Rethinking Scott’s revolution
The Albigenses as historical novel
in Charles Robert Maturin and the haunting of Irish Romantic fiction
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Charles Robert Maturin's sixth and final novel, The Albigenses, a romance, is a kind of textual house of mirrors. Maturin had already dabbled with the historical novel form as later popularised by Sir Walter Scott in The Milesian chief and, arguably, Fatal revenge. By current critical descriptions of the historical novel, however, these texts, now narrowly defined as national tale and Gothic novel, respectively, do not conform to Scott's model. To judge The Albigenses by markers of chronological or strictly factual accuracy, as Dale Kramer does, is to hold the novel to entirely different standards than those of Scott's historical novel. Fearful of social revolution in Ireland, The Albigenses focuses on revolution of a different kind: the recurrence of the past.


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