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1 THE DOUBLE VOICED NARRATIVES OF MARIA EDGEWORTH, SOMERVILLE AND ROSS, AND ELIZABETH BOWEN By SARAH MARGARET MALLONEE A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2009
2 2009 Sarah Margaret Mallonee
3 To my grandparent s
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS My acknowledgements are many and heartfelt, but they start with three people who make every day better than the one before. I start with my parents, then, who most recently reminded me, with a kindness and graciousness unique to them, that they were in th time to see to its completion, but for their unwavering, unimaginably strong support, I am totally humbled and forever grateful. John D. Mallonee, M. D. and Elizabeth Hea rd Mallonee, M.A. set high standards for their children and this has always helped me keep a strong work ethic, a dedication to my goals, and an enthusiasm for all that I endeavor; I thank them for that. In the same breath that I thank my parents, I thank my constant readily shares the tenderness, strength, and joy that emanates from his heart and his hands. What I should be most thankful for, I suppose, are the many songs videos, comics, articles, and bits of news Elliott has used over the years to keep me sane along the way. My genuine gratitude goes to my committee for ushering me through the challenges and celebrating the triumphs. I am especially thankful to Julian W olfreys for getting me started on this project and to R. Brandon Kershner, my chair, for ultimately taking on a greater respo nsibility than he planned I would most like to acknowledge Dr. gracious and insightful guidance that improved my work tremendously. I thank Judith Wallick Page for helping me to believe that I could finish this project and realize my goals. Chris Snodgrass, I must say, saved the day, and I am so grateful for the wa y he came to my aid just w hen I needed it the most. And, I thank Jessica
5 Harland Jacobs for helping to keep this project historical and accurate, and for an early recommendation that stayed with me and informed the project immensely from the first ideas t o the late stages of development and composition. It has taken su bstantial contributions from many throughout the Department of English at The University of Florida to see this project to fruition. I am grateful, especially to the following: Kenneth K idd and Phil Wegner, Graduate Coordinators, and Kathy Williams, Graduate Secretary, for keeping up with me, my forms, my status, and my progress, even when it felt like my path was uncertain ; I thank also, Sidney I. Dobrin, Pamela K. Gilbert, Peter L. Rudn ytsky Malini K. Schueller, and Jeri White I also owe a special word of thanks to John Van Hook, research librarian at the George A. Smathers Library at The University of Florida, for helping me to navigate the archives, databases, print, and electronic r esources at many stages in this project. Having found a home at Indian River State College in Fort Pierce, Florida has brought with it a wh ole host of helpers and much appreciated members of my support team. I am deeply indebted to the administration at the college, including Dr. Edwin Massey, President, and the Board of Direct ors for approving my sabbatical; Dr. Henri Sue Bynum, my Vic e President; and Dr. Fontly Corrodus, my D ean. I am deeply thankful for each and all in my department and would also l ike to give a special nod to Matthew Brooks, John Carpenter, Ray Considine, Lori Fry, Rick Hofer, John Kennedy, Ana Ozuna, and Tammy Powley. I save d April Van Camp and Steve Knapp for last in order to honor the pivotal role they play in my day to day life and in my successes small and large. For April, I can say only that this is a matter of the heart where admiration and adoration mixed fortuitously and helped me see how to get this PhD
6 done. For Steve, it is a matter of grand proportions who as a mento r, coach, and supporter worked some magic to get me through the rough stuff and to the good stuff. There is another small cadre of IRSC faculty and staff who offer me so much in the way of friendship and guidance: Robin Britton, Christin Ranne Hunter, Mar ta Kendrick, Dennis Loehr, Dr. Jack Maxwell, and Quan Zheng ; my thanks to all My faithful friends have been amazing confidantes, counselors, and cheerleaders all along the way; from the first heady days of college at Tulane to the determined days in the s ummer of the dissertation, I have leaned on one and all to get me through. My friends reall y did see me through it all: Ben and Tonya Bain Creed, Bruce and Beth DeVane, Maya Dodd, Wendy Schwartz Donohue, Michael Furlong, Emily Garcia, Traci Klass, Phil L ounibos, Meg Norcia, Lorraine Ouimet, Patrick Rickerfor, Nishant Shihani, Keara Sodano, Harun Thomas, Margarida Tree, the Victorian Studies Forum group, all the quilters, and my many comrades on the grads@english listserv. For three consecutive summers, I had the great privilege of hiding away in Gainesville with just my books, my laptop, and the library. The fabulous crews at the Residence Inn and Lakeshore Towers took care of the rest; I am most grateful for the comforts and conveniences of these homes away from home. I owe a special acknowledgement to the bats that lived in the balcony walls at Lakeshore Towers ; I thank them for reminding me to appreciate the everyday wonders of the wild. My own domesticated wild things, Samson, Blue, and Gypsy too, have been my comfort and joy throughout, never leaving my side, and putting in the long hours right along with me.
7 And lastly, to explain my dedication of th is project to my grandparents: like the Irish ghosts who haunt the authors within this dissertation, these four amazing people live eternally through my adoration and my devotion to their legac ies My greatest mission and my greatest delight remain to honor the unique embodiment of Keith Heard Hobbs Mallonee that I am.
8 TABLE OF CONTENT S page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 11 2 ISH NARRATIVES: WHERE CONTRADICTIONS MEET ................................ ................................ ................................ ...................... 34 Castle Rackrent ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 37 Ennui ................................ ................................ ................................ ....................... 47 The Absentee ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 60 Ormond ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 74 3 NARRATIVES NEGOTIATING DEMISE: SOMERVILLE AND ROSS .................... 92 An Irish Cousin ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 92 Some Experiences of an Irish R. M. ................................ ................................ ..... 109 The Real Charlotte ................................ ................................ ................................ 124 The Big House of Inver ................................ ................................ ......................... 137 4 NARRATIVES OF A CULTURE IN DECLINE ................................ ....................... 151 Early Stories and ................................ ................................ .................. 153 The Last September ................................ ................................ ............................. 164 The Heat of the Day ................................ ................................ .............................. 178 A World of Love ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 186 5 CONCLUSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 197 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 202 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 205
9 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy THE DOUBLE VOICED NARRATIVES OF MARIA EDGEWORTH, SOMERVILLE AND ROSS, AND ELIZABETH BOWEN By Sarah Margaret Mallonee December 2009 Chair: R. Brandon Kershner Major: English In this dissertation I trace the double voiced nature of the narratives of Edgeworth, Somerville and Ross, and Bowen These Anglo Irish authors transmit the intricacies and complexities of their shared socio historical culture. As daughters of the Protestant Ascendancy conquering class Edgeworth, Somerville and Ross, and Bowen lived in the Big Houses of Ireland, and many crit ics claim they hid behind the simplistic, single paned perspectives their Big House windows offered them. By reevaluating their artistic s of culture and history are so entirely contained. The narratives under consideration in this project highlight the contested interplay of literature and history at the fundamental level of language. T his project utilizes the theories of M. M. Bakhtin as outlined in The Dialogic I magination to look at a range of textual examples that reveal the underlying divides these authors and their characters put on display. As contradictions arise out of the tension between tradition and change, these authors and their works reflect the dial ogic quality of the personal and historical impulses that surface during a period of major social change. Edgeworth, Somerville and Ross, and Bowen reflect their historical moments, and their narratives transmit the intricacies of their culture of coexist ence,
10 which means that they can be interpreted as conservative forces. Nevertheless, with all the incumbent contradictions between holding fast to traditions and ushering in rapid transformations I argu ultimately promote a col lective change and help support that change, which is occurring socially, politically, and economically from 1800 to 1955.
11 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Understanding a Shared Context: Complicating the View from the Big House Windows generic mask that could serve to define the position from which he views life, as well as the position from which he -M. M. Bakhtin, The Dialogic Imagination (161) While I was researching and writing this dissertation, one of my re search advisors forwarded me an informal recommendation from his acquaintance whom he told me is a g enuine modern day Irish princess She wrote me this: "Maria Edgeworth will only make sense if she is read in her historical context. Same with Somerville and Ross. Somerville and Ross were showing the obvious respect the English foreigners had for the Ir 1 At that stage in my research and writing I could not have been happier to read this counsel from one unfamiliar with my project but intimately aware of the peculiarities and nuances asso cia ted with the authors under consideration in this project. I felt like this project was on the right track. Knowing that I could speak to the historical context of Edgeworth (and for that matter Somerville and Ross and Bowen, too), I also felt confident t hat I understood the importance of the interrelationship between these authors and their historical situation in their homeland But then I paused over her final I wondered ; can Ireland too, have done some of its own conquering of Maria Edgeworth (1768 1849), Edith Somerville (1858 1949) and Violet Martin [pseudonym Martin Ross ] (1862 1916), and Elizabeth Bowen (1899 1973) ? With a publication history spreading over a hundred and fifty years, these
12 Anglo Irish authors transmi t t ed the intricacies and complexities of their shared culture even as they disappeared from popular reading lists and were left out of the anthologies that privileged the new nationalism that took root in Ireland and compl icated the notion of a shared past with authors of this ilk. These daughters of the Protestant Ascendancy conquering class lived in the Big Houses of Ireland, and many critics claim they hid behind the simplistic, single paned perspectives their Big Hous e windows offered them. By re evaluating their works my entirely contained. The narratives of these authors under consideration in this project highlight the contes ted interplay of literature and history at the fundamental level of support from the theories of M. M. Bakhtin as outlined in The Dialogic Imagination (417). The examin ed narratives of Edgeworth, Somerville and Ross, and Bowen reflect the heterogl ossia, or internally dialogized language of the Anglo Irish in Ireland. They write many level s, all stemming from its dual identity and its occupation of two coterminous discursive locations: a dominant one vis vis the native Irish, a subordinate one vis vis and change, these authors and their works reflect the dialogic quality of the personal and historical impulses that surface during a period of major social change. Edgeworth, Somerville and Ross, and Bowen reflect their historical moments, and their narrative s transmit the intricacies of their culture, a culture of coexistence, with all its incumbent contradictions between holding fast to traditions and ushering in the
13 rapid transformations occurring socially, politically, and economically from 1800 to 1955. This comes through in narrative form, as Bakhtin claims, where individual differences and contradictions are enriched by social heteroglossia, where dialogic reverberations penetrate the deep strata of discourse, dialogize language itself and the wor ld vi ew a particular language has (the internal form of discourse) where the dialogue of voices arises directly out of a social dialogue of language, where the orientation of the w ord among alien utterances changes into an orientation of a word among socially alien languages within the boundaries of one and the same national language (284 285) This project examines how Edgeworth, Somerville and Ross, and Bowen engage with what Bakh ours and half inte prior contempora The authors) was and is overwhelmingly negative. What these three authors work out, then, in the discovery of their own discourse, enables them to represent an alternative. Their narrativ es often attempt to encourage their contemporaries to find Anglo Irish to be a fulfilling identity and to have it mean something honorable, productive, and positive. From both internal and external forces in Ireland, the struggle for influence remains
14 con stant, which is what many analysts of the Anglo Irish discuss as they explore the power struggles within the hyphenated community. Texts such as Twilight of the Ascendancy by Mark Bence Jones, Inventing Ireland by Declan Kiberd, The Anglo Irish Novel an d the Big House by Vera Kreilkamp, Ascendancy and Tradition in Anglo Irish Literary History from 1789 to 1939 by W. J. McCormack, and The Anglo Irish: the Literary Imagination in a Hyphenated Culture by Julian Moynahan repeat the discourse that reifies the Anglo Irish as a class with dubious privileges precarious finances and the constant threat of social isolation and violence And from the discourse of colonialism and empire in texts such as Strange Country by Seamus Deane, States of Mind: A Study of Anglo Irish Conflict 1780 1980 by Oliver MacDonagh, Decolonisation and Criticism: The Construction of Irish Literature by Gerry Smyth, we learn that the term Anglo Irish identifies interlopers who subjugate and erase the native Gaelic political and so cial hegemony The narratives of Edgeworth, Somerville and Ross, and double This project, then, takes a loo face of demise (361) etween oneself and the other (293), the language of these narratives lays bare the contradictory impulses of the underlying divides these authors and their characters put on display. It is as though they are battling out the most primal wish to belong in the most simplistic terms that inevitab
15 multi leveled, containing more and varied horizons than would be available to a single the heteroglossia present in the comic playing with languages, the character speech es the character zones, the quasi direct discourse, and the mixtures of genres (Bakhtin 324, in 313). Tracing the many instances of heteroglossia in these narratives, we find the essence of the contradictions that informed the artistic styles of Edgeworth, Somerville and Ross, and Bowen as Anglo Irish women writers. In order to discover all of this, we go back to Bakhtin: socio ideological meaning and an exact knowledge of the social distributi on and (417). with the background of heteroglossia, appropriate to the era, that dialogizes it (420), I look to the bio graphical and historical materials that construct the context and the specificities of time and place associated with these authors. Each author is, of course, singular, yet they flow together in interesting ways. While still tied to the systemic princip les of exclusion that bifurcated people and communities, Edgeworth, Somerville and Ross, and Bowen all produce unsettled and unsettling narratives that dislodge any anticipation of hegemony the reader might have given their gender, class, and political str ictures. This is the work of the others of two cultures and the object of a
16 community always in danger of losing home (the Big House), losing place (lands and governance), and losing self (symbolic death, death of order, and real death). Irish history r uns the gamut of invasion, domination, oppression, and freedom; of tribal, imperial, and national governance. Scholars such as Roy F. Foster, Declan Kiberd, W. J. McCormack, and Julian Moynahan deftly chronicle a history of the Irish people, the colonizat ion of Ireland by the English, and the intricacies of the politics associated with the sustained governance of Ireland. As McCormack says in Ascendancy and Tradition in Anglo Irish Literary History from 1789 to 1939 have a rather difficult st ory to tell, indeed they have many stories to tell, not all of them history prominent as he titles the Prologue to his massive historical text Modern Ireland: 1600 1972 settling on some explanations. I leave th e telling of this complicated story to historians, but I will pause for a brief schematic outlining the inherited circumstances of Ireland as i t relates to the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: the prevailing notions about the relationship of Ireland to England, especially as it concerns the Protestant Ascendancy and the Anglo Irish tradition of literature. Part of the impact of the Engli sh on the Irish comes, Kiberd says, from the quantity of contact years, as well as from the quality of these connections. Kiberd posits inevitably produces an enormou s effect on the development of Ireland and the Irish cultural situation (251). Kiberd continues by describing the mutual and exclusive developments of Ireland and England:
17 Set against that [the colonial domination of seven hundred years], however, was th e close proximity of Ireland to England: affinities of climate, temperament and culture made it hard for the English to treat the Irish consistently as their absolute Other and led to attempts, such as the Act of Union in 1800, to assimilate the occupied l and into a united kingdom. (251) This formulation which shows the slippery boundaries of insider and outsider highlights the indeterminacy associated with understanding national identity and politics in Ireland. This indeterminacy blurs the lines of disti nction for personal and cultural identifications, too, as the Anglo Irish struggle with their own personal unity from within the culture of others and from outside a culture that increasingly produces or defines them as other. The Act of Union of 1801 wh ich brought all governance of Ireland to Westminster Kiberd argues, increased the perplexity of these shared existences and and more clear that a strange reciprocity bo und members of the ascendancy to those compares the effect of the Union across the Prot estant and Catholic divide: what is most striking is the mobilization of Irish politics at local and national level, a process linked with modernization and, ironically, Anglicization, in terms of language at least. But most of all it was closely connecte d with the recognition by the Catholic majority that, as the political game came to be played in terms of democratic numbers, they must be the inevitable winners. (290 291) The Anglo Irish must adjust, necessitated by this Union with Britain, which was sup Irish protection but inevitably reinforced their precarious position (Foster 290). Moynahan recognizes the unexpected outcomes from the Union Irish] became unfor tunately Irish, in the old brooding unhappy sense of the term. Of course, this did
18 emphasis on disjuncture, discordance, and distinct inseparability truly frames the n arratives of all who come after the Union and specifically those examined in this project. Elizabeth Bowen estimates the Irish estate i raison formulation certainly reflects on th e history of the Anglo Irish experience (Kiberd 376). Part of the incongruity and instability of the Anglo Irish experience comes out of what Bowen and other historians of the Anglo Irish point to, which is that there is a very short window of time where the Anglo Irish were united around a common mission and exercised a semblance of control and authority within Irish politics. What Bowen claims is that the Anglo Irish became aware of themselves as a race, but by the time Maria Edgeworth began to publish in 1792 this awareness and authority began to be undermined ( 158) T he political reconciliation between Ireland and England and among the varying Irish factions began to fracture and as a result the Ang lo Iri sh slowly lost their wealth and status as the leaders of Ireland. In Court family and Ireland, she comments on the political instability at the end of the eighteenth c entury: that Ireland he had already saluted on the May day of 1782. The reign of Anglo Irish high confidence was to be, after all, for less than two decades. For eighteen fought to integr ate Ireland. They failed (204) Ireland had suffered, with the Union a vital shock to its self
19 understand the context surrounding the authors in this study (223 24). To explain the period from the Act of Union to the establishment of the Irish Repub lic Julian Moynahan claims in his study, Anglo Irish: The Literary Imagination in a Hyphenated Culture that and power of this community begin to be curtailed and wh at had been called an of the ruling elite often meant being penniless, constantly in danger, and precariously situated on land that seemed at the whim of both Westminst er and local agitations. As we move into the Victorian period, Irish society begins to show the strain of th authority and devolution of status resulting from the fragmentation of a formally feudal so ciety McCormack addresses this specifically through his evaluation of Vi ctorian Irish class dynamics: Irish Victorian society was doubtless a more complex interaction of class than the reflect an important sense of common purpose felt by various elements of the population landowners, the established clergy, the genteel professions, th e Protestant commercial classes ( Sheridan 268) McCormack identifies society and opens up his reading of these discrepancies in the narratives of J. S. Le Fanu, one prominent Anglo Irish author of the Victorian period (268). The atmosphere of reform common to Victorian England spreads to Irish affairs and some legislative changes take place that begin to offer concessions and adjustments for Irish society. And of course the entirely defining event of the mid century is the great hunger, death, and destructi on that spread far and wide during the f amine years, 1846 to 1849. For all the appearance of solidity in the great power of the British Empire, in fact, P. F. Sheerhan claims the opposite is much more representative of the Irish reality
20 history duri ng the nineteenth century is largely that of the decline of the Ascendancy Protestant Ascendancy is more than any singular idea of religion, ruling power, or class connections. In Ascendancy and Tradition in Anglo Iris h History from 1789 to 1939 W J. McCormack traces the idea of the tradition of the Ascendancy through a Yeatsian and Joycean focus, while also discussin g the cultural expressions and experiences created by the presence of the Protestant Ascendancy in Ire land. In the process of defin ing the term Protestant Ascendancy, McCormack claims, 792, he concentrated most effectively and ironically on the slogan of the hour, Protestant Ascendancy 67 ). The idea of Protestant Ascendancy comes ase to provide an encapsulated history of the eighteenth century in toto McCormack is interested in investigating this concept of Protestant Ascendancy as a historical, political, and cultural incubator for the literary works of the Anglo Irish. helps formulate a systematic naming of influence and participation in the production of a certain representation of experience. He highlights this experience as and the ideological construction of an eighteenth century hegemony of the same name. From this contradiction, rather than from any mechanical
21 causality in the families of Yeats and Synge and Lady Gregory, derives the modernist, valorized tradition associ ated with their names. ( Ascendancy 9) To this observation I will take an opportunity now to add briefly that in place of Yeats, Synge and Lady Gregory as the primary representatives of this tradition, this project aims to investigate how Edgeworth, Somerv ille and Ross, an d Bowen shake up this tradition With the government of Gladstone and Disraeli at Westminster, land acts pass, the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland occurs, and Home Rule discussions gain a presence in Parliament. From around 1 870 to the turn of the century, England starts the work of retreat from Ireland, though it will not go smoothly. Bowen categorized the 1890s for Anglo B 398). So while Anglo Ireland kept up their hunting, garden parties, and Big Houses, the country agitated around Home Rule and a new nationalism that would eventually exclude the Anglo Irish. In bitter struggle for Ireland entered a new phase. Between the armed Irish and the British troops in the country, reprisals and counter reprisals tragic policy (Bowen 439). After the Anglo I rish treaty of 1921, civil war ensued in the Free State of Ireland before the Irish Republic settled its own national politics. is something beyond the dates, names, and places; she offers us an enlivened glance at the Anglo Irish that is extremely informative: The stretches of the past I have had to cover have been, on the whole, painful: my family got their position and drew their power from a situation that shows an inherent wrong. In the grip of that situation, England and Ireland each turned to
22 the other a closed, harsh, distorted face a face that, in each case, their lovers would hardly know. ( 453) Iris h exi Court 455 ). Thus this is the atmosphere out of which the Anglo Irish comes into its own, at various turns both displaying and ignoring the most pressing aspects of their cultural, political, and economic inheritance. The Anglo Irish literature, therefore, that we have from this produced by that ascendant minority in Ireland, largely but not entirely English in point of origin, that tended to be Protestant and overwhelmingly loyal to the English crown, ( Ascendancy 4 ). What seems useful about this form ulation is the presence of conflict an d complexity embedded within it and the attempt at specificity with which it proceeds. This project proceeds, then, to the conflicts and complexities in the contradictory impulses embedded in the narratives of Maria E dgeworth, Somerville and Ross, and Elizabeth Bowen. Brian Hollingsworth in Writing claims that Maria Edgeworth writes the first novel in the vernacular and uses the specificity of language, audience, and place to remain true to he r educational priority toward scientific observation that comes out of the enlightenment ideals her father introduced to her (9, 26, 34). Gifford Lewis in her biographical and critical study of Edith Somerville and Martin Ross calls the writing style of S rural Ir ish dialect social elements, and culture ( Somerville 11). Declan Kiberd in his immense examination of Irish politics and culture in Inventing Ireland makes this
23 Writers such as Elizabeth Bowen maintained the tradition of Somerville and Ross, leaving a priceless artistic account of events as viewed informative about the pains of c onstructing and maintaining an identity within the scope 161) used by Edgeworth, Somerville and Ross, and Bowen reveal the great conflict and tension surrounding their shifting positions within the fluctuat ing socio cultural ideologies of Ireland from 1800 to 1955. The double voiced narratives under consideration in this project reinforce Seamus What comes o of the half made, the half baked, the incomplete, the Anglo Irish, the English While often divided, Edgeworth, Somerville and Ross, and Bowen, however, do not speak as hal f baked or incomplete representatives of his tory; instead, they write the pervasively double voiced narratives of generations, adventures, mysteries, and comedies born out of their unique relationships to Ireland. Chapter Two introduces Maria Edgeworth (17 68 1849) and works through a careful reading of her four Irish narratives Castle Rackrent (1800), Ennui (1809), The Absentee (1812), and Ormond (1817) as they reveal the development of her artistic style and the interplay of centralized and dislocated au thority of the Anglo Irish in Irish society. In her definitive biography of Maria Edgeworth, Marilyn Butler describes typical of the Anglo Maria Edgeworth 13) Yet from this typical beginning, Edgeworth becomes a complex figure through her atypical literary pursuits, her
24 Butler asserts, Edgeworth reflects contradictory impul least controversial of Anglo Irishwomen, and it was only through complex personal circumstances that she became the author of three progressive, at times even radical, studies of the Anglo Maria Edgeworth Helen Zimmern concludes her biography of Edgeworth with this suggestive declaration: r reading twice: once for the general (Zimmern 176 ing Edgeworth is an Anglo Irish woman writing at the dawn of the nineteenth century, to pin down pl ace and she crafts her narratives to demonstrate the struggle 12). With her Irish c social, political, and economic realities could be known, intellectually self conscious attempt at a group portrait of a hybrid, often disunited for regional novels, giving her readers a specific account of Ireland and a context for
25 father, of the mill Anglo Irish gentry in 17 Maria Edgeworth 96). As a member of the Lunar Society, whose members playfully referred to themselves as lunaticks, R. L. Edgeworth is a bit of a fringe chara cter, outside of regular political and social circles for a man of his position in Ireland. On a serious principles with their own application of these principles in ninete enth century Ireland as rather than an inherent which (653). d her literary style; her education was designed and administered by R. L. Edgeworth, the quintessential eccentric and inventor, wr iter, educator, social theorist (Nash xiii). Ironically, this education helped Maria Edgeworth break fro Maria Edgeworth 91) 2 Butler contends generation, or half a generation, earlier t Maria
26 Edgeworth 66). The active participation of her father in heady eighteenth century Edgeworth a transitional figure. Neverthele ss, while most critics claim Edgeworth indicates some adoption of his specific principles, Julie Nash starts her evaluation of Edgeworth with an interesting and fruitful alte rnative to consider: dgeworth had does. M aria E dgeworth dgeworth the dutiful daughter of patriarchy and E dgewort h the sur prisingly progressive iconoclast (Nash xiv). This critical insight depicts Edgeworth as a figure of complexity rather than s omeone maintaining straight forward paternal allegiances. Edgeworth is no Electra under the spell of her father. Inste ad, she represents the hyphenated culture of the Anglo Irish and a female literary voice of the early nineteenth century, when both Anglo Irish and female identity were in flux. John Cronin adds an important component to our understanding of Edgeworth as an informed and engaged citizen of her family and her community: we know that from the time they settled in Ireland, Maria and her father were involved together in all the business of the estate and that she became a sort of permanent secretary to him, ri ding out with him to visit tenants, being present with him at the settling of disputes, the payment of rents and all the varied business of a prosperous Protestant Ascendancy landl ord. (1: 23) So while Edgeworth often hid behind helper, being the pseudo governess for her more than twenty youn ger siblings, and even publishing her most famous novel, Castle Rackrent anonymously for the first edition, Edgeworth maintained an active role in life around her.
