Vol. 10: Whelan, Kevin.

Type: Article

Whelan, Kevin. ‘An Underground gentry? Catholic Middlemen in Eighteenth-Century Ireland’, Eighteenth-century Ireland/Iris an dá chultúr, Vol. 10 (1995), pp 7-68.

Despite having been reduced to the position of middlemen and substantial farmers in the eighteenth-century, Irish descendents of the old catholic landowning families occupied an important role as the leaders of political and popular culture in Irish society. The displaced catholic gentry formed a new social and economic system for survival in response to the conflict and upheaval caused by the issues of land ownership. “The descendants of the old proprietors mutated into an underground gentry, the shadow lords of eighteenth-century Ireland.” Whelan’s examines, among othwer topics, the origins of the middleman system and its Jacobite influences, the middleman families’ obsession with ancestry and their contempt for the Cromwellian landlords, and the influence of the middlemen in Irish popular culture. The concept of middlemen gave rise to the ‘catholic big farmer’, a far more conservative line of the Irish catholic gentry who enjoyed prosperity and secure positions in society. Whelan discusses the increasing anxiety felt by the official gentry in response to the independence and power achieved by the families of catholic middlemen and big farmers. The idea of an alternative gentry of Jacobites and United Irishmen strained the relations between protestant landlords and catholic tenants.

Vol. 10: Parnell, J. T.

Type: Article

Parnell, J. T. ‘‘Que sçais-je?’—Montaigne’s Apology, Hamlet and Tristram Shandy: Enquiry and Sceptical Response’, Eighteenth-century Ireland/Iris an dá chultúr, Vol. 10 (1995), Pp 148-155.

While contemporary critics considered Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy to be a work of plagiarism, modern critics celebrate it for “laying bare of the conditions of literary production”. This article discusses the intertextuality of Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy, with particular reference to Sterne’s literary allusions to Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Montaigne’s Apology. Parnell acknowledges the contextualities explored by one recent critic, Jonathan Lamb, but criticizes the limits that Lamb imposes through a narrow view of Sterne’s influences. Like Swift and Montaigne, “Sterne is intellectually radical and the discourse of his fiction clearly has subversive potential, and yet such potential is paradoxically contained and appropriated for conservative ends”. Parnell maintains that Sterne consciously alluded to particular works popular during the eighteenth century in order to make Tristram Shandy more comprehensible to his readers.

Vol. 10: McMinn, Joseph.

Type: Article

McMinn, Joseph. ‘In State Opinions Alamode: Swift and the Frontispiece to Thomas Burnett’s Essays (1714)’, Eighteenth-century Ireland/Iris an dá chultúr, Vol. 10 (1995), pp 120-126..

This article gives an account of a small octavo volume entitled Essays Divine, Moral and Political which was supposed to have been written by Jonathan Swift in 1714 — the year in which the Tories fell from power and Swift took up residence at the Deanery of St. Patrick’s. The volume is in fact a product of political vengeance, probably written by one of Swift’s Whig opponents, Thomas Burnet. One of the most interesting features of the volume is the frontispiece, an engraving which shows Swift on horseback, leaving buildings which are said to represent Swift’s Deanery in Dublin. McMinn analyses the scene depicted in the engraving and its relevance to the Essays. While evidence suggests that the picture is fictitious, having no actual connection to Swift’s Deanery or to Dublin, he concludes that the images are meant to represent Swift as a man “on the run…disturbed by alarming political news: this is the most plausible link between the Whig witch-hunt of the period and the image of Swift departing from his new home”.

Vol. 10: Kelly, James.

Type: Article

Kelly, James. ‘A Most Inhuman and Barbarous Piece of Villainy’: An Exploration of the Crime of Rape in Eighteenth-Century Ireland’, Eighteenth-century Ireland/Iris an dá chultúr, Vol. 10 (1995), pp 78-107..

