Vol. 9: Ross, Bianca.

Type: Article

Ross, Bianca. ‘Of Prejudice and Predilection: Lady Morgan and her ‘Annals of St. Grellan’’, Eighteenth-century Ireland/Iris an dá chultúr, Vol. 9 (1994), Pp 99-113..

This article discusses the problems associated with Lady Morgan’s use of Irish history in The O’Briens and the O’Flahertys: A National Tale (1827). Of particular concern to Ross is Lady Morgan’s invention of the ‘Annals of St. Grellan’ in Book 2, Chapter 6 of The O’Briens and the O’Flahertys. This extended and invented book of Annals, in which the Irish are depicted as ‘loyal’ and the English as ‘rebels’, performs “the narrative function of discrediting and exposing Catholic Ireland as outdated — a nation from which modern educated Irish men and women (even if Catholic themselves) have dissociated themselves”. Lady Morgan, who was “continuously trying to come to terms with her national and cultural identity as an Irishwoman of English stock”, disliked much about the Ireland of her own day, and used the invented ‘Annals of St. Grellan’ to suggest that the nation state which should be established in Ireland should have European roots rather than be planted so firmly in Ireland’s past.