27 Chapter Three brings us to the literary voices of two Anglo Irish women who originality dealing with both the up per and lower classes, and dealing with both Irish Memories 140). But this dynamic duo is ready to take up that sincerity and originality in their literary careers. Edith Somerville (1858 1949) and Violet Martin (1862 1915 ) became the authorial industry of Edith Somerville and Martin Ross which was quickly reduced to Somerville and Ross. These cousins started their writing (Lewis Somerville 7). Somerville and Ross amazed their contemporaries and continue to confuse modern critics over the mechanics of their collaboration. Everyone wants to know who did what, and how two hands could hold one pen so effectively. That mystery remains, howeve r, as both in public discourse and private records Somerville and Martin remained steadfast that all work was equal, done together, and a true representation of a partnership. The partner ship of Somerville and Ross put their decisions to pursue authorsh ip as a career and a money making business in the forefront, which makes them different from their predecessor Maria Edgeworth who more often shied away from the public role of an authoress even though she kept detailed records of her earnings in her priv ate diaries. The income Somerville and Ross earn plays a critical role in the survival provides them with financial independence. But instead of using their assets as a means to pursue great adventure, they used this income t o stay rooted within their families and to stay in their family homes. Their precarious f inances
28 we re a constant worry for them, but they work ed hard to subsist on their meager income. ing in it (Lewis Somerville the publishing world for their pleasure and their profit (Lewis Somerville delight in the joke of being taken for men never tired, and the tiny ladylike Martin took Edith 140). The families of these talented women were not so easily amused; their parents, siblings, and relatives opposed them and criticized their works Somerville and Ross had to overcome this oppos ition to carve out their writing career T heir efforts were often thwarted, and demands on their sense of duty to their large families. The Som ervilles on the adopt a pseudonym, which she did for the first of her publications but dropped immediately after that. Somerville and Ross pressed on, however, and always highly motivated b y the want of money, they actively participated in the society of the literati of the late nineteenth century garde, which included Andrew Lang, Lady Gregory, John M. Synge, William Butler Yeats, and Oscar Wilde, Somerville and Ross swirled around literary notoriety and greatness and yet themselves rem ained mostly out of the artistic center of society. They chose instead, to maintain their connection to the Irish countrysides of their youth where they fostered their devotion to
29 their families, duties, and houses. Authorship was an escape from the ent rapment of marriage, but because Somerville and Ross had their roots in the Anglo Irish culture of the Big Houses and ancient family estates, they teetered on the edge of tradition and change. They were devoted s uffragists throughout their lives; Somerville writes after hearted, unshakable, and the longer we have lived the more unalterable have been our Irish Memories 313). And yet, for all their co last moves was necessitated by her being unceremoniously kicked out of Drishane House, her home for close to ninety y ears, by the son of her brother and the heir t o the estate. A most interesting aspect of the personalities cousins, however is how Somerville and Ross covered the spectrum of politica l sympathies, as their national country needed strong government, implemented by its top layer of landowners, and that the centre of government for the British Isles should be London. In comparison Edith was a positive home Somerville 19). These kinds of contradictory pulls of tradition and change are portrayed and embedded wi thin so much of Somerville An Irish Cousin (1889), Some Experiences of an Irish R.M. (1899), The Real Charlotte (1894), and The Big House of Inver (1925). As Edgeworth g ot us started at the cusp of the nineteenth century, Elizabeth Bowen (1899 1973) bridges the nineteenth with the twentieth century and in Chapter Four we see the effects of the protracted decline of the Anglo Irish The ill effects are countered by the s ense of purpose Bowen creates, expressed in an artistic style that is
30 1899, she was the same age as her century Ellmann lays out an enigmatic and emblematic par Ellmann moves swiftly from these trifles to the substance of he r academic pursuits, yet her opening is informative enough to pause over. Ellmann may in fact be saying more than she knows by this slip of accounting: Bowen is so ent irely a part of the twentieth century and simultaneously just outside of it, grows painfully through the tumults of the twentieth. ains some of the same clues we have seen throughout this examination of li minal authors while it also contains some telling differences. What we notice as the major continuity between the authors, of course, is their class and their comfortable experience s with a notion of home through the solidness of their family big houses. But, Bowen lived much more in England during her childhood and for the majority of her adult life than her predecessors who reside mostly in Ireland. For Bowen, her family home, Bow served primarily as a summer retreat, or as a promise of repose when she needed it (as during the height of violence in London during World War II). And, very unlike any of her predecessors, Bowen lived urt after she was forced to sell it to escape the financial strain it put on her. There remains for Bowen a life much more itinerant than that of Court, County Cork, Ireland, but h faltered during her early childhood, so her mother took her to Kent in England so she relied on the kindnesses of relatives to keep her until she went to boarding
31 school. Throughout the existence of her family estate, therefore, she continued to summer and live sporad are threaded together and remain inextricably intertwined. Bowen highlights this plural existence as she explains varying social groups, to and fro between Ireland and England. This made me Early Stories ix see n as the performative qualities of one who is always the other, always already without origin. What one of contemporary reviewers worries over seems quite (Burgess 254). Bowen herself sees the world from contradictory impulses and gothicized sensibilities. Bowen is the most modern of the authors in the trajectory of this project, and in her work we find a modern style that overtly displays former taboos v ery violently and horrifical ly in the lives of her characters Bowen grew up within a country experiencing : 114). The i nfluence of this is felt, as Ellmann novels The Last September (1929), The Heat of the Day (1949), and A World of Love (1955) there remains the self conscious exposition of the modern conflicts that arise from the hyphenated experience of the Anglo Irish and the effective deracination of the inheritors of seven hundred years of conquered and conquering instabilities. The first two collections of short stories, Encounters (1923) and (1926), as the first of
32 copic focus on singular moments; time and place are captured to see what comes of the digging in. Th e observant quality of these early short stories translates into the political, historical, and social commentary that we find so much more fully fleshed out in the novels. As Bowen writes her family history in in 1942, she looks back on t his interplay between the personal and the national and comments on the relevance of the time ma rked by the Act of Union in 1801 to her current day position as she writes in 1942. Bowen proposes that [s]ociety which can only exist when people are sure of themselves and immune from fears was no longer, in the Anglo Ireland I speak of, in what I called the magnetic and growing stage; it was on the decline; it was breaking up. It could exist in detail comings and goings, entertainments, marriages but the ma in healthy abstract was gone. And with this break up of society there set in the dire period we are not yet out of, the dire period of Personal Life. This can be lived but it needs at the greatest, genius, at the least, discipline. (258 59) Wh at she reveals in this sweeping analysis becomes the parameters for a line of issues and the intriguing expression they take on in Edgeworth, Somerville and Ross, and Bowen. As inheritors of this tradition from one to the other, their separate narrative a mbitions and artistic concerns demonstrate the historical influence particular to each but show the intertwined nature of all. In meld completely with any of these words, but rather accents each of them in a p articular way humorous, satiric, melancholic, mysterious, dramatic, heteroglossic and contradictory narratives show the ongoing struggle over the authority of the Anglo Irish p osition in all its permutations.
33 1 This comment was relayed to me after an email correspondence between John Van Hook, librarian at Breffny, Ireland. 2 Butler revisits this i dea in her introduction to the Penguin edition of Castle Rackrent and Ennui published in 1992. Here, she summarizes the dominant educational philosophy that guided Richard L. Edgeworth cke in their almost devout belief in reinforces the commitment and fervor of these principles in their lives. Katy Brundan in her essay Ennui emphasizes the influence of Enlightenment principles and their carry ted the Enlightenment cosmopolitan
34 CHAPTER 2 -Maria Edgeworth, An Essay on Irish Bulls (162) feisty Scottish character who is one member of the triad in An Essay on Irish Bulls (1802). From the satirical resonances of the contradiction announced in this simple and intriguing sentence, we entions and contradictory narratives of Anglo Irish authority and her glorification of an idyllic Irish past. While 1 and that she reinscribes the political and cultural oppression of the existing ruling life allegiances are not simply reproduced in the tales where, on the contrary, her self positioning is as complex and unstable as her representation of the Anglo representation reflects the most plausible and informative evaluation of this author and her diverging experiences and sympathies. historical moment for a ny sense of potential or progress for the Anglo Irish in Ireland. This is the
35 strange country one in which the faintest reaction against oppression was regarded or describ ed as sedition against the state, in which the mass of the people were regarded as foreign to civil society, in which power had never learned the intricate lessons by childhood the international scene was full of revo lutions that rocked America and France and heady intellectuals were preaching the rights of man and reflecting on the up years appear to have been infl uenced by the ideas of Edmund Burke and his national conception of Ireland. Deane describes this influential time of ambiguities thusly: For over a century after Burke, the same ambiguity prevailed between the representation of a country that is foreign and unknown, in which the conditions are phantasmagoric, especially to the English reader, and a country that is, at the same time, part of the British system, perfectly recognizable and part of the traditional world that the French Revolution had overthr own (17 18) her teeters between oppression and opportunity. Ireland was home, and it remained a place for comfortable living and the place of her happiest times with her father, her siblings, and her three stepmothers. Edgeworth remained connected throughout her lifetime and throughout her narratives Ireland pamphleteers and tra vel writers who sought to present Ireland in a controlled manner. This narrative style works, Deane says, because through it, the
36 extreme is brought under control by an observer, traveler, storyteller, whose function it is to communicate to an audience th at shares her or his values a sense of the radical difference of the other territory or condition and, at the same time, however contradictorily, to claim that this territory and condition, once relieved of the circumstances or causes of its extraordinary condition, can be redeemed for normality. (19) a s the authors try to define the politics of Ireland in the eighteenth century is interesting here, but more significant is the content ion that the narrative maintains a control I argue, however, that Edgeworth demonstrate a blurring of subject and object. Deane sees innovation in Edgeworth England and Ireland which here also carries with it a distinct criticism that her fiction was political and economic conditions of Ireland, although realistic in many ways, is also governed by the connection that they are exotic that is, the consequence of quaint the pr e Edgeworth] could conjugate the relationship between the traditional, understood as a mod e of sensibility or energy, and the modern, understood as a system of discipline and nostalgia throughout narratives and that it defines her artistic style in part, the full story shows many heter oglossic moments that reverberate around this fused relationship between the traditional and the modern. The discourse of her novels remains double voiced and Irish Bulls 162).
37 If Edgeworth is able to bri ng together and inflect tense, person, and mood associated with the grammar of narratives, if indeed Edgeworth is able to conjugate her discourse and the alien social discourse, with their inherent contradictions, it must come from her willingness to exper iment with genre, character speech, zones of contact, and the heteroglossia of everyday language. Butler notices this happening as Edgeworth on fairy and folk tale, did laughter and tears, sympathy and repugnance, lie more novel to her last, Edgeworth offers us heteroglossic narrative s that expose the contradicting desire s to vener ate traditions and to flow with changes. Through Castle Rackrent (1800), Ennui (1809), The Absentee (1812), and Ormond (1817) Edgeworth works to establish a tutorial outlining the way forward for the landowning Anglo Irish families and in the process conc edes the multifarious paths within this territory. Castle Rackrent The title page of Castle Rackrent first published novel include an underlying anxiety in the form of hedging, with lots of padding and supplemental material, especially considering the preface and the famous fashioned as an explanatory companion to the original narrative. Still, Castle Rackrent runs on the compact or short side and its form befuddles readers in the same way
38 Heart of Darkness does; it is more than a long short story but somehow less than a full length novel. Castle Rackrent like Heart of Darkness also flirts with the indeterminate relationships between the subjects of a colonial world and the stories that come out of it. Mary Jean Corbett sees Castle Rackrent exploration colonizer and to establish her own authority for doing so, yet also to reform or remarks, the de tailed glossary, and the colloquial narrator, Castle Rackrent is certainly more than a simple Hibernian tale or Gaelic folk story This so Irish future with more prudent stewards of land and property, no matter their political, social, or national identities. The narrative reconstruction of the history of the Rackren t estate and its stewards in Castle Rackrent forms a first glimpse into the death of the old order. As the Rackrents mismanage and degrade their family and property, an educated, rational, and careful businessman recuperates the estate. In this narrative resolution, the most prudent caretaker of land comes from within the ranks of the steward or agent class of Irishmen, out in the country, nurtured from its land. This conclusion is radical since it demonstrates a shocking usurpation and a departure from lifetime. Castle Rackrent l of warnings and consequences, Castle Rackrent
39 Castle Rackrent (1800) is As an epitaph, Castle Rackrent is the story of four bad boys who ruin the privilege Castle Rackrent continues to fascinate critics and theorists, receiving the greatest analytical attention of any aspect of the narrative. 2 The family servant honest Thady tells this story and with this embodiment of th e language of a traditional, class conscious native Irishman the narrative represents the discourse of the alien language and infuses the whole of the novel with this double voiced heteroglossia. Thady is hardly honest by his own narrative accounts, however, and he is obviously unreliable as a storyteller because of his subservience and dull ineptness at judging the character and motives of the ruling class T hus we find a truly voicedness [that] sinks its roots deep into a fundamental, socio linguistic speech diversity and multi 26). Often paro dically, therefore, Thady functions as a dynamic layering for gender, appropriate the tone, accent, and idiom of another, and to put them to a variety of literary, political, and economic uses. And that appropriation of a dependent's persona 390). More colonial rule in Ireland.
40 The family history style narrative in Castle Rackrent creates the folklore of four successive generations and ties them to their Irish land. The narrative opens with a nod Castle Rackrent 67). Sir sents the movement toward assimilation common to Gaelic families wishing to secure their property entitlements especially after the hard penal laws were enacted in 1690. The extra literary heteroglossia of this event dynamic layering of history and social conditions. From the perspective of old Catholic Irish nationals this name change i s tragic, yet it seems natural in this simple, declaratory statement that tells us the family is what it ha double voicedness of this narrative. W ithin the narrative vignettes that capture the decisions, actions, and behaviors of these rough around the edges aristocrats, Edgeworth puts on display a live action tutorial of mismanagement: How to Lose All the tions. What they lose is an estate that becomes a mere sham of a proper Irish estate. Through Sir Patrick, Sir Murtagh, Sir Kit, and Sir Condy, readers witness the steady decline of property and person. Readers are goaded into laughing at these desultor y patriarchs and the hilarity of their situations, all the while seeing the distressing nature of their faults and pain of their demise. 3 More than any other Edgeworth narrative, Castle Rackrent takes over from Anglo Irish degeneration.
