Conjuring Glorvina
The wild Irish boy and the national tale
in Charles Robert Maturin and the haunting of Irish Romantic fiction
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Charles Robert Maturin's second novel, The wild Irish boy, is very much aware of its ghostly inheritance. This chapter examines Maturin's novel as something more than a mere 'opportunistic imitation' of Sydney Owenson. In The wild Irish boy, Maturin produces a conglomerate novel, an intriguing mixture of society novel, national tale, Gothic novel, and early stirrings of both the Silver Fork novel and the roman a clef. This attests to and underlines the fractured nature of contemporary Irish fiction and society. Maturin's inclusion of a 'The wild Irish girl' costume further comments on Owenson's well-documented habit of appearing in public dressed as Glorvina and performing as her famous Irish princess. The heavy intertextuality of Maturin's novel, including its references to Owenson and The wild Irish girl, participate in a specific act of masculinisation undertaken by a 'purposeful borrowing from, resistance to, and remaking of, female-authored models'.

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