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Religion, Jacobitism, and the politics of representation in Lady Gregory’s The White Cockade
Anna Pilz

This chapter focuses on Lady Gregory’s historical drama The White Cockade within the context of the fin-de-siècle revival of Jacobitism. With its historical focus on the Battle of the Boyne and its social, political and economic implications for both Catholic and Protestant Irish society, the play’s topic was a daring one for the Abbey’s theatre audience. In The White Cockade, Gregory brought to light the power of self-sacrificial rhetoric and, at the same time, challenged the popular concept of nationalist martyrology by presenting her audience with what is effectively a double ending that allowed for a flexibility in responses. Despite the potential divisiveness of the historical subject matter, the play’s engagement with fin-de-siècle Irish Jacobite thought chimed well with its audiences. The contemporary acceptance of Gregory’s criticism, in particular, pays tribute to her dramatic craft and complicates our understanding of the politics of representation in early twentieth-century Ireland.

in Irish women’s writing, 1878–1922
Advancing the cause of liberty

Irish women writers entered the international publishing scene in unprecedented numbers in the period between 1878 and 1922. This collection of new essays explores how Irish women, officially disenfranchised through much of that era, felt inclined and at liberty to exercise their political influence through the unofficial channels of their literary output. By challenging existing and often narrowly-defined conceptions of what constitutes ‘politics’, the chapters investigate Irish women writers’ responses to, expressions of, and dialogue with a contemporary political landscape that included not only the debates surrounding nationalism and unionism, but also those concerning education, cosmopolitanism, language, Empire, economics, philanthropy, socialism, the marriage ‘market’, the publishing industry, the commercial market, and employment. The volume demonstrates how women from a variety of religious, social, and regional backgrounds – including Emily Lawless, L. T. Meade, Katharine Tynan, Lady Gregory, Rosa Mulholland, and the Ulster writers Ella Young, Beatrice Grimshaw, and F. E. Crichton – used their work to advance their own private and public political concerns through astute manoeuvrings both in the expanding publishing industry and against the partisan expectations of an ever-growing readership. Close readings of individual texts are framed by new archival research and detailed historical contextualisation. Offering fresh critical perspectives by internationally-renowned scholars including Lauren Arrington, Heidi Hansson, Margaret Kelleher, Patrick Maume, James H. Murphy, and Eve Patten, Irish Women’s Writing, 1878-1922: Advancing the Cause of Liberty is an innovative and essential contribution to the study of Irish literature as well as women’s writing at the turn of the twentieth century.

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Anna Pilz
and
Whitney Standlee
in Irish women’s writing, 1878–1922