41 The laughter embedded in Castle Rackrent may seem a bit morbid at times, but it musement follows the sight of ducks being killed for dinner, which creates a symbolic portrait of the family. Thady wonders aloud, in the chicken yard, just after their heads are cut o ff by the cook, running round and are the dead ducks running around with their heads cut off. With frequent circus like exhibitions with references to farm animals a nd uncontrolled animalism within these men, this family and the estate are marked for lost, from negligence and carelessness. debts and faces the grotesque forfeiture seized in lieu of payment. This predicament combines the solemnity of death with the through his own town they were Sir Murtagh alleging in all companies, that he all along meant to pay his debts of honour, but the moment the law was taken of him, there was an end of honour to be sure. It was whispered (but none but the enemies of the family believe it), that this was all a sham seizure to get quit of the debts, which he had bound h imself to pay in honour. (68) f centralization and
42 demonstrates a Bakhtinian moment of heteroglossia (Bakhtin 272) To include the that we all should believe the worst of Sir Murtagh and his evasions of duty and honor ( Castle Rackrent 68) His lack of nobility comes at a critical juncture of private and public exposure. In his newly assumed role as master of t he Rackrent estate, Sir Murtagh halts the cellar of all wine and whiskey. His ostensible practicality and frugality, however, fail to make him any less ridiculous. Instead, his pettiness and miserliness are revealed. Sir Murtagh forfeits his moral authority for pecuniary gain. He is perhaps used to this, though, as he is a lawyer who runs sixteen or so suits at any given time, and as Thady y The ambiguous judgment coming from the both th e professionally stylized language of law and the folkloric, everyday language of exaggeration show the confusion that comes from one utterance shows the porousnes llows readers to see through Sir Murtagh and to imagine the ensuing ruin that will occur during his occupancy (69). The circus of animals that run amo k throughout the property and the house seems comical until we realize Sir Murtagh
43 purposely perpetuates the disorder to rob from his tenants. This subtle hint in the narration almost slips through the cracks, like the cracks of the Rackrent fence, but the that, indeed, Si r Murtagh fashions his own ridiculous image and makes a fool of the house and all its inha bitants. Through Sir Murtagh a representative of the law who establishes very little order on his own property, Edgeworth emphasizes the ineffectuality of the gover ning system and these particular governors within that system. ancient Ireland, owning the same land for generations, is important. Within this pastoral landlord system, the status, which should create a strong heritage, a practical livelihood, pride and pleasure, and a sense of belonging; these are the tenets of the planter society that took root in the early 16 00s. Moreover, this Anglo Irish estate represents the coagulation of cultures and families, Irish and English, and this constant state of hybridity lends itself to easy slippages and constant fluctuations between one and the other. Wohlgemut acknowledges nationness: important rearticulation of Burkean local attachment and philosophical cosmopolitanism to produ ce an understanding of the nation as neither tightly bordered (like nations based on historical premises such as blood or inheritance) nor borderless (like those based on rational notions of universal inclusion). This effort to rethink nationness makes Ed geworth more than the colonial writer who figures in current criticism. (645) To highlight the insider outsider theme, playing with the idea of heritage in flux, Edgeworth creates stark contrasts and contradictions within the narrative, including Sir marriage to a Jewish woman.
44 fated, Jewish English wife home to the family estate for her official introductions. 4 One o f the first outings for Sir Kit and Lady Rackrent includes a boasting tour of the Rackrent land which is guided by Thady himself. As they approach a spot of great importance, one that represent s the effort it takes to keep the family and the property intact, Thady begins to speak haughlin. The reader, perhaps bewildered at such a name, is quickly joined in this state of amusement by Lady Rackrent, but this reaction greatly dismays Thady. Thady tells lady Rackrent about the bog and how Sir Murtagh spent two hundred pounds saving it should know better than to carry on so grotesquely in the face of something special to the Rackrent estate (78). Thady speaks in the la nguage of heritage and Lady Rackrent speaks in her language of modern sensibilities (a name like that seems ridiculous to this modern ear), but th e narrative is sympathetic with Thady in this utterance. The true dishonor marked in this moment of contradic during the exchange between Thady and Lady Rackrent that demonstrates Sir Kit inadequacy, since he suited to the Rackrent (or Irish) heritage and estate. By this same stroke, Thady imagines a rationale
45 for La f amily, his estate, and Ireland. The laughter of Lady Rackrent stands in full view of the Rackrent estate, and the narrative exposes the pain of the one who senses the threat to an ancient family and its land. In the narrative, Thady senses the threat, bu t by implication Edgeworth invites her contemporary readers and successive generations of Irish citizens, perhaps all those colonial subjects and rulers alike, to contemplate their identity. The failures of Sir Patrick, Sir Murtagh, and Sir Kit illustrate the instability of power and authority in this grotesquely comical family history, and the next heir in line will be worse. Sir Condy is and the final heir to the Rackrent e state. He is the last in the line of Rackrents to own and occupy the family land because his financial ruin Jason flips the dynamic of owner and estate manager methodicall y and patiently. In order to support his carefree and extravagant lifestyle, Sir Condy relinquishes all of the e all unread by Sir Condy, paying no attention to the accounting or the property, he and his wife Isabella also make constant demands for cash out of the estate in order t o support their chosen lifestyle of table
46 t satire on Anglo Irish authority as Sir In this discourse of pathos, Sir Condy plays the fool the degraded state of Anglo Irish landowners (Bakhtin 402 ) While Sir Condy remains poorly educated because of his laziness, Jason, the son of a household servant, becomes a student of the law thro ugh diligence and opportunism. And while Sir Condy has the privilege of his ancient family name, Jason Thus it is Jason who has invested, managed, appropriated, and c ontrolled enough land eyes, so they do, and put me in mind of all I suffered, larning of my numeration table, when I was a boy at the day school along with you, Jason units, tens, hundreds, tens of hundred. Is the punch d of the line for his family, Sir Condy maintains his flippancy and fulfils his tragicomic destiny through the language of style. Readers laugh at him and his ridiculous ness as they become fully aware of the deserving demise of this last representative of the Rackrent dynasty. whilst I was a
47 this were a great gag of fun for Jason (109). Jason represents another of those dialogic categories that exposes the undecidability of the narrative as he embodies a bit of the traditional class structure in place in late eighteenth century Ireland. Thady tells this with an air of disdain toward his son, and he claims that (109). Honest Thady proclaims his devotion to the Rackrents to the bitter end, but the melodramatic quality of the whole scene clearly rei nforces the complex negotiations and shifts of power and authority, moral and legal, that occur from one generation to the next and outside of the boun daries of proscribed roles. Perhaps Thady is not being all that honest in t success, though Thady claims th e transactions appear vulgar. s son benefits allegiances to flesh and blood family and his feudal ties to the Rackrent family. Ennui Ennui (1809) b Ennui the ill Maria Edgeworth 237). Ennui is a text with a strong allegorical commentary here is a bit confusing, however, because while the aristocratic Rackrents die off, the actual Big Ho use remains intact in Castle Rackrent ; in Ennui however, the Big House burns to the ground while the Anglo Irish Ascendancy family lineage recuperates and sustains itself. In an unusual twist of plot in Ennui the strange allow for the family patrimony, tentatively identified with
4 8 come easily or seamlessly and represents an intensely subversive situation. Part of what drives this nove l is the interesting mix of generic conventions: part Bildungsroman part provincial family saga, this narrative focuses a tremendous amount of energy on solid gentry position and it comes directly out of a poor Irish Ennui perhaps because of the many contrivances and plot twists this novel contains. While Ennui are so glaring t hat few modern critics Ennui Ormond Maria Edgeworth 365). A ranking of the narratives seems unnecessary, but th marginalized or dismissed literary s tatus opens the door for a much needed reexamination of Edgeworth and the Irish tales, including the neglected narratives such as Ennui I would argue further that Ennui demonstrates the most vi vid example of ether and Marilyn Butler recognizes and comments on the important shift of narrative in the narrative to the existing po wer str nglo Irish estate shows through as a commentary on the whole estate system
49 represents the challenge to the old political order which had been felt in every Western cosmopolitan appeal and influence of Ennui even though this novel rep resents a strongly Irish centered exploration of issues and concerns that are important to Edgeworth. Ennui is written after both Castle Rackrent and An Essay on Irish Bulls (1802), which Edgeworth coauthored with her father. The sequencing of Castle Rack rent to Irish Bulls philosophies. Irish Bulls presents a heavily satirical and farsical explanati on of the age Irishman that had already become a sensation in the London theaters. This text, with its willingness to make fun of the English more than the Irish, is often interpreted as atte mpt to clarify her sympathetic allegiance to Ireland And whi le many critics read Edgeworth and her narratives as abandoning politics and the hot topics of her day, in fact much of her narrative strategy and delivery encodes this supposedly missing organized system for reminds us, Edgeworth calls on the relevance of unmentioned but assumed subtextual actualities: for Ennui tic events of the plot in 1798, [was] a year of terrible slaughter and of the disintegration of Ascendancy This disintegration interwoven in the plot becomes
50 a salient means for the acknowledgement of political stri fe, turmoil, and the necessity for change. Ennui ( Ennui 170). The first person narrator reveals the inherent ambiguity of a hyphenated existence and creates a mix of narrative contradictions through his internally dialogized discourse. It is a memoir of the simple re telling of past events leading to a present, though this present is also set in the past by Edgeworth. There is also a voice overlay that corrects and commentates Then, there are small moments of slippage where there is more obvious ly quasi direct discourse f rom the author. This helps to create the irony of the text and reflects the heteroglossic nature of the author as an Anglo Irish woman writing at the dawn of the nineteenth century, amid political and social turmoil. All of this layering in Ennui takes plac e in a mix of places in England and Ireland, Ireland providing the locus for redemption. L ord Glenthorn is a mixed and a mixed up character his mixtures coming in the form of his ambiguous parentage, personality, and philosophy. The Earl of Glenthorn is born in Ireland and lives in Ireland until he is Glenthorn and his circumst ances explodes all neat definitions and illustrates a heterogeneity that helps to deepen our understanding of socio political realities of the early nineteenth century and Anglo Irish identity. Ennui illustrates the distastefulness of the aristocratic syc ophantic life by demonstrating intense malaise and perpetual melancholy while living the cosmopolitan life of the upper class wastrel. Ennui also illustrates the complete negation of the myth of class and birthright as the
51 narrative employs th at t a lazy life is no life at all which of the Protestant work ethic and that was prominent in and part of her authorial mission (Bakhtin 356). The narrative boredom and ineffectuality. Importantly, Ireland becomes the focus for this inte rvention. In a telling tourist guide passage posited in the narrative voice of Lord Glenthorn, the satirical possibilities of this narrative come out of the play of generic impulses and the extra artistic ideology that emerges when Glenthorn delivers this bit of advice: Upon this principle I should recommend to wealthy hypochondriacs a journey in Ireland, preferably to any country in the civilized world. I can promise them, that they will not only be moved to anger often enough to make their blood circulat e briskly, but they will even, in the acme of their impatience, be thrown into salutary convulsions of laughter, by the comic concomitants of the disasters: besides, if they have hearts, their best feelings cannot fail to be awakened by the warm, generous hospitality, they will receive in this country from cabin to castle. ( Ennui 176) This passage works to evoke laughter from readers even while it has to of fer With this awkward combination of critique and sentimentality, Glenthorn establishes a rubric for understanding manners, experiences, and relationships that will Ed how to read this text for its simultaneous disclosure and deconstruction of social structure. hotel
52 from a n arbitrary Irish gentleman, who never appears again, becomes the absolute truth of Glenthorn and his situation because he does start out as grand but will find out his beggar status in due time; this flip flopping between being a prince and being a beggar becomes the locus of the embattled discourse in the narrative. The intensity of this dualistic moment comes from the psychological assessments and the personal observations by this first person narrator. Out of the mouth of the Irish gentleman com es the initial thought, but it is delivered to us through Lord Glenthorn, who is a lord story and the trickery of the plot twist. Glenthorn only knows a life determine d by his name, however, so by extension, this narrative demonstrates the bifurcated aspects of to be realized situation: complicated, full of twists, lies, and false assumptions. Trials that ensue for Glenthorn will bring about plenty of pain but ultimately lead to an opportunity for growth. Glenthorn takes possession of his inheritance at twenty one years old having lost both his parents early in his life. His mother died shortly after giving birth, and his father n fact, have the capacity to benefited from that anyway; it is the true born Lord Glenthorn, who was raised as d benefit, and thus the major plot twist is exposed through the one character who through a combination of
53 birth and socialization speaks with two voices and two accents (145). The heir, wi thout his mother, was evidently a bit of a weak child, and to add to that difficulty, he was dropped on his head by a drunken Dublin servant who was subsequently relieved of her duties. Because of this incident, the father decides to send his young son off to the seashore, with Ellinor as his nurse, in order for the bab y to recuperate. Ellinor thus Lord Glenthorn for the truth of two baby boys and one Irish nurse to finally come out: father] would be if he had such a fine babby as you, dear; and you was a fine babby to be sure: and then I thought how happy it would be for you, if you was in the place of the little lord: and then it came into my head, just like a shot, where would be t he harm to change you? for I thought the real lord would surely die; and then, what a gain it would be to all, if it was never known, and if the dead child was carried to the grace, since it must go (274) Ellinor reveals, then, that a fine baby was needed and she just happened to have as readers we realize the careful consideratio n that accompanies this deceiving action ( 275). The situation intensifies decision to change the babies, however, because the original heir to the Glenthorn estate really does recuperate, and so there are two babies as healthy as c an be who now both have t ies to the aristocratic family lord did not die as I thought; and it was a wonder but he did, for you never saw none so for life to go on as it does shift because no o
54 makes his claim to the title Earl of Glenthorn (275). But what this confuses within the narrative is a fantastic array of assumptions, established norms, assumed roles, and the legitimization of identity and authority. ruler who does not rule, a leader who does not lead, and a manager who does not manage. His pathological inaction, his self diagnosed ennui, melancholy, boredom, gluttony, and self destructive behaviors help expose the ruling elite. Therefore, Edgeworth uses Glenthorn to satirize the effete, ineffectual pattern of behavior she finds reprehe nsible within the landed gentry, especially as related to absentee landlords of intera ctions and behavior fluctuate as he remains completely uncommitted to anything or any principle other than his pursuit of pleasure. Upon discovering the true circumstances of his lowly birth, the former lord, who had his wants and desires satisfied as if by magic, takes up a working class life and finds himself confronted with frighteningly complex matters: tea, sugar, butter, blankets, sheets, and washerwomen, ridiculousness of Glen world matters fixes in our A significant component intersections of love, relationships, and his application of philosophical principles. Love transforms Glenthorn because it awakens his buried humanity: eliciting feelings,
55 emotions, desires, and dreams. For Glenthorn, female companionship begins unromantically in the form of a contractual marriage, and then he experiences a romance devoid of love that never leads to a marriage, but finally he encounters courtship, romance, and a union that embodies romant ic, sentimental love. To reinforce started at the sight of me as if she had beheld a ghost: the maid screamed, and ran to a door at the farther end of the is a bit piqued when he finds out that she inten ds to run away with her lover (162). Round one for Glenthorn yields no joy, happiness, progeny, or prospects. The marriage, never consummated, ends in disgraceful divorce. After some time passes from his dissolved marriage, and once he is firmly establis hed at his Irish estate, Glenthorn feels the spark of passion in the presence of an engaging young woman. Glenthorn finds himself caught up in romantic impulses for Lady Geraldine that come to a head as they are locked up in the temple on the property of Ormsby Villa. These affections and passions remain unrequited, however, as Lady Geraldine is really in love with another, though her family remains opposed to her choice. In order to help Lord Glenthorn see the folly of his declarations of love, Lady Gera ldine tells him to jump out of a window and then go around and unlock the temple. g
56 others (237). Lord Glenthorn, who hardly understands himself, just cannot get it right, yet, and his mishaps reinforce the tough road Glenthorn has ahead of him on the path to maturity and legitimacy. When true love does strike, it happens on Irish soil, with a good Irish lady, and calls attention to the Anglo Irish unionized political climate. As a synecdoche for national politics, this now typical plot line of the domestic union that solidifies identity and destiny wa predominant notion of practical decisions and relationships between the English and Irish societies. Finally, Glenthorn does get it rig ht, and as he does he reinforces how situation can be read as an allegory for national and political ambitions and realities. He ears, when I was rich, and could have married easily, I never wished to marry, and now that I have not enough to support a wife, I narrative trick involves us all as we can easily nod our heads in agreement, recognize the truth of this paradox, and understand the implications of contradictory needs and desires inherent in this narrative utterance. Glenthorn finds himself drawn to Cecilia Delamere, and his desire for her companionship lures him out of his dissipated lifestyle. For love, he becomes active, productive, and engaged in educating himself and working towards a brand new life of
57 i him from a man who failed at taking care of himself or performing the simplest of daily tasks into a man who is ready to provide for Cecilia He has confidence in hi mself and The mixtures and ambiguities continue with the domestic union of the would be Glenthorn Gle foster brother, the real heir to the Glenthorn estate, destroys the big house (his son candle burns the whole house down and kills Jason in the process) he writes a letter to Glenthorn and tells him that Cecilia is the heir in law to the estate and that he abdicates it. As the Delamere family lawfully takes over the estate, Glenthorn as a D elamere has married back into the big house. This romance plot becomes entwined with something more akin to a family saga while also drawing on the great power of the gothic death and destruction within the domestic space. Keeping all of these internally Ennui ends with Glenthorn telling, from his own point of view, that he had been Dunci a d and brings in the posited discourse that illuminates the sadly ineffectual Lord
58 Glenthorn who falls in status but finally becomes the rightful lord of the Glenthorn estate by marriage to Cecilia Delamere. Birth, rank, class, love, romance, marriage, and d eath Ennui 286 ). All of this mixture of absurdity and sense comes down to two emblematic scenes of fundamental relationships between the signifier and the signified. Lord Gl enthorn, who at this moment in the narrative has renounced his title and his name as the true And when he arrives in Dublin to start this new life as a common man, he exp eriences confusion over how to behave, but his greatest moment of cognitive dissonance occurs when he reads his name on the post delivered by his landlady. Recognizing the name on the official correspondence as signifying him, he must face the reality of his altered state and the disconnect between what he thought to be true and what is true. It is Glenthorn repeats the name on his letters out loud and in front of her, w hich makes him emblematic of the disruptive nature of living in a period when identities are in flux. nd poignant moment when he signs his name to a personal letter. After completing the letter, ecollected, that as my history could not yet be public, Lord Y --(294). This is the extra literary discourse of politics demonstrating the allegory of
59 of Union and the distance between England and Ireland. In this heteroglossic development, then, Edgeworth fiction, the schismatic nature of modern Irishness, and the p roblem this represents for pulls away the foundations of hitherto uncomplicated identities (649). At some level, 49). The Anglo Irish gentry of Castle Rackrent and Ennui flirt with the possible negation of their ruling rights and authority. As these contradictions meet in these first two narratives, the available continuity offered up comes in the form of new gover nance, more native than colonizing, that (Bakhtin 331). Ennui the ideological position of the author amid the heteroglossia political ideology and her clas s status ( Bakhtin 300). Edgeworth seems to hold the attitud e that the system must continue in other words she reifies the male dominated hereditary system of authority and c ontrol over family and country but this wish for perpetuation comes through a cir cuitous and destabilizing path. As we move to an
60 The Absentee for the social and cultural recuperation available in an enlightened Anglo Irish male hero leading the way, this effort for stabilization still shows the cracks in the system. And in the last Irish novel, Ormond while the structure of the Bildungsroman and the testing of the hero on his way to sound governance multivocal identities and experiences embodied in the amalgamation of the titular character. In The Absentee and Ormond then, readers glimpse an artistic style that actively conjugates the traditions Edgeworth might desire to hold on to with the forces of modernization she is prescient enough to recognize. The Absentee Castle Rackrent illustrated how Ireland could destroy itself by the lack of responsibility of those in charge, The Absentee emphasized how things could be The Absentee announces its focus at first glance. Edgeworth intends to tackle the ills of absentee landlordism, the abuses of out of sight and out of mind property managers, and the deplorable mockery The Absentee reinforces this single prescriptive: to provide an unambiguous message to Anglo Irish land lords on the necessity of their presence and advice on how to run their estates for the greater good
61 one male character and his path to estate governance; this time it is Lord Colambre, the heir to the Clonbrony and Colambre estates. The Absentee is a mixture that is now a familiar refrain echoing from the Ennui ( Ennui 170). Embedded within typical characters and conflicts in T he Absentee we find mimicry, sarcasm, exaggeration, and finally truth. Employing the classic journey and B ildungsroman story structure, The Absentee things that are easy to laugh at such as and discovery, provides the reader with the key to the biting comedy and truth about the nature of the cultural exchange between the English, Irish, and Anglo Irish in this novel. Her manipulations of truth and her devious designs to control the unsuspecting and nave pe ople around her demonstrate th e embedded political nature of the social reality T he governing authorities representing England, Anglo Ireland, and Ireland all compete to be heard above the din of post Union anxieties. Edgeworth is putting on display the anxiety of influence in the ch aracter of Lady Dashfort. this exchange between England and Ireland, represented by her marriageable English lligence, power, and manipulations might be read as admirable and inspiring. In a strict adherence to the Anglo Irish point of view on life and governance in Ireland, this is the per fect union England and Ireland married and reproducing the status quo. I f Lady Dashfort
62 purveyor of the truth and the progress that Edgeworth desires, but she does not and Edgeworth vilifies her. As Lady Dashfort twists the truth for her gain, s he becomes the most d egraded figure in the narrative. So while on one level Lady Dashfort delivers a misreading of Ireland through the voice of a hateful and vengeful foreigner, she is also what Bakhtin calls the rogue liar wh liars (Bakhtin 404) Lady those who try to hide from the systemic forces that perpetuate their existence. She speaks for countless Anglo Irish people who might not articulate such ugly truths, but they have similar motives and are in similar situations as Lady Dashfort. Therefore, even though provide an important subtext about pragmatism and her ill fated designs against Ireland represent a crack in the faade of Anglo Irish ac culturation in Irish society. In fact, truth as it is set against the negotiate a complex combination of truths and lies which becomes a n important Anglo Lady Dashfort serves as a test for Colambre and reinforces his need to learn how to navigate and journey to adulthood and The Absentee 100). She proves her skill through the easy laughter she produces in her
63 listeners and the admiration she receives from those who keep company with her. So not only is she a rogue whose lies betray the ugly truth of her society, she is also the maliciously distort languages that are who intervenes and stifles laughter when his convictions are violated (100). For example, personal, he became serious, or at least endeavoured to become serious; and if he could not instant towards how we do act versus how we know we should act and the uncomfortable psychological turmoil that this divide creates. Colambre is divided; he is susceptible to the manipulations of Lady Dashfort, an amoral sensual being who reveals the socio ideological hypocr isies of all who hold power, but who also shows prudence in the face of difficult challenges. The full development of Lady Dashfort makes her the woman we love to hate. As a character that combines instincts and emotional reactions with careful designs and cleverness transforms those who object to her; they feel antipathy toward her at first, like some people dislike olives but then they grow to wanting olives at all dinners as
64 Lady Dashfort herself explains her strange charm (Edgeworth The Absentee 97). This might be innocuous enough with olives, but her charismatic appeal is villainous. She becomes a villain by making others appear foolish an d by her self proclaimed intention these fools into. Hear the nonsense I can m be used wisely and for the betterment o f her countrymen (96). does not actually dismiss the traditional authority figures associated with Anglo Irish rule in Ireland, even though she makes them absurd Lady Dashfort is especially absurd because only a manipulated ma T h e heteroglos sia embedded within the narrative, however, rev eals the many voices that have a stake in this complex social and political climate authority is subtle rather than overtly r evolutionary. and her selfish intentions doom her to harsh scorn from the national discourse delivered through Colambre and his friends. moments o f realization and revelation: if we condemn Lady Dashfort, we condemn ourselves. And if we laugh at her and her antics, we feel the sting of our own piercing the hetero glossic impulse into the narrative in a disruptive way. Her disruption comes with its contradictory opposite, however as her own motives are mixed and weigh
65 heavily toward an evil bigotry that abus es peo ple and slights a whole country T he narrative con tains her and dismisses her from the future that is envisioned We learn of ns from the quasi direct discourse, which was her settled purpose to make the Irish and Ireland ridiculous and contemptible to Lord thinking represents a set of beliefs common to Helen Zimmern a c ontemporary of Edgeworth reminds us that name of Irishman had been regarded in England as a term of reproach, and they figured as buffoons in all the novels and plays of the period. It was Miss Edgeworth who first came to the rescue of her countrymen, and she did this by no exaggerated praises, but After Lady duplicity is revealed the narra tive repetition of her rudeness function to highlight the absurdity of her a ristocratic class This ideological warfare among characters that represent ideas of home, country, industry, and morality is played out in the novel to give voice to Irish aristocracy Lady Dashfort carries on her wish of residing on his own estate. To confirm him an absentee was her object, sh ift into her concern for her daughter, Lady Dashfort immediately assumes the symbolic function of the class conscious, political strawman Edgeworth needs in order to advance her antidefamation principles. Knowing that the typical English mind perceives se ttling in Ireland as an inadequate though sometimes necessary second
66 best option, Edgeworth reinforces the ridiculousness of this perception with Lady Da sh to get an Irish pee r for her; but would be very sorry, she said, to see Isabel banished to get quasi direct discourse of commentary calls attention to these unfounded, biased and inappropr iate judgments skill. Why is Lady Dashfort so powerful? Her special powers raise her to the level of a force to be reckoned with and to produce them as examples, as precedents, from which to conde mn whole Dashfort does not escape ridicule or reprobation, however, even though she remains immune to it as an influence for change in her behavior. Lady Dashfort herself c alls rough The contradiction embedded in this single utterance strikes the reader and the count and des ire to have others laugh at Ireland and those deemed inferior on the Dashfort importance scale
67 the final judgment we are asked to maintain as readers of this politically c harged (119). This conflict riddled lad y must suffer once more and the source of her suffering is critique of all that she stands for. Once Colambre becomes respect he formerly paid h er and her daughter. His judgment moves him to feel reveals The complexity of Lady Da s hfort and all she represents will not be sewn up with that final jud gment, however, as she speaks again on her own behalf and speaks a searing truth about the general condition of women and the reality of their could moralise as well as y ou, if I did not prefer to laughing you are right enough; and so am I, and so is Isabel; we are all right. For look here: women have not always the preoccupation with more than just the national politics and Anglo Irish cultural relations. Within The Abs entee Edgeworth has the space and she shows the sophistication to tackle the social and poli tical issues which she witnessed around her, and she becomes a bit more cosmopolitan and in touch with the concerns of her time.
