan Dies’, Eighteenth-century Ireland/Iris an dá chultúr, Vol. 13 (1998), pp 135-148.
This article examines the papers relating to the demise of the Abbé James MacGeoghegan, conserved in the Archives Nationales in Paris amongst other Ancien Régime ‘Successions en déshérence’. The papers provide valuable information regarding the personal effects of MacGeoghegan, and show that, in the period before his death in 1764, he could no longer afford the lavish lifestyle he had enjoyed earlier when he had developed a taste for fine wine and food, and had purchased, on credit, a gold watch worth nearly half of his yearly stipend. The papers also shed light on MacGeoghegan’s social standing, showing that he consorted with the French aristocracy and with high officials. Upon his death, MacGeoghegan’s money and effects were forfeited to the Crown, which caused panic among his creditors, some of whom went unpaid. The article includes a semi-technical analysis of the contents of the Succession papers and appendix of persons named therein.
Friend, María Losada. ‘Ghosts or Frauds? Oliver Goldsmith and The Mystery
Revealed’, Eighteenth-century Ireland/Iris an dá chultúr, Vol. 13
(1998), pp 159-165..
This article looks at Oliver Goldsmith’s 1762 pamphlet The Mystery Revealed
as part of the Gothic tradition of the eighteenth century. In the pamphlet, and
as well as in his letter entitled ‘A City Night-Piece’ in The
Citizen of the World, Goldsmith uses Gothic conventions as a satiric strategy
to evaluate the social conscience of Londoners, whose obsession with ghosts,
superstition, religious fanaticism, gossip and scandal often ruined the
reputations of innocent citizens. Friend discusses the true story of the famous
Cock Lane ghost, which Goldsmith refers to in The Mystery Revealed, and which ‘allowed
him to explore levels of superstition and credulity, to point out the symptoms
of the lack of adequate education and to define the dangerous consequences of
the national taste for public scandal and gossip’. Goldsmith is trying to ‘disclose
barbarity and irrationality’; he is the ‘critical observer’ who perhaps because
of his Irish perspective ‘felt detached enough from English people to criticize
Fagan, Patrick. ‘Infiltration of Dublin Freemason Lodges by United Irishmen and other Republican Groups’, Eighteenth-century Ireland/Iris an dá chultúr, Vol. 13 (1998), pp 65-85.
This article gives an account of the infiltration of Freemason lodges in Dublin by the United Irishmen in the 1790’s. Fagan explores the history of the United Irishmen and the organization of Freemason lodges, and discusses the factors that contributed to the ‘hijacking of lodges as fronts for the activities of radical and republican groups’. The article surveys a number of Dublin Freemason lodges, detailing their membership and establishment, concluding that one half of Dublin lodges were infiltrated during the 1790’s by the United Irishmen or other republican groups.
O’Brien, Gillian. ‘”Spirit, Impartiality and Independence” The Northern Star, 1792-1797’, Eighteenth-century Ireland/Iris an dá chultúr, Vol. 13 (1998), pp 7-23.
The ‘increasingly literate and politicised society’ of eighteenth-century Ireland demanded a quick and efficient method of communicating, and thus influenced the increase in the number of newspapers being published in Ireland in the latter half of the century. At the same time, the strong growth in the publishing industry in Belfast concerned Dublin Castle, particularly when it came to one newspaper, The Northern Star, which went on sale in January 1792. This article discusses the appearance and makeup of The Northern Star in detail and considers its impact on its readers. The shareholders were predominantly members of the United Irishmen of Belfast and O’Brien explains how an extensive distribution system was developed throughout the island to spread United Irish opinion to as many people as possible. In late eighteenth-century Ireland, the purchase of The Northern Star was as potent a symbol of freethinking, independent citizenship as bearing arms.
Jones, Catherine A. ‘”Our partial Attachments”: Tom Moore and 1798’, Eighteenth-century Ireland/Iris an dá chultúr, Vol. 13 (1998), pp 24-43.
This article examines the influence of revolutionary nationalism on the poet Thomas Moore and the writing of his Irish Melodies (1808-34). Jones traces Moore’s beginnings in Ireland prior to his becoming a London literary émigré, from his early years as a student at Trinity College Dublin, which was a ‘hotbed of nationalism’, to his friendship with United Irishmen Edward Hudson and Robert Emmet, whose political enthusiasm and appreciation of Irish music inspired Moore’s Melodies. Jones also discusses the relationship between Moore’s Melodies and two important philosophical works, Francis Hutcheson’s An Inquiry into the Original of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue (1725) and David Hume’s Philosophical Essays (1748).
Hyland, Cal and James Kelly. ‘Richard Twiss’s A Tour of Ireland in 1775 (London, 1776) The Missing Pages and some other notes’, Eighteenth-century Ireland/Iris an dá chultúr, Vol. 13 (1998), pp 52-64.
This article gives an account of Richard Twiss’s own annotated copy of the London edition of his A Tour of Ireland in 1775, in which he inserted the four pages (162-165) which he had removed from the edition as published. These pages contain an attack on Gorges Edmond Howard, and a full transcription of the text of the missing pages is provided in this article. Included also are Twiss’s many other manuscript additions and annotations to the text. According to Hyland and Kelly, ‘the discovery of Twiss’s own copy, complete with the ‘missing pages’ and the author’s annotations, is more than just a bibliographical curiosity, it is a matter of some cultural as well as literary consequence’.
Boydell, Barra. ‘The United Irishmen, music, harps, and national identity’, Eighteenth-century Ireland/Iris an dá chultúr, Vol. 13 (1998), pp 44-51.
This article discusses the role of Irish music in the political events of the late eighteenth-century, and the harp as a symbol of nationalism and as a metaphor for Ireland. Boydell looks at the influence of harp societies and festivals in late-eighteenth century Dublin and Belfast and at the Volunteer and United Irish movements use of songs to propagate their ideas. She also considers Thomas Moore’s use of the harp as a nationalist literary metaphor and mentions the early nineteenth-century replacement of the ‘formalised winged-maiden’ harp of ascendancy Ireland with its imperial crown — by more realistic images of the early Irish harp.
Ó hOgartaigh, Margaret. ‘Edward Hay: Historian of 1798’, Eighteenth-century Ireland/Iris an dá chultúr, Vol. 13 (1998), pp 121-133.
This article assesses the impact that Edward Hay’s involvement in the political events of the 1790’s had on Catholic policies between 1792 and 1822. Ó hOgartaigh looks at Hay’s career in the 1790’s, which marked the ‘entry of middle-class Catholics into Irish public life’, and assesses the impact of the Catholic Relief Act, the Militia Act and the Convention Act (all passed in 1793) on Hay’s career. The article examines Hay’s activities before and after the 1798 rebellion in an attempt to analyse Hay’s precise role in the revolt which, according to Ó hOgartaigh, has been distorted by Hay’s own History of the Insurrection of the County Wexford, a ‘personal vindication’ produced in order to clarify and, in some instances, conceal his role in the rebellion.