Narrating history
The burden of words in Women; or pour et contre
in Charles Robert Maturin and the haunting of Irish Romantic fiction
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Charles Robert Maturin's deployment of a vast body of literary allusions in Women; or pour et contre allows the voices of other authors and several literary forms to speak to and inform the reader. To speak of the burden of words in Women is to point to the central role that speech, words, and plurality play in the narrative as in its construction. Women explores the current state of religious sectarianism in Ireland, focusing on the internal segregation of the Church of Ireland into competing orthodox and evangelical groups. Disrupted by Emancipation and the Evangelical movement, Maturin's Ireland 'limp(s) along', like marriage in Romantic fiction, but it does so in a confused and disorderly state of incomprehension.

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