68 While The Absentee follows the ty pical Edgeworth narrative model of a focused exposition of either one or a series of male heirs the women in this third Irish novel certainly maintain prominence as they define characters and situations, and represent a symbolic and real control over dest inies and decisions. Colambre falls into this pattern as he buffets back and forth between Lady Dashfort and his mother Lady Clonbrony on characteristic is ridiculousness, b ut she represents a fruitful caricature of the dilemma for Colambre. As much as lady Clonbrony apes London fashion and attempts to establish herself within the ranks of the elite set of socialites, she proves to be pieces or parts rather than a whole bein g. Ireland and losing a sense of connectedness to heritage, family ties, and rightful place. com bination that reads wrong at every turn; she is the fool, in a Bakhtinian sense who of place and more than slightly off the mark of fashion trends, she goes through her life which on the contrary, simply works to exacerbate her misfit presenc e through her outlandish interpretation of English tone, accent, and delivery. Others mock her, mimic her, shun her, and simply degrade her through all of her efforts at assimilation and y reads the disdain her London counterparts have for her; he witnesses painful moments of
69 complete embarrassment for his mother and his family in London. Because his mother y The Absentee 13). Along with the desire to simply laugh off this foolishness and overreaching of his mother, Edgeworth inserts f this social and political reality. This drives the overarching message of the authorial discourse, therefore, that Colambre must get his family back to Ireland, to a home, to the place where they can feel they belong. ily to Ireland receives the support of his father would but, as they ought, stay in their own country, live on their own estates, and kill their own mutton, money need nev Ireland and instead simply pines after it in pitiable conversation with his son. The nostalgic reminisce nce s of Lord Cl onbrony for a w orld that no longer exists show the double voiced nature of his utterance and the reality, recognized by Bakhtin, of the shifts in genre and chronotopic trends between the lat e eighteenth and early nineteenth struggle to hold on to that narrative of generations and the im portance of the family novel, the contradictions of the historical realities meet and show through in these powerful mixtures of tradition and change, such as the Clonbrony family represents. Colambre acts, therefore, with the authority of the up and comi ng and rightful heir as he
70 takes it upon himself to visit his homeland, Ireland, and to witness the current state of affairs at his estate lands. house and property blend h is own personal coming of age story with the stylistics of the travel narrative. As Colambre journ ey s through Ireland he witnesses just what Edgeworth needs to report: there is a new Ireland and it is a thriving mix of the structure of the past and the p otential of the future. As a reporter on the current state of affairs in Ireland, the character and friend to Colambre, Sir James Brooks presents a pretty picture of post Sir Ja agreeable nature of this mixture has, according to Sir James, infiltrated the very foundations upon which the social and political interactions, expectations, and realities exist. Edgeworth utilitarian and progressively minded voice comes through here in the improved a perception that higher distinction can now be obtained in almost all one of her favorite themes of education and enlightened individuals making a better societ y for all. old Anglo Irish ways of abandoning responsibilities and allowing corruption to flourish. Nick the bad agent at Castle Clonbrony ressing
71 take place in the office, Nick mixes official duty and private spaces; this reflects how he runs the estate, to suit his purposes. He defiles what is proper an d fails to uphold the s instance is the throwing of dirty many offenses taking place in this convoluted scene. Therefore, the kind of mixture demonstrated here represents the most negative o f cases for Edgeworth where a results in social, economic, and cultural decay for her dear home country, in and around Colambre town, where M r. Burke is the agent in charge, things are mixed up in the best ways possible within the country folks themselves and between Protestant and Catholic. Here Colambre witnesses the joys of rom the same books, ecumenism and cooperation stands as a stark contrast to the Clonbrony estate affairs and the bad agency of the unsupervised and ill willed. This is the optimis tic Edgeworth who supports a union of disparate communities for the greater good. Where these contradictory examples of estates meet, then, the only plausible way forward in English and Irish, but Anglo Irish and Irish. The conditions of the Anglo Irish estate under discussion in this narrative must be improved, and even the locals know it. Clonbrony Castle is decried as a place with
72 er sin gle utterance contains a double voiced criticism of those who abandon their duties. The narrative commentary in this heteroglossic moment extends to what is happening to this family, this land, this estate, and ultimately what is happening to Ireland when those charged with its care fail in their duties. Lord Colambre finds himself ready to correct this and comes prepared for the task through the salutary mixture of his two worlds: his Irish and his English self. For Edgeworth, Colambre represents a com bination that draws on the best of everything This yoking together of the opposites as c ountry specific traits is part of what Deane (19). works for Ireland, her portrayal of a double accented and double voiced family heir instead, I would argue, shows her internally dialogized socio ideological stance as an author. She stands committed to the juncture of Anglo Irish as these contradictions meet and therefore does not crea te a normalized vision for Ireland or a normalized Anglo Irish hero. While reveals itself to some extent in these identifying categories in fact Colambre is clearly not a
73 normal son of an Anglo Iris h family since he stands as a singular representation of the reform efforts Edgeworth sees as lacking and wanting in her homeland, her Ireland. It is therefore Colambre who finds the resolution for his family and for this narrative through the restoration of proper behavior for a country with unionized and connected aims and missions. Colambre pleads with his mother who has rejected Ireland and attempted to adopt the cosmopolitan life of a Londoner but has, however, accrued failure, much embarrassment, and eloquently and with passion as he delivers this persuasive address to his mother: No; give them again to expand in benevolent, in kind, useful a ctions; give him again to his tenantry, his duties, his country, his home; return to that home yourself, dear mother! leave all the nonsense of high life scorn the impertinence of these dictators of fashion, who, in return for all the pains we take to imit ate, to court them in return for the sacrifice of health, fortune, peace of mind bestow From here, this family can find their way through their own mimicry of leaders and of the good moral authority that ke eps things right. A family in its rightful place needs to approach its land and personal governance with care. The theory being reinforced here at the end of The Absentee Ireland includes both criti Edgeworth leaves The Absentee (Wohlgemut 652). Instead of mimicking the London elite, the Clonbronys need to go home and mimic the hard working, dedicated, prudent, Anglo Irish landlords and custodians of an ever changing and exciting, unified Ireland
74 Ormond Ormond, Castle Rackrent was p ublished in 1800 and the almost two deca des in between these two publications was a time of both political and social upheaval in Ireland These years are the ca talyst for reform movements and agitation s occurring after the events of the novel This extra literary and historical subtext for the development of the young Ormond in the novel parallels Ireland insight into t his emerging social and political reality. Ormond is a narrative remarkable for its attempt to work out the vagaries of a country, a people, and a situation in flux. While connected to the earlier Irish works, Ormond innovative than Castle Rackrent less fantastic than Ennui less didactic than The Absentee Ormond addressing her concerns about the place of histor Claire Connolly introduces Ormond growth as an author (xvi). The intense focus and b road range of Ormond help to create between location layering mythical, topographical, literary and day critics reflect on the sophistication Edgeworth acquired and to applaud her greater complexity, it is also interesting to witness a nostalgic biographer contemporary with Edgeworth who map s Ormond Helen Zimmern remarks that with Ormond geworth is at her ease and at her abandon
75 trying to write herself into the nineteenth century as one who helped further the mission of all her countrymen for her fellow Irish residents, native and imperial alike. In Ormond this Bildungsroman narrative presents a tempered account of a hero so Ormond 32). Working within the parameters of a coming of age narrative style, Edgeworth gives us our lesson here: be good, industrious, and a quick study narrative, however, makes the possibility of this imi tation that she hopes her fellow Anglo personal growth and betterment qualify as something that can be imitated and modeled, uniquely crafted for the purposes of this story telling. So while the generic quality of Ormond reflects the common storyline of a plucky boy finding his way in the world through adventures and challenges, this text can also be seen as an act of writing t hat exposes the complexity of identity instead of establishing a false coherence of Anglo Irish subjectivity. Ormond at a salutary Irish text exposes the concerns and works on soluti ons for the contradictions that remain constant through the first two decades of the nineteenth century. Of early nineteenth century and the stark reality that approxim ately two hundred years later, there is still no resolution of the conflict between England and Ireland The many her narratives reinforce the ever present anxieties f or commoners and the elite alike. She chronicles, then, the many fluctuations felt by a colonial entity within the British
76 Empire while accepting and fighting against this assigned role. Just as Castle Rackrent chronicles the eventual demise of the rulin g family, so, too, does Ormond Just as Ennui confuses birth and rank but recuperates social order through love and a foundation of a strong and good family, so, too, does Ormond And, just as The Absentee roperty to the care of others substance, so, too, does Ormond Harry Ormond also represents the philosophical debate over the benefits of a cosmopolitan lifestyle and a desi re to stay in Ireland, the home country. The repetition of this phrase, home country, within the narrative and from Harry Ormond specifically, helps him overcome his le ss than ideal start in the world. As Clair Connolly Ormond something of a distillation of earlier developments: it plots the journey of a protagonist who is born with nothing towar ds property and happiness in a world where blood lines structure of the idyllic, provincial chronotope emphasizes the didactic aims of the coming of age story embedded wit experiences in his development into a gentleman, a land owner, and a husband to the daughter of a fine, socially establish ed and morally solid Anglo Irish family ( Ormond 32). This novel remains a much more character centered and psychological novel than Ormond
77 are not the dominant element in the w ork; rather, they are articulated uncomfortably, Our hero, then, must be malleable and fixed all at the same time: open to new ideas and adventures but steadfast in his desire for the improvement of himself and his countr y. This is made possible in part from his mixed nature and qualities. The narrative presents Ormond as distinct from but akin to each man of power and authority, con and continue s to serve the didactic and far (Hagemann 272). Ormond through his growth and development into a representative of Ire negotiate a multidimensional puzzle as to the appropriate courses of behavior advocated by the novel a negotiation that mirrors the acts of adjustment and re adjustment engaged in by those living in ear ly nineteenth century Ireland and looking to competing histories and utopias for justification (Cosgrove 63). with the multi layered discourses of history and potential futures Thus, through s many heteroglossic speech acts and embodiments of recognizable social and political prototypes, his double style within this text. In this search for utopia and a history upon which to base the future of Ireland, the These two grotesque and outlandish characters set Ormond in relief. One, from view remains hearted man on
78 gracious man, remains, however, a gout suffering drunkard whose j ovial nature and honest care for his Black Islands and its inhabitants makes him admirable at large, but a bit of a clown upon close examination. King Corny is very much tied to and associated with his geographic particularity, the Black Islands, and this location represents the remove, isolation, and self reliant nature of this old time nativ e member of the Catholic royalty The other outlandish character present to help form Ormond and determine his oils his dear Harry Ormond and is even said to prefer Harry to his own son Marcus, that is, until the family estate and to his son and personal gains. Sir Ulick move schemer purposes for pleasure and profit (25). T hese two archetypal characters embody ridiculousness in one way or another but recognizing t heir abuses of themselves and others, their slippery slope of moral turpitude, and their eventual, untimely, hideous deaths reinforces the tragicomic axis of this narrative and the difficulty Edgeworth has in dealing with the contradictory impulses surroun ding tradition and change. Within Ormond Edgeworth introduces this new yet coalesced and rank and moral authority in this narrative, we find the one character that can assemble himself through all of these warring factions and embody the contradictions for a
79 progressive future. This one character, then, becomes emblematic of this novel which Irish (meaning Irish resident) men and women over the two centuries that began with Ormond as an amalgam of a gothic past and the hope of a tempered future represents Edg ideal for Ireland: this is what we need for a sustainable country and for the good people of Ireland. For further definition through comparison, Harry Ormond also stands tall among his contemporar ie s and White Connal, and the good Annaly family heir Herb ert Annaly all help to define Ormond. Even though they are much more socially elite, all four of these landed gentlemen pale in comparison to Ormond as he bests them on various fronts. In contrast to White Connal, who is all show and no substance, Ormon d proves that having the right props does not make an accomplished aristocrat. While White Connal has the horses, guns, and trappings of a country gentleman, he has no knowledge, skill, or understanding of how to use them or reap the benefits of them. Thu s, White Connal meets his demise through his own lack of integrity. In contrast to the other twin Black Connal, Ormond demonstrates the good trait of loyalty and fidelity to his home country. Black Connal has decided to forgo his rightful place and his family land in Ireland for the vapid life of cosmopolitan Paris. Abandoning duty for pleasure represents the worst offense for Edgeworth who sees a commitment to place as the highest virtue and the great est reward for the deserving.
80 The one contemporary provides an immediate and long Marcus is nothing but trouble and always getting himself into either deadly or merely unlawful predicaments. Of course t his is not surprising because Marcus is the offspring of the scheming and morally corrupt Sir Ulick. Marcus consistently demonstrates abuses of his own power, mismanagement of money, rudeness, and a lassitude that indicates he lacks the drive and determin ation to manage his property or govern himself, much less anyone else. While Herbert Annaly stands as the paragon of morality and inveterate goodness, he rema ins weak bodied. As the heir of an industrious, well balanced family with a strong, smart, and so cially aware matriarch L ady Annaly, Herbert has all the promise of a good leader. His promise is undermined, however, by his lack of strength His health is precarious his whole life, and he dies at a very young age from the sudden bursting of a blood v essel His body literally explodes and exposes his weakness according to up from the land and having set his path through his own determination. The Annaly family repr esents those Protestant families common at the time that spent most of the year in England and perhaps just the summers in Ireland; for Ireland to have a Perhaps what makes these foils most interesting is their interconnectedness to what does exist in Ormond, both in his best self and his flawed self. He shares the desire for material wealth and prosperity with Marcus and the Connal twins; he also shares his hot temper his passions, and his getting into trouble with these three as well.