In eighteenth-century Ireland, the occurrence of sexual violence against women was frequent enough to require strong legislation, including the provision of capital punishment, to punish men who raped women. While evidence suggests that the legislative changes of 1710 made it easier to prosecute a man for rape, resulting in more convictions, the ‘disincentives’ for women to report and prosecute a rapist far outweighed any benefits intended by the law. The patriarchal idealization of female virtue made it necessary for any woman to “maintain the illusion of chastity rather than make public her sexual history”. Kelly discusses documented cases of prosecutions for rape to identify the main features of the crime as perpetrated in eighteenth-century Ireland. Issues of property and class are explored, as well as incidences of child rape. Kelly concludes that “rape has been used in a conscious way by men throughout history to confine women”, creating an “environment in which women were not able to function free of fear”. This article is an extension of the same author’s “The Abduction of Women of Fortune in Eighteenth-Century Ireland” in Pp 7-43.

Vol. 10: Gould, Peter.

Type: Note

Gould, Peter. ‘What is the News from Lisbon?’, Eighteenth-century Ireland/Iris an dá chultúr, Vol. 10 (1995), pp 156-57..

A note requesting any reader with information on how news of the Lisbon earthquake of 1755 was received in Ireland to contact the writer who is working on the subject.

Vol. 10: Elias, A. C. Jr.

Type: Article

Elias, A. C. Jr. ‘Dublin at Mid-Century: The Tricks of The Tricks of the Town Laid Open.’, Eighteenth-century Ireland/Iris an dá chultúr, Vol. 10 (1995), pp 108-119..

This article gives an account of an eighteenth-century pamphlet titled, The Tricks of the Town, which purports to describe the city of Dublin in the early 1750’s. In fact, the city described in The Tricks of the Town is not Dublin at all, but rather London in the late seventeenth-century. The Dublin pamphlet is, except in a few instances, a reprint of a 1746 pamphlet of identical title about London, which in turn is a reprint of a 1699 pamphlet titled The Country Gentleman’s Vade Mecum. The text includes a detailed description of the alterations made to the Dublin edition from the London 1746 edition.

Vol. 10: Douglas, Aileen.

Type: Article

Douglas, Aileen. ‘Mrs. Dingley’s Spectacles: Swift, Print and Desire’, Eighteenth-century Ireland/Iris an dá chultúr, Vol. 10 (1995), pp 69-77.

In his Journal to Stella, Jonathan Swift is concerned with the idea of ‘seeing’ — a theme expressed through the symbolism of Mrs. Dingley’s spectacles. Just as Lemuel Gulliver’s spectacles allow him to see, or rather, to have “an understanding of human identity”, Rebecca Dingley is the third party, “who both sees and does not see”. Swift, knowing that Dingley read his letters to Stella — since Stella’s eyes were too weak to read them herself—made Dingley’s participation integral to the text. “The rhetorical structures of the Journal dictate what Rebecca Dingley sees”. The article also explores Dingley’s eyes as crucial to Swift’s expression of sexual desires, for “her inclusion dissipates the Journal’s sexuality by turning it into a joke”. While it is evident that Swift did not initially intend the Journal for publication, it is within the framework of the epistolary novel that the subject “comes into being”, and provides “a space for passion which might not otherwise exist”. Finally, Douglas draws comparisons with Richardson’s Pamela to suggest that “the Journal to Stella shares with eighteenth-century novels an understanding of the erotic possibilities of print”.

Vol. 10: Archibald, Douglas.

Type: Article

Archibald, Douglas. ‘Edmund Burke and the Conservative Imagination’, Eighteenth-century Ireland/Iris an dá chultúr, Vol. 10 (1995), pp 127-147.

According to Douglas Archibald, the ‘conservative imagination’ of Edmund Burke resides in a fragile balance between vision and realism, contrasting with a personal longing and impulsiveness hinging on hysteria. “Burke defines the conservative imagination in its moments of excess as well as in its moments of insight and harmony. He is our model of the pathology of that imagination as well as of its strengths.” Archibald discusses Burke’s background as an Irish catholic of no connection or wealth, who despite his insight and unwavering faith in tradition and the party, was the political underdog in Irish politics and subsequently suffered political and personal defeat. Archibald concludes that the often ‘apocalyptic’ characteristics of Burke’s ‘conservative imagination’ are felt also in the writings of Swift, Pope and W. B. Yeats.