81 most noticeably with Black Connal in their Paris adventures. And, for the best of him, Ormond sh ares his desire for improvement, a happy homeland, and good stewardship with Herbert Annaly. Harry Ormond can offer a bridge between the old and new order and completes that union with a romance and a love match with a socially elite, but kind and morall y motivated, Anglo mixture of his surroundings that it takes a little bit of everything to live strong and ugh, unrefined, and adventurous which leads to an unlucky and early death, or too corrupt, dissipated, and scheming, which then leads to disgrace or an early death. Among the up and coming in the ruling class, and the future leaders of estates and househo lds, Ormond still bests those who would appear better than him socially. The one example of fine morals, moderate living, and beneficial governance, Herbert Annaly turns out to be born too weak to carry on the lineage of authority. From the field of his f riends and rivals, Ormond shines as more kind ridden estate, more capable than White Connal, who is all show and no substance, more loyal than Black Connal, who has given up his country for the pleasures of Paris, and lastly more robust than Herbert Annaly T he philosophy Edgeworth promotes in this novel is that personal and national improvement and success come from hard work and good moral guidance. While educati
82 represents a singular existence (10). His father has left him for the life of an officer in g between the good people of the land and the genteel family within the big house. He i s also, therefore, offered guidance by L ady Annaly meets Ormond in his late adolescence at a time when he needs good counsel and a strong moral compass. Lady Annaly embodies an undiluted Protestant Enlightenment ideal of education, self improvement, and self reliance, and as such she leads the an intere st in Ormond for his own refinement and betterment (31). With this advice and strict adherence to the ideal, Lady Annaly becomes a function of the narrative more than a true to v is the protagonist moral mentoring and the reinforcement of legality without being therefore, is not country specific, but philosophically based upon the universal principles Edgeworth promotes most advantageously. Because of this spark from lady Annaly and what he witnesses around him, including King Cory, Sir Ulick, and Marcus, Ormond realizes that he wishes to distinguish himself in the world and not just be a part of i t and not just float from one at this time he tests his merit and seeks to find his way to a satisfying future. Ormond is related to the outreach of Empire
83 India, a mahogany girl, rict interpretation of this relationship as an therefore uses this monetary windfall to f himself in an aristocratic society, Ormond takes off to the continent and joins King in Paris. Gaining a tremendous sophistication of knowledge and experience while in France, Ormond can now embody the intersection of not only Empire as defined politically at the time, but also the broad interconnectivity of Europe and Asia. Ormond prof and integrates what he gains from these privileges and from the exposure to equally privileged acquaintances into his own betterment. Ormond, thus, represents the Maria Edgeworth 380). His growth, change, and experience of new adventures merely add to his appreciation for his roots, however, as he bay of Dublin to all he then saw on the banks Ormond 242). By remaining appreciative but fundamentally unaltered by France and the influence of French society, Ormond proves his worth as an Irishman. actions in France will be the perfect stage for the exposure of the dislocated, yet carefully constructed, self. During his movement
84 out of the comfort zone of Ireland and into the fashionable and intellectual scenes of Paris in the midst of great excess, Englishman, and one adapted to a Parisian life. This reveals how he is accepted and cared for but always painfully something other and not quite right. Upon arriving in France, the Connals (Dora, King Cor accept and welcome Ormond into their home, but Black Connal has much to offer in the way of advice and improvements. In order to e ffect many superficial adjustments of nal makes rapid work of offering up his offers, still, Black Connal reinforces the provincial nature of a young man from the remote and isolated parts of Ireland where they both originated (239). Ormond seems to want to be the author of his own adjustments, and we learn of blended nature. As though from his own voice, though embedded in a straight narrative of the third person awkwardness a little, before he should be presented to Mad. d e Connal, or appear in Connal, but the narrative moment is much more ambiguous. So instead there is just this subtle hint that Ormond is a bit self conscious, that he and the narrator are still unsure whether or not Ormond is Irish or English, but certainly all are agreed that he is
85 Le bel Anglois raillery, yet with a look that showed she felt it to be just, Mad de Connal first adopted the appellation, and then changed the mon bel Irlandois Mademoiselle certain about what to expect someone befitting the old, maiden aunt personage, but In what is to be a common interconnection between France and Ireland reiterated ch and half Irish born in France, she was the daughter of an officer of the Irish brigade and of a French lady of good tones, and language, there was a striking mixture or rapid succession of French and Irish. the moment she attempted to speak English, which she spoke with an inveterate brogue, her ideas, manner, air, voice, and gestures were Irish; she looked and mo wonder why she is eloquent in French and vulgar in English, and why her Irishwoman
86 ways impart vulgarity to her observers. What remains equally telling about this the assurance that her Irishness never leaves her. Her connection with Ireland thus appears inevitable and at the ready A s soon as she steps into an English/Irish situation and judgment. We laugh at her e xaggerated vulgarity and wince at the indication that it is uniquely Irish and arises out of her experiences with the English language. B efore her arrival, King Corny tells Ormond it is better to w to fight her. King Corny becomes resolute that he will try to be as gracious as possible when dealing with s in his most comical character practice to give her her swing and is such that King Corny finds himself overwhelmed by her improving designs and machinations for many alterations of architecture and aesthetics at the castle. With the remoteness of Corny Castle an d the Black Islands, and with the many reiterations of this land as a place removed from modernization and decorative manipulation, Miss remoteness and rudimentary qualit y of Corny Castle and the Black Islands Outsiders would conclude that Ireland needs some attention too T his also works to reveal how fashioned and seem to belong to the early to mid seventeenth century, when Ireland and especially Munster was also the homeland of projectors, inventors, [and] plantation So perhaps some improving might be in order, but the headstrong Mi mission of impossible t asks. The tasks are to King Corny a bit of a joke, as he calls
87 shall be done; and if it is impossible, it must be challenges that cred o with his comical and nonsensical bon mot The laughing and the pleasantries come to a halt, however, when King Corny finally reaches his height of frustration and feels overwhelmed in his own castle. Miss cordiality and helpfuln ess and breach into an aggressiveness so many innovations, that Corny, seeing the labour and ingenuity of his life in danger of being at once destroyed, made a su Corny reveals his disease with a wonderfully graphic, articulate, and clever illustration of the turmoil this upheaval causes you are making it Castle Topsy (76). The circus like invocation and the impression of the chaos that comes out of the an aging, out of pla ce aristocrat trying to hold on to his power and authority. When we sensitivity to his situation and his awareness of the reality of a comfortable but unimpressive home (76 ). Therefore, Corny, who is usua lly the clown himself, exposes the double demanding that his wishes be foll owed, Corny reestablishes the social dynamic and comfortable physical surroundings he desires. His attempts at allowing improvements
88 or changes, and the obvious ways he and his palace needed them, however, are part of the march forward to a newly imagined Ireland. Ormond tells us that it is in the best interest of all to accept the variations that exist and to embrace the mixed up nature of the social ich while not always about direct equality of classes is about general access to education and molding good leaders for Ireland. Of utmost importance for Edgeworth, and reinforced f Ireland to be productive and to contribute to the betterment of the world. Claire Connolly reads this Enlightenment categories as education, property and the individ the first and demonstrates with the passage of time Maria Edgeworth only deepened olution in Ormond therefore, is not unlike the solutions she sought in all of her Irish narratives: good governance, good stewardship, good awareness, good fellowship between Irish and English and this in between rank of Anglo Irish, always in flux, const antly morphing out of good beginnings, bad beginnings, good endings, and bad endings. As Frances Botkin comments specifically on Castle Rackrent a Irish novels, these Irish works the Irish poor as well as a censure of Anglo Irish neglect, attesting to her belief that Irish and Anglo Irish alike owe it to themselves and to
89 and certainly there are instances which prove her anxiousness over anything that is whole story, though, 1 Here, Marilyn Butler is summarizing some of the most important postcolonial Irish studies literary critics. Dunne and Iaian Topliss, who between them have wr itten most of the best recent Edgeworth criticism, have all at different times concluded, with different kinds of emphasis, that she positions herself behind tation published in 2001. Butler remains convinced that Edgeworth works and sees outside of the Big House: limited to nationalism, that prove her much more expressively committed than has hitherto appeared to the history, language, culture, and future of Irish English, Case of Castle Rackrent the Edgeworths (Maria and her father Richard) understand the complexity of the Anglo Irish position as 2 Nationalism: Castle Rackrent and Anglo Novel (Winter 1996): 145 164], takes a look at the complex structure of the narrative, author, and narrator dynamic: In Castle Rackrent Irish estate manager learns to mimic an Irish servant and then writes a tale in ultimately a controlling mechanism for Edgeworth and as an extension of her subjectivity and not that of other than but it is rather a version of See, also, Marilyn Butler, who argues that the opening pages of Castle Rackrent s an act of mimicry the voice of Thady works on a number of levels, an idiolect influenced not only by linguistic factors such as Ormond archaeological eighteenth century Ireland. Whatever the topic, the language also says that native and settler, colon and colonise as a messenger of political and social critique, more than just a comic relief or wholly colonized figu re:
90 as history, both for its detail based on fact and for its cooly detached commentary on seventeenth century From Mary Jean Corbett, we again see the postcolonial read ing of Thady and his position that she sees Edgeworth's narrator, Thady Quirk, is rather l ess knowing than he realizes about the full implications of the tale he tells. But it is also, in Suvendrini Perera's words, "the first significant English novel to speak in the voice of the colonized,"(1) and the conjunction among these classificatory cat egories regional novel, ironic comedy, and colonial tale -is no mere coincidence: its Irish narrator and its Irish setting are what give Castle Rackrent an ironic be, then they are sorely mistaken. Thady is the epitome of that literary device, the unreliable narrator, Connected to this structural evaluation and the importance of the constructedness of this voice of t he syntax to it that conveys the special nature of it, but Edgeworth avoids the misspellings and physical 3 Mary Jean Corbett maps a strict postcolonial reading onto Castle Rackrent as a whole and thus concludes that these moments of laughter are not disruptions but an effort to secure authority and power the extent that we persist in seeing them as beneath or below us. And this ironic distance is not only a literary device, but also a political one, which works to construct and secure the superiority of the domestic English rea ). While my reading of the laughter produced and the disruptive moments within the text co ntradicts this strict reading of the top down authority model, as an island that was conquered and contained. The laughter, my argument contends, however, is directed 4 The Jewish lady Rackrent receives much critical attention, too, a s she represents a nexus of criticism Corbett adds to this discussion in her analysis from a postcolonial context. Corbett reflects on the complex relations positions: each could function as a mirror for the other, but neither registers any likeness between their situations. The linguistically deficient native other sees no similarity between himself and "the Jewish," derives he r sense of superiority to Thady from her class position and her place as his mistress, but her racial otherness, from English and Irish alike, makes her, in a way Thady's other masters and mistresses are not, as subject to his condescension as he is to her s. Caught as they are in a hierarchy of the other's otherness as inferiority, failing to perceive their own subordination to English patriarchal r ule For a more general and substantitive discussion of Edgeworth and her treatment of Jews, see Judith W. Harrington (1817): Jews, Storytelling, and the Challenge of M oral
91 Imperfect Sympathies: Jews and Judaism in British Romantic Literature and Culture New York: Palgrave, 2004 133 158.
92 CHAPTER 3 NARRATIVES NEGOTIATING DEMISE: SOMERVILLE AND ROSS for the writing of Somerville and Ross in some quarters in Ireland is like admitting to a secret vice, and because their reputation in England has gone adrift somewhere in the Irish Channel since the separation of Britain and Ireland, they have fallen int o a deep freeze between two cold shoulder s. -Gifford Lewis, Edith Somerville (1) From the start of their collaborative efforts in the late 1880s, cousins Edith Somerville and Violet Martin (pseudonym Martin Ross) enjoyed their literary successes and their active social lives together. Through the narratives of An Irish Cousin (1889), Some Experiences of an Irish R. M. (1899), The Real Charlotte (1894), an d The Big House of Inver (1925) Somerville and Ro ss revisit the Gothic, the adventure novel, the family saga, and the romance genres. Th ese narratives contain a fluidity illustrative of novel, and these narrat ives work also to reveal the living nature of these authors as they are refracted through the languages, the characters, and the ripe mix of tragi comic utterances throughout their narratives. An Irish Cousin An Irish Cousin (Somerville Irish Memories 132). But what Somerville and Ross hoped would be their Irish Memorie s 132). Somerville writes that their new Iris h Memories 132). More precisely, Somerville
93 so secret family secret y of that old that was needed to bring An Irish Cousin production of their first jointly authored publication, Somerville reifies their first ideal of Art rose then for us, far and faint as the half moon, and often, like her, hidden in literary careers. T heir earnest approach to writing complex novels and their dedication to an Ireland they felt driven to portray and honor pervades even their quickly produced, money making sporting stories, travelogues, and recycled collections of stories. The thaw needed to melt away their somewhat still frozen reputation mentioned in the epigraph to this chapter comes through this recognition of their heteroglossic vision for their Irish world. An Irish Cousin owes much to its Anglo Irish literary predecessors. Most not ably, Uncle Silas but Somerville and Ross eliminate the kind of overt d anger seen in Le Fa masterpiece. This is most obvious in the development of the uncles in both stories: whi ward and niece, Maud, in order to secure her fortune, Uncle Dominick in An Irish Cousin appears to be once removed from the murder of his brother as his peasant mistress is
94 the one directly to be limited to helping the murderess dispose of th e body and fix documents, which lead to his falsely inheriting the family estate. dam ning, but having already accomplished what he needed, he holds no further malice for his now orphaned niece who moves into the family home because none of the wealth is tied to her as it is for Maud in Uncle Silas While paralleling many aspects of Uncle Silas through characters and circumstances -the orphaned young woman, plucky heir with little to no gentility or education about him, dilapidated house, and degenerate uncle as the head of the failing family An Irish Cousin shows the negotiations of power and authority that fascinate Somerville and Ross. This narrative borrows from the conventions of the Gothic to speak the language of fright which helps to intensify the currents of tradition and change underscoring this nar rative and the artistic style of Somerville and Ross This novel, then, becomes noticeably dialogized 6). The tonal layers in An Irish Cousin are a result of t he Gothic styling inside the typical drama of the Big House narrative of generations and the refore, the narrative shows frequent humorous eruptions out of the general gloominess. An Irish Cousin bo rrows from the past as it also introduces the contemporary; full of common tropes of nineteenth century fiction such as the orphaned girl, the stifled and inappropriate romances, the madwoman in the attic, and the circulation of secrets and mystery through strangers and sudden insights, An Irish Cousin shows the beginnings
95 An Irish Cousin w structured stylistic system that expresses the differentiated socio ideological position of of An Irish Cousin Theo and her cousin Willy, much of what Somerville and Ross are willing to portray in their expos of the countryside and its inhabitants at the close of the nineteenth century ( An Irish Cousin 72). epoch incorporates the joviality of an outdoor life, adventurous heroines, incre asingly dilapidated Big Houses and Big House families, and a wide scope of characterization; An Irish Cousin contains it all. As the narrator, Theodora Sarsfield presents her journey from her maternal family home in Canada to her paternal family estate in the remote countryside of County Cork through fresh eyes. She sees her homeland as a foreigner might, even though she i s tied to it through blood carries the old world past with her, yet comes from th e new world and must find her way on her own. On the long and cumbersome journey to her family estate, Theo realizes the importance of this new location and its old ways as she narrates the contradictory a person as Theo Sarsfield had ever really existed my past life had slid away from me, and the future I had not yet An Irish Cousin 14). What Theo does find in her present is an unnerving and disorienting entrance into the suffocating exi stence for Anglo Irish families in the Irish
96 and her home is indeterminate, and it remains entirely unclear throughout the narrative whether or not Theo truly does have a grasp on h er destiny. It seems she journeys to the past, to have any future associated with them and therefore this place figures mainly as a world of gloom associated with a lack of potential. Somerville and Ro ss use the typical Gothic chronotope with claustrophobia and cyclical time indicators to create the never ending loop which is part of what seems t o preclude escape or progress for Theo and the Sarsfields. This novelis tic form, then, connects the reader to what Somerville and Ross see an d experience around them toward the end of the nineteenth century as families vacate their ancestral Big Houses and leave them to renters This was the case for ily home, from the time her father died in 1872 until the time her oldest brother and mother decided to open Ross back up in 1888 to reclaim what the estate agent was managing into ruin. It connects to the herculean efforts the Anglo Irish put forth to ca rry on through the crop failures of 1879 1880, and the financial and power shifts as a result of the Land League time of the 1880s. This also speaks to a familiar experience for the Somervilles with the dissipation of the sons of families into emigration or into service for Great Britain and duties abroad as finances necessitated. The Sarsfield family estate of Durrus is under duress. Theo relates that three times in two days possession had been disturbed by a trivial ridden, tension filled unity of two (272). The battle over
97 expectatio natural sense of belonging unnerves her and reflects the historical reality of disturbances and chan ges happening in the familiar landscape of Somerville and state of grandeur mixed with dilapidation, the spectacle of characters surrounding the estate, and the man ners and situations of her relatives. While darkness, madness, fearfulness, and awe are elements typically associated with the haunted house in the Gothic genre, the narrative of An Irish Cousin edded within this Gothic style reveals what Bakhtin claims is a Ir ish Big House narrative (288). and her new living arrangement brings 319). Durrus marks the impression of decline from the start ( An Irish Cousin that remains sturdy but shows a terrible lack of basic upkeep and no attention to the finery one might expect in a country house of the gentry (47). The combi nation of the appreciative term veals the voice of authors with intimate knowledge and dedication to the Big Houses that surround and house
98 them. And, it also brings to life this symbol of hereditary pride gone sour; this is much too well informed to be the voice of the fresh faced orph an from Canada. In this house, expectations over what actually surrounds her, the socio i deological boundaries of this novel. The potential for untidiness surrounding the Big Houses of Somerville and exposed as an inevitable part of the social and political cha nges underfoot. When Theo discovers the housekeeper has used her hairbrush to keep open her residents of the house are making do, curbing the decline which seems to hav e its own volition Theo, through that held in place through all of these contradictory manifestations, like a hairbrush holding up a window. tradictory intentions and she might have said about her decision to put the hairbrush in the window, but the clearly reveals the discourse of propriety and moral authori ty of the genteel class to which the authors and narrator belong.
99 two distinct positionalities reveals what Bakhtin calls the double voiced nature of this discourse ( An Irish Cousin 47, Bakhtin 324). about the property guided by cousin Willy the en to convince their owner otherwise The brief moment of narration by and demonstrates the heteroglossic impulses in their style. This moment reinforces the quick abandonment of the oppressive gloom of the household that Theo is discovering and instead allows a moment of comic relief in through a shift in character speech. The richness of this narrative moment comes out of the juxtaposition of the quick and easy giggles over silly dogs with the poignant wincing back from this implied connection impressio n of impropriety at Durrus. These sudden transferences back and forth from silly to serious reinforce the with the pain of disappointed expectations and the taint o f a sadly unfulfilling hereditary mind, staged and acted by myself with a vast outlay of enthusiasm and hope; now that it was over the enthusiasm had gone as dead as flat champagne, the hope was drowned language of the everyday, in this case, the
100 the particular ambiguities of an Anglo Irish cultural experience, and also provides a projection of the social changes occurring within the nd foreboding Theo announces center on the d, at the end of the story, Uncle Dominick as well. As in Poul na coppal bay when Theo was just an infant, and later at the climax of the narrative he drowns himself once his guilt overcomes his sanity. The Durrus residents invoked in this initial impression s ince there is almost no vitality or bubbly life left to enjoy or experience in Durrus house or in the company of the one family who still truth telling evaluation that Theo delivers so early in the na rrative is hope as we may we cannot stage act our lives or overcome the disillusionments of reality. The social and political climate of the late 1880s in Ireland has shifted irreversibly at this point, and even for a culture that has been in decline since 1800, the intensification of political change a nd the mutability of social positions through the rise of the middle class, the transference of lands from aristocratic ownership to the tenantry, and the increase of political power coming out of the native population occurring at the close of the ninetee nth century rock the foundations of the Anglo Irish landed elite. Somerville and Ross are testifying to the truth that, act as they may, there is little to no gentilit y left in the genteel class.
101 The disturbance Theo feels at her dash ed hopes for her fami ly home is and the difficulty she has reconciling what is with what should be The ghost story keeps the thread of the Gothic narrative active as it emphasizes the importance of family secrets in the degeneration of the Sarsfields and by implication the Anglo Irish in Big Houses who still have not learned the right way to behave i n order to govern themselves and others. As part of his filling in for the role of the guardian, which Uncle Dominick should rightly take but abdicates, Willy decides to warn Theo of the peculiarities of the house that all the residents seem quite accusto med to. Willy tells he ghost story or folktale style of the Gothic, but Willy is totally out of place in a Gothic narrative as a plucky, sporting, and fun loving semi heroic romance man. While the information Willy tells is not horrifying information, really, Theo still feels servants know, has some oddities of behavior about her, lives in close proximity to the house, and occasionally shows up in and around insights because it is at the level of language that the frightfulness appears: Willy carries with him the characteristics of a protector, perhaps even a chivalric romance hero so his appearance in the Gothic frame her being phenomenal or in the realm of the mystic unknown, Mad Moll is made an everyday
102 object in a world that houses multiplicity a her and reassert hi s authority over the house and their safety, highlights the disjunction between what he has just matter of fact ly disclosed and normal expectation s: mad women should no t be roaming about the grounds or penetrating the Big House walls. This situation again speaks to the lack of containment, the loose boundaries, and the contradictory impulses of acceptance and disgust being played out in this narrative fraught with the tension that comes from feeling the pulls of tradition and change. thankful, after she regains her sense s at other times. The stillness is what fixing in a moment the limits of light and darkness, and as if with a sudden movement, it flung the shadow of the praying woma shadow, her glistening eyes, her supplication, and her fixated stare on the window next
103 arms wide, she let them fall to her side with an elaborate curtsy and sidled back into the 45). The court jester style and the grotesquely comic nature of this wild woman dancing and praying in the shadows of the night all combine to create great fright and confusion, and a el (Bakhtin 262). is to blend this Gothic episode with the comic play of language as they remain focused on trying to write an escape for Theo and a continuation of the narrative of the Big House, ghosts and all. clearly reflects all the ills of men with power who mismanage themselves and wield their p An Irish Cousin (Somerville Irish Memories 13 2). In Dominick was a daughter of a rogue uncle. This notion seems to have been entertained by the Dominick but eschewed by Owen. The narrative also implies that proper wife. As the mystery surrounding have been the one responsible for the actual murder because Dominick, in his fi nal
104 motives? tance was at stake. Owen was the firstborn and naturally stood to gain the estate upon their Moll had grown accustomed to and must have desired to continue with Dominic k as the head of the family rather than Owen, who disapproved of her general relational claims and her lack of cleanlines s about the house. Even though Moll had the favor of y for Moll. Dominick clears her out of the house anyway and she is relegated to the role of th e wife of the lodgehouse keeper. Moll is cleared out, that is, except as the source for drink The sordidness of Moll is not solely her responsibili ty but seems to be shared by the shameful decisions and comportment of the authority structure around her. Mad Moll and the mystery surrounding her represents a direct link to the scintillating vision Somerville and Ross witnessed during their visit to th which Somerville claimed as the spark that lit their novel writing path. Moll resides, therefore, in this familiar story of the overtly sexualized and dan gerous servant woman who has an ambiguous relationship to the Big House family As such, Moll is at once representative of mysterious and Gothic danger, the madwoman in the attic, and the hysterical mistress stereotypes of women common to a patriarchal system in flux Though not totall y victimized, as she appears to have had volition and some independen t action s
105 Moll remains nonetheless a victim of a socia l and cultural system intent on maintaining the status quo (male dominated family and governing sy stems that enact the containment of any figure who threatens an existing authority). And while Somerville and Ross eventually write several strong and independent female characters, this early work, An Irish Cousin posits this potentially subversive mist ress and makes her the living ghost contained by her Gothic predecessors ( Jane Eyre and The Woman in White especially). Just like Jane Eyre and The Woman in White however, this punishing patriarchal system is shown to be deeply flawed even as it is main tained. and his son Willy (Bakhtin 284). have such contrasting manners and sty les that they disrupt her self possession during those crucial first three days at Durrus. Again, instead of being able to laugh at her frightful fancies, shows the disconnect between expectations and reality which resonates with judgme nt as it also reveals the of the authors who wish to draw attention to the misdeeds and mismanagement of the institutions they hold dear. As Theo feels r, we see first the menacing figure of the Gothic uncle and secondarily the actual historical and social menace of those who abandon their duties (58). Upon first meeting Dominick
106 s ince his history reveals his impropriety and his base actions of the most grievous kind. While Uncle Dominick is well days when he Uncle Dominick (38, 39). Uncle Dominick, with these overlays of Gothic styling, becomes emblematic of the foreboding family saga so relevant to Somervill e and an icon of of the neighborhood, Uncle Dominick defends the old order oligarchy with vigor and in a eve that any sane person can honestly hold such absurd theories. What! Do you mean to tell me that one of my tenants, a creature whose forefathers have lived for centuries in ignorance and to respond Dominick into a fit of absolutism as ridiculous as he is at this moment. He delivers his hat the natural here damns him and exacerbates the treachery of his own actions that created an
107 unnatural order of things, for example the murder of his brother and his close affiliations own son has a serious relationship with the lodgekeeper daughter daughter and Sir Dominick emigrate to Australia instead of maintai ning their Irish home. T he heteroglossia of this novel reveals itself in this overtly political and philosophical conversation which reflects an inter esting combination of the intense drama surrounding the family saga (sins of the father passed down to the son) and the Gothic claustrophobia (Moll and her daughter both being linked sexually to Sarsfield men). Nothing could be more Bakhtinian than this n arrative moment. All of this narrative blending a deliberate feeling for the historical and social concreteness of living discourse, as well as its relativity, a feeling for its participation i n historical becoming and in social struggle; it deals with discourse that is still warm from that struggle and hostility, as yet unresolved and still fraught with hostile intentions and accents. The prose art of Somerville and Ross puts on display the di scourse in this state and subjects it to the dynamic unity of its own style (Bakhtin 331). Dominick, but his degeneration into a hallucinating madman eclipses the sympathy we mig ht expect for the paragon of the old order. Willy, on the other hand, provides the contrast to Sir Dominick and his melancholy and contains many of the characteristics y manners, and democratic fluidity through all of the countryside and with the
108 townspeople, Willy appears likable, affable, and while not particularly a gentleman, he is certainly a good man. Willy remains resourceful, a good sportsman, and close to being a gentleman except for his lack of educated refinement in genteel ways Willy is depiction, found in her last Irish tale, of Ormond, the good boy who comes up from the land and through a bit of polishing becomes a strong v ision for the future of Ireland. Overall there is a genuine goodness about Willy including what he considers his final act of sacrifice to avoid the dishonor on his family that would come of Mad Moll revealing the secrets of the family murder. Though Wi lly attachment to her, but marries her anyway in order to maintain peace at Durrus. commitment to the daughter with whom Willy had flirted for a year or more. Willy is much more grounded than a normal member of the gentry In one episode, he is thrown into the mud by his new horse Alask a, during the fox hunt and comes inky and ly falling down and becoming muddy could happen to anyone on hunt, the laughing to tears foreshadows the many tears both Willy and Theo will shed over the rumpled an d muddy interior of their family lives. The discourse of adventure and romance peek s out in these fun filled moments of romping and riding,
109 continues to reign in these pleasurable m oments. An Irish Cousin demonstrates the way the moorings are coming loose in the Anglo Irish culture and society of the late nineteenth century, within particular families, inside and outside of the Big House, and through the generational divides and t heir degeneration. This is a culture of mix and match familial ties and an ever tightening spiral of internality, as is represented by the Gothic quality of the narrative. It seems that Theo and Wil ly have acquired a degree of stability through an escape from the confines of Durrus and the Sarsfield family sins, but the emigration of an heir destabilizes the future of this class. Further destabilizing are the many questions that this narrative leaves unanswered. Somerville and Ross seem unsure how to ne gotiate envision the perpetuation of a culture that relies on an outmoded system of personal and national governance in a future of unknown permutations and alliances ( An Irish Cousin 86). Within this narrative, in the time and space of just one generation, family becomes too helter skelter to actually hold on to tradition as the Sarsfields awkwardly jerk forward through contemporary social changes. In this multiform narr ative, An Irish Cousin being born: co existence and becoming are here fused into an indissoluble concrete unity that is contradictory, multi speeched and heterogeneous Some Experiences of an Irish R. M. In her 1970 biographical study of Somerville and Ross, Violet Powell pinpoints the value of Some Experiences of an Irish R.M. simultaneously recognizing the pathos of their literary r
110 Everyman edition of Some Experiences of an Irish R.M. was the only survivor in print of all the descendents of An Irish Cousin a frail bridge along which new readers would ary world is beginning to recognize Somerville and Ross for their intense studies of characterization and f amily dynamics in An Irish Cousin or in their masterpiece The Real Charlotte by all accounts it seems that their contemporaries knew them primarily as the authors of the riotous R. M. stories. And as Powell describes it, one can have no doubt why these stories gained were start ed at the request of Badminton Magazine first appearing serially in the magazine and then appearing collectively as a production of thirty four inter related stories that were eer as Some Experiences of an Irish R. M. (1899), Further Experiences of an Irish R. M. (1908), and (1915) (Powell 91). Powell emphasizes the immediate impact these stories had as she rs and critics all over the world for Some Experiences of an Irish R.M. throne, for Queen Victoria accepted a copy If the R. M. stories are the bridge to Somerville and Ross, however, it is a doubtful bridge and a rickety one in our modern world because of concern over the comic tone and the exaggerated portrayals that do t these narratives. In her 2005 study [ Some Experiences of an Irish RM ] has blighted appreciation of their more serious
111 Edith Somerville 1). Furthermore, careful examination of these texts, however, as Lewis argues they deserve, yields a vision of stories with a light tone that also grapple with major social issues and the most pressing changes facing their n ation and their contemporary world (2). In An Irish Cousin we saw how the primary narrative structure of the Gothic frame is diversified by t he comic adventure, and romance impulses that pop up, and in this narrative, Some Experiences of an Irish R. M. we see how a seemingly dominant form of the adventure narrative scheme showcases the strengths of Somerville and Ross but still contains within that artistic unity the heteroglossic impulses of the culture in flux. So as we follow Major Yeates, the new Re sident Magistrate, through his experiences all about the towns and countryside of the West of Ireland, we witness an array of inter personal, political, sexual, public, and private relationships and experiences that represent the dialogized style of Somerv ille and Ross informed as it is by their era. Even though according to stylistic qualities outlined by Bakhtin adventure novels often have a chronotope that perpetuates an infinite relay of time and event with no specificity so that the adventure is alwa ys going on, is dominated by chance and has no connection to actual historical events the R. M. stories maintain their connectedness to the social and historical particularities of County Cork, Ireland, and the Irish and Anglo Irish experi ences at the e nd of the nineteenth century (Bakhtin 91 92; 100 101).
112 The general impression of frivolity and adventure novel style derives from the many entanglements of Major Yeates with his landlord Flurry Knox and the practical jokes, fox hunts, and moments where plans and practicalities all go awry. The collection of inter related short stories in Some Experiences of an Irish R.M. marries the short story compactness with the breadth of a full length novel so that the characters do an outrageous, helter skelter nature, these stories, more accurately, present serious fun. Comedy combined with a pene trating commentary, fully stylized in the RM stories, represents the heteroglossic strategy Somerville and Ross will perfect throughout their careers. To open the stories, Major Yeates narrates his arrival as a newcomer to an area representative of his roots; he is an Anglo Irishman and his grandfather was well known by the locals of an older generation, but he has been gone from Ireland long enough to be unfamiliar and to feel unfamiliar upon his return. Just like Theo in An Irish Cousin and Francie in The Real Charlotte this subjectivity of the fresh eyes becomes an effective medium for Somerville and Ross to refract their authorial intentions. between familiar and unfami liar, the first jumbled sentence of the text resonates with the voiced position of the easy thing to come by nowadays; neither is it a very attractive job; yet on the evening when I first propounded the idea to the young lady who had recently consented to
113 sentence offer s so much to unpack and examine, even at the level of grammar; this is discourse. With two semicolons and multiple contradictions embedded within this relay of informa tells us, the Resident Magistracy is not such a great job to have, one wonders why it might a nd it lays the groundwork for the lawlessness the lawman finds himself a part of, the ambiguity of social situations, and the general expressions of incongruity which delight ence locates Yeates and the narrative in their particularities and shows the beginnings of the naivet (403). the extra artistic languages of profession, religion, and everyday speech in order to show the negotiations necessary to move through everyday life. Th is story exposes the limits of the law through unchecked lawlessness and also presents the uncomfortable reality of minority oppression, reflecting this historical time and place. Flurry Knox, as representative of the role of the adventurer and counterpoi nt to the confined Major
114 long line of the local Anglo Irish Knox family with d eep roots and many branches, and thus embodies a little bit of something from all parts of his home county. He therefore i s privileged to information usually withheld from outsiders. Major Yeates and Flurry Knox are intertwined throughout the whole serie s of stories, but the polarity of their utterances The booty on the ship is sure to include lots of rum, bacon, and butter and thus the accident creates a mania among the area residents who all flock to the shore to collect the spoils. The administrators of law in the area, Murray (a kind of policeman) and his crew plus Major Yeates are charged with preventing what will be considered looting if any of the goods are taken or consumed by the people in the area. Clearly they prevent nothing as people from miles ar ound simply take what they want, consume what they want, and hide what they want. Two hilarious episodes ensue from the general mayhem of this event. Flurry Knox house b efore heading home after an exhausting effort at controlling the beach. The whisked away some of that shipwreck booty while Yeates and his crew were inside the collective wisdom of the Bench decided that I was suffering from
115 and the ever yday language of the public house (pub) and we see the comedy of the moment. Major Yeates personifying the law, finds himself a part of the lawlessness he tirelessly worked to thwart. All have a good laugh over this to the effect of reinforcing the novel istic point that Yeates and the like all inevitably live in the gray area outside bold lines of demarcation. This is one of the moments that reinforces the novel as an The final insult to law and order comprises the last laugh associated with the shipwreck booty, and it is embedded within the language of ritual associated with death, a funeral, and rel igion. Thinking he has secured all of the unbroken rum, bacon, and butter barrels, Mr. Murray keeps a small regiment guard ing the barrels which actually contain nothing but seawater and mud while the actual rum has been siphoned and Murray and Major Yea tes. Major Yeates accepts this trickery in stride, mostly, but the heist infuriates Mr. Murray who declares his intention of proceeding against Canty. as much evid s his rage at Flurry folksy, or colloquial, language places him briefly in the role of the clown who demonstrat
116 ridiculousness of Mu rray and Yeates is encapsulated in the last line of the story and t he the train was in Cork, yourself and the Major were the only two men in the town that s the same legal role as Yeates, an d in a related degree to Murray in other words they should all be united and on the same side it is clear that Flurry enjoys a less rigid social role within the community. And ed sharply and unraveling the rigidity of control perhaps desired by the authors but unmanageable in the three dimensionality of their novelistic prose (Bakhtin 315). the middle class business world as a horse dealer and a property manager and comes f every grade of society in the county, from Sir Valentine Knox of Castle Knox down to Some Experie nces happiness as he pursues his cousin Sally, whose elevated station in life as one of the of his love and the goodwill he engenders, however, puts others in the mind to scheme up their elopement. After taking control of their fate, Flurry and Sall y actually receive the approval of the menacing matriarch, Lady Knox, but by the time she concedes, she
117 has little chance of stopping the developing events. The wedding celebration ends this series of the R. M. stories and reinforces that even through the adventure style action, the family saga is at the heart of the Somerville and Ross novelistic style and keeps playing out the dynamics of relationships, marriages, futures, and pasts. The narrative prominence of the middling characters, like Flurry, repr esenting shifting social positions and ambiguous gradations of family takes hold in Somerville later works. The families in Somerville and Ross narratives find they must negotiate and make do in ways that the Somerville and Martin families were also experiencing, in ways, in fact, that the Chief Justice Charles Kendal Bushe and his wife Nancy grandparents, could never have imagined 1 The cont ribution of this realism appears simultaneously progressive and pathetic. The horse dealing of Flurry gives him the all access pass to every level of society and social sphere, spreads his travels and associations across a wide area, and molds his charact er accordingly. But the weight of his ownership of the deceased Great Uncle upkeep (which is still negligent and gross). Great resi dent of this house to be let and bespeaks the ghostly existence of the Protestant families within a swiftly shifting Irish countryside. embodies the incongruities and mixed na ture of positions and experiences within the Great
118 the beautifully cooked salmon, and the se knew his grandfather and danced with him at the fashionable parties at the Castle. With that bit of archived history reveal ed we realize the true depths of all of this ambiguity and social fluctuation that has occurred in the two generations present at the table. The dinner conversation reveals that Yeates clearly belongs on the inside of this scene and with this community, e ven though he does not feel like it. And, as Old Mrs. Knox speaks to Yeates, she represents a relic of the past who speaks in the language particular to her generation, concerned as it was with family, community links, and relationships. This is no longe r the language of Flurry, the commoners, the professionals, nor of Yeates, and yet somehow seems to reflect the background of the authors into the foreground for a brief moment. Major Yeates chooses to rent Great had weeks, and a pair of fighting plumbers and carpenters, turns into a stri ng of summer months needed to get the house ready for Major Yeates to move into. The house purpose. Its former purpose had been imagined as something much grander, as Yeates house and a
119 long stable, with a range of lofts above them, planned on the heroic scale in such current mediocrity of this house with the nostalgia of a past still evident in the very structure of the buildings speaks to the experiences of both Somerville and Ross and their devotion mes, lose their viability. By the late 1880s the lasting effects of the Great Famine of midcentury and two subsequent but briefer periods of crop failures added to the financial troubles of landlords and many Anglo Irish Big Houses were either abandoned o r adapted into rental properties such as we witness in the Irish R. M. stories. Leigh Kelway, Private Secretary to Lord Waterbury is an old school friend of Major Yeates and comes to Ireland to accompany Lord Waterbury who is on a fishing holiday. No t a fisherman himself, Kelway decides to look up his old friend Yeates for a unsuspecting, generally decent Englishman bears the full brunt of Somerville and debacles. And though he is a decent person it is clear that Kelway has come to uncover and document the ills of Ireland and for that our authors and their cast of characters have no sympathy. Kelway speaks the language of the true outsider and serves i n the narrative dynamics to help position Major Yeates within the Irish countryside by comparison. The tongue and cheek disclosure from Yeates about his friend and therefore i sends the direct discourse seems to be shouting
120 back to England: Enough with the affected brogue already, and leave Ireland to us. We know from the many tribulations Kelway suffers at the hands of his creator that superiority, and they certainly feel clever enough to demonize the stage Irishman mode of presentation, even as they present their comic tales of West of Ireland. Through the admonishing of Leigh Kelway and the thwarting of his presumptive mission, Somerville s ty national relationships through the f Kelway, they attempt to move closer in this dialogized language to their ideological position as a part of the collective in Ireland. Leigh Kelway is one part of the seriousness that I argue underscores the humor and fun in the Irish R. M. stories, but the barely contained violence that seems to be ever present in these stories plays a larger role in settling this balance. The Gothic haunting and suicide of Bud Callaghan nods again to the style of Le Fanu and particularly the short stories collected in In a Glass Darkly full of spiritual incarnations of guilty consciences and physical violence from the world of the occult. 2 brilliant September afterno Lough Lonen (53). At this scene of adventure and sport, Bat Callaghan obtains
121 The murder of Jim Foley by Bat Callaghan brings the law and its repres entatives into connection and interplay with the community in ways that demonstrate the cultural shifts and political and historical vagaries common in the West of Ireland at the end of the nineteenth century. The mixture of everyday language of the folk life and the stylized sporting language of the races within the scene suggests the cacophony of life around a popular social event. The natural competitiveness of the regatta, however, seems to carry with it a more personal and immediate threat of violence ; spectators and competitors alike are lively and in the process a few small fights erupt and later Jim Foley is murdered. No witnesses and no clarifying information seem available about tires to bed he heteroglossic moment in the text here bridges the folksy quality of th style with the language of the law with which Yeates addresses Murray, the policeman. drilled holes in the chapel door (60). The morning prayers at home that Sunday. This reminiscenc e of violence fails to relate directly to Jim Foley and a day of regatta, except as a reflection of the complex layering of violence, information, and law and in showing how the discourse of each plays a crucial role in the functioning of any society. Buri ed in this story is the historical reality of
122 tenants during the Land League wars and the pervasive, everyday quality of violence that permeates the history of Ireland as a ca ptured country. These underlying historical utterances break out from the style of the adventure novel and refract more accurately the discourse of a hybridized novelistic language particular to Somerville and Ross. body and Bat Callaghan has gone missing. n the life and death situation as quotidian nature of the broken pantry sink, create a disjunction and conjunction of everyday matters; in one moment the language of the law a nd the home mix in a slightly ains completely stalemate d as both Yeates and Murray are left throwing style and the Yeates and Murray law s narrative utterance and reveals the unenviable position of both: Widow Callaghan seeks solace of a humanitarian kind as a worried mother, but she seeks it from the representative of the law who is helpless without the trappin gs of authority such as control, information, ritual, and institutional support. At his home worried about the sink, Yeates really is at a loss to help Widow Callaghan even though he remains compassionate in his dealings with her.
123 Closure to the murder m ystery comes from the personal conscience of the transgressor, however, as Bat Callaghan, having changed his name and joined the he sentry on magazine guard, but this one night he should have been guarding himself shoots himself in an attempt to shoot the ghost face of Jim Foley his conscience. This dip into the discourse of ob session, or the haunting familiar to the Gothic style, further dialogizes the Irish R. M. stories as a whole and reinforces the serious fun of the Somerville and Ross artistic style. While it is not his particular duty or concern, Yeates goes to examine t he dead man on a hunch that he might know him based on the letter of how the co and Englishman, Brownlow asks, Callaghan as a commoner in the countryside of West Ireland, but it is a language embe dded within Yeates, and through his own utterance of easy recognition and thoughtful explanation of this other way of spelling herb, Yeates comes to be seen as
124 what Bakhtin would refer to as internally dialogized. Yeates is able to identify the body, recognition and embodiment of it, speaks to the many experiences throughout Some Experiences of an Irish R. M. that demonstrate the active connections and contrary impulses that have not died along with Bat Callaghan. The Real Charlotte Somerville and Ross thread their gifts for comedic narratives with a poignant commentary on prin ciples that define a community and the vectored relationships between neighbors as well as family in The Real Charlotte (1894). In this depiction of the major social changes underfoot in the microcosm of the culture of Connemara, County Galway, Somerville and Ross yoke the disease of the dying past with the painful future for this menagerie of characters. As a family saga style of novel, The Real Charlotte depicts an interesting mix of gender, rank, and moral identities. While the Anglo Irish Big House a nd its occupying gentry family provide a certain foundation for the community of this narrative, The Read Charlotte is not a story of the well to do but rather an investigation into the lives of those who wish to do, or the upwardly mobile and ambiguously defined characters. If the Knox clan in the Irish R. M. stories had many layers and Flurry landed somewhere in the middle, The Real Charlotte amplifies this look at gradations and explores the interiors of a wide spectrum of situations. The story is Char as in discovering the realness of the Charlotte in the title but the fullness of the surrounding characters provides a verisimilitude of amazing proportions. And while Charlotte is a new invention for Somerville and Ross, the familiar character zo nes and character speech typical of their style appear in this narrative as well; in The
125 Real Charlotte we find the new arrival (in the form of a fresh faced young woman again), the sporting fellow, and the old, ineffectual head of the Big House family. The depth and scope of this novel naturally intensifies under the generic umbrella of the novel of manners and society, and we find intermixed throughout The Real Charlotte extended moments of adventure, comedy, and romance creating the heteroglossic narra tive that vibrates with the tensions drawn tight between the representatives of tradition and change. The narrative, then, represents more than just a discovery of a real Charlotte; in fact, this narrative explores the dynamism of a series of triangulated connections between Charlotte and the surrounding cast of characters. Three dynamic relationships that pivot on the same two characters demonstrate the weaving nature of tradition and change in the narrative. Charlotte Mullen and Roderick Lambert parall el and cross each other in their relationships with the Dysarts (the gentry family), Julia Duffy (the most ambiguously designed and sympathetic character), and Francie Fitzgerald (the blank canvas). The linguistic utterances developed out of the cross sec tions of character zones and character speech in these relationships highlights the basic pulls along the d a wide variety of their House narratives of Somerville and Ross (293, 263). Charlotte, Roddy Lambert, and Christopher Dysart of Bruff are triangulated most notab
126 reminding Christopher and Lambert of her intimate knowledge of Dysart affairs at every turn party, Charlotte walks right into an all male conversation and opens a dialogue with g of charming young ladies you and Roddy Lambert are when he comes to see y ou on The most telling aspect of conversation comes in the not so Bakhtin calls the socio ideological language of business, as an insider with a professio nal jargon, this comment reveals the heteroglossia of the novel and also reveals a criticism of the current arrangements established between Christopher, family that ar e no longer her legitimate concern is slightly off putting, but the punishing nature of a system that removes one obviously so capable and ready to perform a job simply on the basis of gender comes out of this exchange as highly suspect through the quasi d irect discourse of the authorial voice here. Faced with the questions, doubts, and objections of their families over their pr ofessional careers as authors, Somerville and Ross are also confinement and emancipation. acutely when she wishes to destroy Lambert as an act of revenge for her unrequited love of him. Charlotte demonstrates her ability to keep ca reful account books and piece
127 together incomplete records to achieve a full balance of all accounts under the charge of Lambert, including his own. Charlotte uncovers the clearest picture of rent rolls, When she presents Christopher with the evidence, which he does not want to hear, in spite of her usually ameliorated demeanor and she b ecomes a force. She stands in facts before you, on (353). Charlotte speaks here through the professional language of an accountant and the stylized language of law where facts and proof are paramount and yet she delivers this message in the voice of a lady. The mixture of ladylike and businesslike creates an h outside of her proscribed her than she would wish as she throws after Christopher her rapid (353). At that, Charlotte gestures were of the sort that she usually reserved for her inferiors, and the corners of o much and feels the intensity of all her passions justice, revenge, love, hate, authority, and oppression to the point that her exterior exposes these interior conflicts and desires. While Christopher feels
128 aggravated at this situation because he is stuc here is not hard to uncover, however, as c ertainly these strong willed authors are willing Christopher set Charlotte in relief against the backdrop of the New Woman narratives engaging with the Woman Question, eq intellectual culture. Foaming at the mouth or not on the level of business, Charlotte works shrewdly and competently. Clearly, her potential outs hines the slipshod and deceptive agent that Lambert has become Charlotte is frugal rather than profligate, ambitious but not showy, and reverential to the point of being repulsive As Charlotte works to undo appearing to be selfless ly devot ed to the D ysart s as she tells Christopher, your estate is like the feeling of a child for the place where he was reared; it is the affection of a woman whose happiest days were passed with her father in your estate directly out of the ambiguous double gender references ; by using t to speak about a homeland connection and the direct reference to herself as the utterance reveals her predicament as a woman and as a keeper of tradition Charlotte cannot be faithful to tradition and the establishment and claim any right to the estate management position as a w oman, but as an embodiment of desires, capabilities, and
129 training, she wishes nothing other than t he assumption of without any male heads of the ho usehold seems to shine through in these conflicting discourses. the estate, no matter how far she steps outside the traditional role of women, Lambert carries the grudge of a man who works within close proximity of prestige and money but seems to be outside that privilege at all times, and he therefore remains jealous of Christopher and the Bruff estate. Lambert feels empowered in the presence of his simple his displeasure throu comings of personality and he mocks Christopher to Mrs. Lambert. Lambert shares his disapproval of there at Bruff having tea with his sister than go down like any other fellow and play a game of pool at the hotel! A sort of chap that says, if you offer thanks care about anything at this t t time of mimicry makes Mrs. Lambert burst with laughter and criticism of Christopher rests on be more sober th an social Clearly these are not grave faults in Christopher and something extra litera
130 as the spokesperson for the sensibilities and philosophical underpinnings of the modern man within Ireland, and all of Europe, who have ideas of taking down the old order and altering the disbursement of properties and funds. Even as these social changes mimicry l increasingly motivated by greed, his believability as a spokesman for the equal distribution of capital is erased entirely. Still, the triangula r relationship of Christopher, Lam bert, and Charlotte shows the strains of major social changes in class mobility and gender equality common to the intellectual conversations of the 1890s. Out of these three characters, Charlotte remains the most conflicted combination of desires and dri agency, literally, her lack of employment in the job she learned while tagg ing along with her father and about which she always waxes rhapsodic. Charlotte delights in using her intellec tual faculties and feeling powerful throug h activity. Could this foaming at the mouth monster be sympathetic, then? Nineteenth century and modern readers alike can easily see the systemic injustice that keeps a capable woman out of a job an incapable man is performing, based solely on gender but her lack of agency is not omes to her comportment with Julia Duffy and Francie Fitzpatrick. In the triangulation concerning power, money, and authority with Christopher and Lambert, Charlotte never bests her male counterparts completely and must hold on to her angst for one more g eneration before the gains of the New Woman will have changed gender dynamics forever. Likewise, in the triangulation between Charlotte, Julia Duffy, and Lambert, Charlotte
131 wins her way in the business transactions that ruin Julia Duffy, but they fail to parlay into the fulfillment of all her desires. Charlotte remains close to success in her missions, but the thwarting of her personal impulses mirrors the tug of tradition and change the novel struggles through. Julia Duffy represents a direct counterpart to Charlotte based on a few important parallel factors: their ties to properties that are a part of the Dysart estate and their plain, unmarried, rough around the edges existence. Julia Duffy is just the extreme of the unsociable side of Charlotte and ye t has none of her treachery. Julia, therefore, suffers Lambert. For Charlotte the idea of Julia Duffy as an individual with subjectivity remains inconsequential compared t o her desire for greater acquisition of property and status; thus the treatment of Julia Duffy by Charlotte and Lambert encapsulates the narrative acknowledgment of the changing commercial culture and displays a great distaste for the unrelenting drive of stands in direct contrast to the narrative energy spent on the development of Julia al rank, heritage, and choices. (45). In contrast to its admirable past, the house currently shows its roud of cobwebs that bespeak its lack of upkeep (44). It is further marked as a symbol of the degeneration of the Duffy family when we learn that instead of it being a welcoming residence this house door
132 financial situation, and her general status in Lismoyle society represents what Bakhtin would consider a deepening and widenin remained a drunk man married to his dairy maid (44). personal style Gurthnamuckla is all gone to wee even though were usually forbidden, on the worst of days for Julia a handful of ducks Though usually chase disgusting as the double voiced narrative development of a single woman and her culture clash in both the interior and exterior spaces of her world. course of the cold accountant reveals the sympathetic worries of a woman marking time in her life by the sunrises and sunsets. All along through her subsistence at
133 Gurthnamuckla, Julia has lived off of renting her grazi ng grass to local herders and the and t she has staved off eviction through the help of the Land League years and her own self composure; sh her confidence comes from her sure belief in the gentrified manners of the time and the uses the dismantling of the landowner system to her advantage, she also wants to use the moral structure associated with it to gu arantee the old time patterns of behavior concerning protectionism. The day of her letter and her crises, therefore, spurs her to usin, Norry the Boat. Julia does make it to Bruff, with the help of a perfectly timed messenger cart from whose footman agrees to take her on to the house, but the pathetic condi tions simply multiply for Julia as Sir Benj amin, while still lord in name, has more nonsense about him than anyone else in this menagerie. Julia gains your estate, and my grandfather has often had the honor of en tertaining you and the single utterance the weight of the past crushes the conditions of the present moment ine of movement and play
134 emotion of her once mily name, but her hearkening the past rule, in the figure of Sir Benjamin and h woman never makes it back to her home and instead, trying to laugh in the face of her own she recuperates from her bodily i l ls she falls deeper into an insanity which leads quickly the entire community in volved in this family saga narrative; she is reminiscent of the madwoman in the attic running loose on the streets and the woman in white locked up through shady circumstances. Julia Duffy speaks from within the system to show the abuses of the structure of authority and the horrors surrounding the traditional methods for suffocating that which might expose frailty and fault within traditional circumstances. The conversation between Sir Benjamin and Julia Duffy the two weak bodied and mentally unstable curmudgeons stands in direct contrast to the conversation on the rocky shoreline between Sir Christopher and Charlotte Mullen that takes place after the erasure of both Sir Benjamin and Julia. The parallel structure and divergent motivations reinforce th s willingness to precipitate losing her home. Not that Lambert avoids implication in wrongdoing because he stands to gai
135 Gurthnamuckla property in contrast to the arbitrary amounts Julia came up with yearly. The more pleasing aspect of getting Charlotte the property is the implementation of his sc for a joint venture with Lambert, which she speaks about in business jargon but which reveals all of the sexual overtones she feels, when she invites him to put his horses in her stable. Lambert ruins it all, however, as he brings his own desires for Francie Fitzpatrick between him and Charlotte, and he pays for this mistake dearly with the as previously described. This last triangulation of Charlotte, Lambert, and Francie Fitzgerald lies at the some convoluted li Butlers more Irish cousins and family tree entanglements than anyone could keep straight. The repetition of the language of lineage, heritage, and inheritance surrounding Charlotte serves to hig hlight the duality of the tradition and change contradictions within the narrative. Charlotte serves to maintain the frame of the system while manipulating her role within it which goes against the principles that govern the feudal landlord schematic. Whi le Charlotte relates through family to Francie, Lambert adds to the discomfort of their eventual marriage and his devotion to her all along. e drives a permanent wedge between him and Charlotte The newly precarious situation of an exposed and vulnerable Lambert, with Charlotte as
136 an enemy instead of as an a lly, sends Francie off balance and leads to her being many tumbles and brushes with death throughout the narrative have forewarned us that her death would come from th e adventure narrative, but this final fall for Francie speaks more to the saga of the horrifically interconnected and suffocating relationships between Francie, Charlotte, and Lambert. Francie and her escapades open and close the novel in a manner that al most usurps this narrative out from under Charlotte, even though she is the eponymous character. This narrative triangulation is a tug between the title character and the crux character. Francie appears as a blank canvas throughout the narrative waiting ts of her expressed subjectivity, which shows her as a pathetic and aimless young woman. send s her to madness on one level but also play s into her potential schemes as she could see Francie capturing the heart of an impressionable Christopher Dysart. As Francie will nd never suspects that the greatest devotee of Francie has all along been Lambert. marriage but never wins her heart which remains tragically a flutter for a scoundrel of an English soldier, Mr. Hawkins. Desiring to be with Mr. Hawkins more than anything, constant agitation. This rom ance plot embedded within the more general novel of social critique, rivals the twists, turns, promises, and heartbreaks of any Jane Austen narrative
137 or modern day soap opera. So, Charlotte and Lambert push and pull all around and through Francie and fina lly end up in the potato lo Gu rthnamuckla, fighting over the future while the catalyst for the fighting falls to her death on the road just outside the property gates. that Charlotte and Lam bert schemed to take away from Julia, the demise of their last object of contestation at the gate of this tortured home seems ultimately fitting. The narrative ends when at last Charlotte and Lambert lose the object of their deepest triangulated struggle. Irish countryside. This hyb ridization gets even more extreme if that is possible in last novel under consideration in this chapter. The Big House of Inver Castle Rackrent (1800) creates a painfully detailed chronicle of the fall of the Rackrent estate through the laughable missteps of the bad boy heirs, The Big House of Inver take on a house of disorder and the inheritance of degeneration. And with Somerville comes next in the tortured na rratives of Elizabeth Bowen. The Big House of Inver acts as a pivot that looks all the way back to the first of the Irish narratives of Edgeworth and also turns to face the bleak future that comes in The Last September own Big House expos The defining quality of The Big House of Inver and its contribution to the narrative trajectory of Somerville and Ross can be distilled down to excessiveness. This narrative contains the most internally dialogized characters and situations, feels the
138 m ost torn between tradition and changes underfoot, captures the most gloomy and melancholy atmosphere, and shows the most exposed failings of a whole family through individual defeats. Combined with that, this narrative also contains the strongest female c haracter even more willful than Charlotte full of passion and determination to save a system she has only a marginal claim to. Through this family saga that is the most obviously politically and socially motivated narrative, Somerville and Ross fold in co ntemporary concerns over class ambiguity and the Victorian moral values of propriety, self control, and industry. In this narrative, then, hints become exaggerations, suggestions become shouts, and early warnings of systemic ills become epidemic; the big houses will no longer protect ancient families or support the traditional social roles of those around them as this narrative replete with double voiced utterances illustrates. The telescopic opening of the narrative draws the distant past in to serve a s a constant backdrop for the present and sets the present circumstances in relief against past exploits as it collapses history into one long line of family triumphs and tragedies. ntral ridge of the Pre n d eville and the time of Queen Anne and introduces the language typical of the historical novel as seen through the experiences of one family (1). The situat ion of the house, the location, and the Norman history of the Prendeville family pours out after this first fictionalization, the family history of Violet Martin, the Martin s of Ross. The modern narrator reveals, however, the self consciousness of relating the story of conquest in an
139 the ambiguity of the profits of such families as the Prend verb to acquire is non he turbulence, from the historical perspective, of an embattled Ireland and the ambiguity of the political and social foundations of contemporary life, the text recuperates a singular focus with the assertion accented, double styled hybrid construction several layers of direct and indirect discourse cou ching the historical with the contemporary all within the same utterance. Fast forwarding to the subject of the current generation of Prendevilles who live in and around Inver, the rest of the story starts with Jasper, born in June 1824. He is the old man, as most of the events chronicled in this narrative occur in 1912. This narrative, old rooting of the (Bakhtin 225). The idyllic chronotope effects what Bakht The Big House of Inver therefore, with its obviously cyclical style, carries with it the concerns of many generations and the contradictions awakened in the transition from the old ways to the new sensibilities. Because Lady
140 isolation from her neighbors and it ruins th therewith suffered downfall. Five successive generations of mainly half bred and wholly family estate to degradation and rui n (4). The quasi direct discourse on the subject of the Prendevilles is the voice of judgment softened by the sympathetic allegiance that Somerville and Ross still feel towards the Big House social order. iety leads to the most tragic yet grandmother Lady Isabella passes away, his mother has to use the assistance of the him or her such spoil of furniture, pictures and china as could conveniently be s, fools, and rogues shows through in there is no doubt as to the harsh critique Somerville and Ross have for this exploitative tom foolery and degeneration of the Big Hou rogue from within the ranks of the Protes tant clergy, lets it as a replacement for a destroyed parish house and proceeds to have riotous parties, allow rough bachelors to stay on as guests, and destroy parts of the roof just as he leaves the Big House of Inver. Apparently no single part of socie ty will be relieved from their share of despicable
141 behavior and critique by the pen of our authors. The destruction of the parish house mentioned as though in passing, speaks to the discourse of history in the background of this narrative as the Reverend the Tithe Wars and the hostilities between Catholic natives and Protestant churches. This historical time and space is marked, therefore, for those who see the imbedded dialogism of the circumstances. With a half destroyed Big House, the Tower at Inver, then, becomes the only available and decent housing on the great Prendeville lands. fever, next as a rowdy bachel or on his own, then for a short time as husband and father before his wife dies in childbirth. Jas represents the struggle over knowing the old ways still, but having no strength of character or fortitude to hold them up; he is an exaggeration of decline from the early An Irish Cousin Without enough ready money to simply hang about Inver, Jas joined the Army and waited until he got bored with it (or got kicked out) to return home again. Just as wa s the case in realistic financial constraints on Big House families meant they could no longer offer opportunities for growth and prosperity in their remote and dilapidated carousing as a young man was infamous and destructive, and he fathered a child by the barmaid at his favorite tavern. Without much to do, however, the child, Shibby, and her grandmother (her mother dies shortly after giving birth) are m oved into the Tower and incorporated into the fold, which while not an exemplary situation was certainly acceptable and handled easily. Back on his home turf, he drinks heavily and wishes to
142 live a carefree live with all his desires fulfilled, which he re lies on his agent John Weldon to provide; this is the same recipe for disaster that harkens back to Sir Condy and the nd when the last cup was lands of Ross leasure of a boat. In this through the discourse of contracts and ownership as he represents the narrative concern over solid and secure finances that stands as a direct contrast to the total lack of the language of authority from the reckless Sir Jas. As he advances in age, still single, he realizes he would like to see an heir of his own for the property so John Weldon finds him a suitable though not aristocratic brid e. Jas settles with Esther, they have two healthy children, and in the birth of a third both mother and child die. The widowed Jas raises his family in the Tower: Shibby Pindy, his illegitimate daughter, and his legitimate children, son Kit and daughter Nessie. Shibby which allows this blended family to continue living on in the Tower and holding on to the Prendeville legacy. And as Old John passes on the estate manager duties to his capable and sensible son Young Johnny, Old Jas has support all around him. Jas relies on Shibby and Young Johnny Weldon to manage all of his affairs while he does nothing but be a retired Army man and a hard drinking recluse. As this charac ter g iv es up on his duties and the comportment expected of t he head of a gentry family the
143 narrative illustrates the general sadness and malaise Somerville and Ross witnessed all around them at the end of the nineteenth century. While Jas and his son, the heir Beauty Kit, no longer feel the pride and joy of the Big House or the ancient family ties, Shibby and Young Johnny represent two alternatives for the future of the land and its development. The heteroglossic impulse of The Big House of Inver radiates from these two diverging and sometimes connecting characters. These two in the middle characters are exactly the same age and yet fall into two very different versions of Irishness: Shibby, illegitimate birth and all, is still an insider and a devoted c aretaker of the feudal system that also denies her any claim to authority while Young Johnny Weldon is the current agent of the Prendeville estate, one of a long line of managers who remains extremely legitimate and proper but always on the outside of the gentry privilege. Jas, therefore, is the most torn between the dueling alter egos in Shibby and Young Johnny and he represents the last of the old order What little mot ivation or intention Jas had as a youth is now completely absent. In some r emains, however, that the absence of self government is the ill that must be corrected in the Anglo Irish gentry class for any kind of future to be possible. And from the perspective of 1925, with the Easter Rising of 1916 and the transference of power in Dublin effected in 1922, Somerville has already witnessed the irreversible historical changes in her country. In The Big House of Inver set mostly in 1912 as it is, the chronotope of this narrative the narrative of generations, or the family saga, clings as
144 Bakhtin would say, to a hope for a future that has already proved nonexistent and impossible. So perhaps the intention of the Somerville and Ross narrative that remains is not an unrealistic vision for the future but a realistic reminder that h onor must be paramount in whatever historical and familial trials ensue. While Shibby Pindy re presents in her very name the bastardization of the seen the portrait of the L ady Isabella would declare that no better likeness of Shibby voice of past and present ways of Lady Isabella and carries the essence of Prendeville authority in spite of or perhaps because of her illegitimate ties to the family line (197). Shibby works and to begin to furnish t he empty house with pieces she buys at auctions from the money she makes selling pigs, or other small goods available to her. Her greatest wish implicit in the prop Fixing the Big House for Kit and recreating the glory of those ancient family halls is her cleaning, arranging, and negotiating calls out the suffocating insularity still evolving contemporary reality (the open tasks as it leaves open the hope for a future. The narrative travels deeper and deeper into the discourse of the small moments in order to avoid the closure of the obviously
145 dead future. Shibby seeks to recreate the greatness that the portrait of Lady Isabella, still hangi ng in the empty rooms, witnessed and protected to suffocation. But part of or, ye! nows, of being accepted as was the case for his father, coincide with the cultural shift towards the moral sensibilities of Mr. and Mrs. Johnny Weldon who condemn and whisper about such indis cretions. of and can pronounce but clearly does not believe herself. She stands on the outside of the judgment though she delivers it for her beloved Kit to understa nd. None of this would matter at all if the Prendevilles still had the prestige and money to maintain their insulated life, but with a great sum of wealth and the demesne lands inherited directly by Peggy Weldon from her grandfather Old John, what the Wel dons think becomes of greatest importance. Kit also happens to adore Peggy Weldon and yet his past mi stakes will keep him from achiev ing this love match. As much as it hurts Shibby Pindy, her friend Dr. Willy Magner speaks the truth for the Prendeville f amily situation language of the doctor, the only other prominent middle class figure in the n ovel, reinforces the financial dictates that are taking hold alongside the social conduct rules
146 ars to her future (263). Young Johnny, as a part of the rapidly rising, upwardly mobile, practical, solid, and industrious middle class, has plans and visions of his own for the future of Inver. Guided by a surface of morality and holding tight to the principles of evangelical re ligion, Young Johnny judges the profligate past of the Prendevilles and sees their degradation ethic, and prudent investment, Young Johnny becomes one more of the family who transition would be complete. The Weldon family could move from the out side to the purposes. If Peggy marries Kit, the Prendevilles win, so to speak, or gain s ome more time to perpetuate the faade of ancient authority. If Peggy and her demesne lands go, along with the Big House, to a new money and newly titled man, then the Prendevilles become obviously the relics they really already are under the surface. J ohnny creates an advantage for his ambitions by presenting Old Jas with a buyer for the Big House and a hefty sum of money to give Kit a different future than that of his current depressed state. Jas seems to react to this opportunity with a paternal inst inct seven years
147 up until now. Once the offer for the purchase of the Big House is made, Sir Jas thinks the house a act bravely by Big House as unpleasant as a barracks. But once the papers are actually signed and him at this decisive action which he realizes will forever alter the dynamics of his volumes for the terror that is waking in the Anglo Irish community in the first decades of the twentieth century. the painful adjustment becomes visible in Old Jas, and of course, more especially Shibby who had so much investment in a by gone tradition. Old Jas takes Young John who become For Sir Burgrave, Somerville and Ross spare no amount of abhorrence and critique. Burgrave is not necessarily an evil industry money to buy his family a coat of arms, and wields this nouvea ux riche money to find just the right land and property necessary to establish his presence as one entitled and titled. Johnny desires the match be made with his daughter, Peggy, so that her ownership of the
148 ownership of the Big House will therefore also add a layer of cement high enough to achieve mobility dreams. It is hard to fault Johnny for any of his prudence or even most of his ambition, but the narrative sympathy clearly rests wit h Shibby and the Prendy Prendeville establishment. The solidness of the Weldons creates the foundation on which the future will be built, but it takes the destruction of the old foundation to get there. As Shibby prepares the transfer of the Big House of Inver by clearing it of her possessions, Old Jas remains ensconced in the house with his pipe and he ac cidentally burns the house down. T he relic of the old order dies inside the Big House he abandoned and his death is the result of his own negligence. Johnny provides the levity of the moment with his sincerity and thus reinforces the changes that have now decidedly taken place; as an insurance agent, he took out a policy on the house the day the sale was finali zed. With all the assurance and joviality possible at this moment Young voice of indus try and prudence and is obviously the voice of the future defined by admirable principles. While divergent from the Anglo Irish novel embeds the social and historical reality as a part of the painful and tragi comic artistic style of Somerville and Ross. With these last lines of the narrative this insurance agent reminds us that a sure future for Inver lies with him and the prudence of his
149 actions. Burgrave and Peggy clear away the past after it has been incinerated and will surely rebuild a Big House of their own and create a new legacy at Inver who could rise out of the agent class to take over ownership of the Rackrent estate The Big House of Inver breaks into the twentieth century and represents the slow degenera tion and destruction of Anglo Irish es tates But this narrative is not an isolated Weekes claims, nd demonstrate the investment these authors have in the narratives of their contradictory and tension filled existences. Weekes describes the parallel efforts of the author s and their lives as she writes physical efforts in preserving the estates reserved not for them but for their brothers and arratives spinning around comedy and tragedy is that Somerville and Ross demonstrate how they clearly Irish women in the Big Houses of the Irish countryside (Weekes 79). Throughout engage in the socio cultural particularities surrounding them which infuses their narratives with both the pleasurable and painful realities of their cultu re as it parallels the turmoil in Ireland and the modern world It seems that through out all of their negotiations of demise and disaster is an undercurrent of hopefulness (nave though it may be) for humane coexistence of communities.
150 1 See Gifford Lews Glen Barrahane, were in deep difficulties from the early eighties. Edith entered in her diary on 8 January The amount due is 1600lbs ( Somerville 26). Furthermore, Lewis describes rapacious bullies of a down trodden peasantry, but that they wer e merely outmoded, no longer side, Lewis reveals that he Martins tried to live away from Ross, but in 1888 Mrs. Martin and Martin returned as tenants, living in five rooms. Robert Martin joined the household with his wife and daughter, contributing £ 3 2 In a Glass Darkly (London: R. Ben tley and Son) includes a series of psychological cases as reported to a Swedenborgian doctor, which is the essential framing device used to connect the various incarnations of haunting, and also his famous vampire story Carmilla
151 CHAPTER 4 NARRATIVES OF A CULTURE IN DECLINE in a crepuscular world our nerves have enough to -Elizabeth Bowen, (15 16) voiced critique exemplifies atmospheric, concerned with and connected to a preciseness of time and place, obsessively detailed, and vaguely haunting. Bowen explains part of this in her Preface to the 1951 Knopf edition of her short stories when she reveals that she got her start in quality of her stories. In the Preface she openly admits that she writes as someone with fewer answers than questions, and considering the questions her stories raise, she to revealing that at the time a world full of political turmoil and by the early 1920s it becomes clear that she is a in a Europe losing its innocence in World War I and in an Ireland engaged in wrenching a sense of
152 national identity from the Anglo events of her adult life World War II, especially also work to intensify t he dislocation and dispossession felt by Bowen and expressed in what Ellmann refers to as the Anglo Irish woman writer in the first half of the twentieth century, B heteroglossic narratives that expose the contradictions associated with this rapidly changing terrain around her. The critical reception of these awkward, intense, and atmospheric stories, however, was decisive for Bowen because of the effect contemporary reviews had on her. hree dimensional prose style is achieved through a sort of evolutionary development consisting of several stylistic commonalities repeated, examined, and developed beginning in these early short stories. This connection between her short stories and her n ovels is palpable, and as epiphanic Out o novels set in Ireland, The Last September (1929) and A World of Love (1955), as well as complementary short stories and her war time novel, The Heat of the Day (1949). Taken together, they help tes. Dominated by what threshold
153 indecisiveness that fails to change a life, the fe Early Stories and In the collections of stories, we see various external and internal struggles that come out of this examination of the threshold between the sanctity of individuality or internal personal integrity and the confinement of the roles we play in society. Bowen shows them fighting to find a balance between the private, internal self and the external, social self Threaded through the stories are the social discourses we use to define ourselves: religious, community, hereditary, and individually chosen In addition, Bowen uses various boxed in structures such as houses, rooms, terraces, and pergolas which highl ight the inside and outside living spaces her characters occupy As R. B. stories are, at least superficially, civilized, domestic, and often familial in focus. Her emotional dramas are played out within walls walls which, ambivalently, can either unify and protect a family group, intensify the isolation of a single soul, or frame the false 408). As characters open the door and cross the both the claustrophobia of containment and the relief of freedom. Along with the many tw o word titles of the short stories, we see a pattern develop through a variety of fill in the blank roles. The narratives teeter back and forth in their singularity and yet obvious universality: daughter, sister, wife, woman, brother, husband (youthful an d aged, alike), helper, controller, friend, lover, journalist, neighbour,
154 servant These boxed up roles hold the contents of some conflicted characters This role playing and difficult negotiation between public and private identities often leads to or p revents desirable relat ionships. Conflicts and desires within both romances and friendships dominate the narratives, just as the ghosts of the dead -known and unknown -and the attendant memori es of buried pasts haunt them. Violence punctuates the narrati The common repressive situations. The early stories, therefore, play a crucial role for Bowen in development is se struggle within us for hegemony among various available verbal and ideological points of view, approaches, directions and values. The semantic structure of an internally persuasive discourse is not finite it is open ; in each of the new contexts that dialogize it, this discourse is able to reveal ever newer ways to mean elationships. The stories are frequently melodramatic and certainly atmospheric, but Bowen kinds of cages we live in and the caged roles we play knowingly and unknowin gly, by choice and by conditioning. The great escape of the parrot in this story demonstrates a vivid social comedy laden with tragedy that provides a poignant critique of the roles of privileged women, their paid companions, and communities of class divi des. The story
155 r service to Mrs. Willesden includes the care of this bird. The story develops, then, from the whims of the parrot and the human follies inevitable in the act of capturing a rogue and dodgy creature. In this grotesque comedy, the parrot plays the clown, Eleanor the fool, and the opened c age releases the same trick of narrative we found in frequent use by Somerville and Ross, giving us a diversion from the singularity of narrative point of view to include the direct discourse f rom emotions as supervision of Mrs. Willesden, Eleanor feels caged up herself. During her dutiful stalking of the roving bird, her introspection strays to her innermost desire for something other than her curre nt situation. She does not feel hopeful, however, about her dangerously attractive, because although she was quite ready to marry anybody who seemed at all suitable, and thus escape from life with Mrs. Willesden and the equally odious alternative of using her brains, nobody, even of the most unsuitable, had so far story to Eleanor cage the parrot draws attention to the parallel lives of th ese two trapped creatures. As with Francie in
156 The Real Charlotte The Last September Eleanor has a n internal dialogue that highlights the caged role of women in the institution of marriage rather than presenting a true avenue for escape; it might be subject Eleanor to an other confining role ; these are slightly scandalous and very modern neighbors. In order to get to the rooftop, Eleanor crosses into this new and exciting house and through the window out into the open ness of the boundless sky. While the rooftop is threatening and dangerous for the parrot, it is cathartic for Eleanor. The bird gets harassed by other birds and shows the wear of it, as Mr. Lennicott tells us: neighborhood and feels an excitement for this adventure while up on that same rooftop. The discourse of confinement and prejudice associated with the dialogue of the up per middle class neighbor separ ates Eleanor from this interior space; even though she has defined by the color of her feathers, so to speak, as the servant next door. The character speech emblematic of high society here lays bare the class divides as something barbaric, as primitive as distinct from animal qualiti es as possible, this casual utterance reveals the brutality underlying society. The sharp humor of this story revolves around a cycle of torment: Eleanor acts knowingly out of her sense of duty and chases after a bird she hates in order to save
157 her job which she hates, and in the process she becomes enamored with the risqu neighbors who are and will remain completely out of her reach socially and economically. She feels the tantalizing appeal of the joviality of these neighbors and their amiable compan shut out sunshine and great furniture, where the parrot was carried royally from room to r, as she immediately comes their way and hers lay parallel; to catch at them would mean, ultimately, only another of to ended endings Bowen re up call, the call to action, and the change of life epiphany made good for Eleanor a paradigm circulating through the New Woman popular debates and in the fiction of George Egerton, Sarah Grand, and Ouida. Up on that rooftop, the possibility shines as brightly as the morning sun, but back in the still curtained bedroom of Mrs. Willesde n, it remains dimmer. The re caged emerges and Polly the parrot. Still, i e of a social system that cages people like bright and pretty birds. For the paid companion Lydia accompany the return of the masters of the house. A sociable couple, Mr. and Mr s. Tottenham have, we find out i
158 enter their house after a six week absence and shatter the solitude Lydia had enjoyed while free from the hierarchical relationship of employee and employer. Lydia feels the return heavily upon her soul and responds secretively and intensification of Lydia rker than a disgruntled servant: an exposure of the social ills within this class system. As Mrs. Tottenham we immediately feel the invasive action of Mrs. Tottenham. Though she of the house in it) need to be dominated. Mrs. Tottenham crosses the threshold and the narrative discourse that accompanies this movement and decisiveness reveals the quasi direct discourse of the author who though politically quite conservative, seems entirely unwilling to accept the status quo of these social institutions she portrays in the collected stories. T his contradiction reflects the resentment of the class conscious servant and the customary confidence of the employer. The repetition of disturbing terms from the discourse of horror reveals the violence and the seething agitation in Lydia relief against the idyllic friendship Lydia developed with the once empty house. This
159 through the personif consciousness as she witnesses herself in the drawing her own eye, and was embarrassed and discomfited. She listened with derision to her glib and sugary ba Lydia talks to herself, and as the voice in her head gains prominence, it is marked in the text by the quotation marks; these are her internal utterances which divide her internal s elf from her externa l self internal dialogue reveals the struggle she goes through to try and reconcile the conflicting appearance of acqueiscance she maintains on the outside and the reality of disappointment she feels on the inside R evealing internality as different from her externality through this self talk is a deft move for open s up the heteroglossic nature of this compact story (Bakhtin 272). The material reality of this situation cannot be ignored, and it remains unchanged. T he Tottenhams own the house, and the employee employer relationship between however, a in the text this quasi direct discourse of the author leaves the question open to her
160 bounds of Lydia and the Tottenhams and shines the spotlight on the economic and social inst itutions in flux in the 1920s. Lydia herself describes her desires as simple, yet profound, in that they entail this the house to them, to mar and bully, if she had only a few feet of silence of her own, to articulation A Room of published in 1929. It does, h and house specific experience during the writing of these stories and speaks to the conversations actively taking place around the chronotope of this novel. writing space is detailed and described in her prefatory remarks in the 1951 reprinting, that Bowen felt out of place through much of her life. Therefore, the particularity of her writing table and sto ries in this collection reflect the sense of ownership and connectedness to a single location that remains significant throughout the stories This locatedness also speaks to the gender and class discussio ns circulating around from the 1890s to the time of Familial space, like personal space, is a deeply quality of houses in her novel House in Paris emanates from and they seem to play a e the single mos t important embodiment of the principles of
161 continuity, community, and renewal, and further serve to characterize the various the v iolence and cruelty encased in the most socially repressive situations. Characters acting cruelly to the ones they love break the veneer of civility frequently throughout these collected stories. The many scenarios showing the cruelty of ignoring or emot ionally abandoning a spouse and the inconsiderate infidelity or revengeful nature of married partners, the tormenting impulses of a daughter towards her mother, or the rough and monster within each of us that buffets against the containment asked of us as entrenched members of a social system. as 1 that the ghosts of those we wrong never leave footsteps, odd visions, and a horrifying decline into paranoia and illness. There is gs; for Bowen, however, the nod to this gothic stylization pops up to the surface only occasionally. Martin and his wife Pussy ife as they learn to negotiate seems to be a rehabilitated and rejuvenated man now as he rushes home on the 5:20 train to meet his second wife and dotes dutifully on her as he engages himself in every aspect of their lives together. He is scarred, however, and the destructiveness of his behavior in his
162 first marriage becomes all the more clear when this new wife reveals her innermost fears: she knows how fragile love is and that being intertwined with other people may bring some pain with it, which is very astute for one who appears so entirely one her with the care she seems to desire. But the disruption of this episode is not controlled a sort of murder. I t hink a person who was done out of their life like that would be knowledge that Martin failed t o care for his first wife and by implication, then, suffers this accusation of murder through the voice of wonderment in his navely prescient new wife. He is not guilty of any murder according to the standards of law and the dictates of the social contra with it the same kind of intensity as an overt act of violence speech with its reliance on the simplisti c notions of black and white, absolute morality combined as it is with the r omantic and folkloric notions of the possibility of a ghostly return of a broken hearted lover shows the terror that penetrates all aspects of the marriage institution. nce s about his first wife and the particular ways in which he did ignore her and how he failed to sustain his desire and compassion for his first wife who suffered terribly after a miscarriage. Martin guards these flashbacks and has shared few details with the somehow innocent yet f ully aware new wife. Martin was, in fact, a bit mean spirited and failed to provide emotional
163 ther and their shared house. Martin tries to stand strong against the presence of guilt and the hauntings of s unconvincing though he is clearly trying hard to contain the spookiness which reveals just the opposite: something has already touched this couple and remains for them to negotiate. The contrast his internal quiet speak contrasts his exteriority and interiority, which makes this characterization a part of what Bakhtin notes is the human layered [and] multi core and a shell, an inner and an outer, separat While in in modern times, the human image bec (Bakhtin 135). Bowen uses the power of this deep internality in the narrative to reveal what really counts is the most haunting aspect of this story; it is not the ghost in the corner of the room that totally unnerve s us, but the ghosts lurking in our minds. As Bowen Bowe 16). These early works, then, show a concentration on the shock and horror within individual experiences and isolated moments. By shining the spotlight on single s
164 these short stories combining intensity and levity in these suffocating interior and exterior constraints These preferences reach across to the European continent (frequently taking root in Italian vacation spots) and back to English countrysides and seasides, London count ies and London proper, and most assuredly Ireland. The Last September The last Somerville and Ross big house narrative, The Big House of Inver published in 1925, I have already argued, is an expos on a house and family in disorder and the destructive quality of this degenerated inheritance. As Bowen enters into her literary career at the same time The Big House of Inver is published she naturally picks up the story in this crucially displaced state as she gives witness to the deracination of the Ang lo Irish in Ireland that intensifies through the 1920s to the end of her life. The Somerville and Ross Inver house burns down to the ground as a result of the negligence of the family, and as Bowen posits this story and makes it her own, Danielstown in Th e Last September burns to the ground from an act of external The Last September a narrative of threshold riddled with contra dictions and decisive breaking points of life ( 439; Bakhtin 248). The Last September published in 1929, plays out the violence of Irish agitations and the fight for the freedom of home rule. This novel illustrates what Mark Bence Jones in his historical retrospective Twilight of the Ascendancy feels is a
165 realistically fashioned fictional The Last September describes with almost terrifying accuracy what life was like in an Irish Jones points to the ye that time (199, 202). Told in three parts, these end of summer vignettes in The Last September demonstrate the intense psychological drama of the younger generation of Anglo Irish contained in, and yet betrayed by the big houses of their families. The characters move easily in and out of a few plot lines as the cyclical nature of the narrative subverts the im Danielstown. The Last September has as its principal artistic quality the organization of the Big House novel, a novel of generations and family saga. Set as it is in Ireland circa 1920, however, this narrative is more than touched by the Gothic sensibilities of ruination, claustrophobia, and violence. While The Last September is a family novel, the Anglo Irish fa mily living at Danielstown is getting sparse: the elder Naylors are joined by one the family. The novel shows some tendencies, also, towards the familiar chronotope of t old link between the life of
166 of the lives around Danielstown are determined by either an adamant complacency by the Naylors or the overwrought agitations provoking crisis by the younger genera tions of the English, Anglo Irish, and Irish. The narrative trajectory of The Last September strikes down the life of clear continuity that the Anglo Irish Naylors desire as the narrative brings to the forefront the historical reality of T he Troubles of th e early 1900s in Ireland. The Last September then, brings in the overwhelming sense of loss that ends The Big House of Inver and without any insurance agent or the assurance of the nouveaux riche Englishman and his middle class Anglo Irish bride to buil d up a new house on ancient land, Bowen seems to be saying that this really is the death of the old order at this moment. And even though Somerville and Ross exposed the ultimate decline of the social and financial viability of the Anglo Irish gentry and convincingly buried them in The Big House of Inver, and to some degree in their earlier novel The Real Charlotte Bowen breathes just enough life back into the Naylor family and their friends and neighbors to expose them once again. Through a double expos ure, as on a photograph, this narrative shows, then, the double voiced impulses of the contradictions in Anglo Irish life in the Irish countryside of the 1920s. The pains of the adolescent and orphaned Lois parallel the pains of Ireland at this moment in t he narrative. As the novel opens at the end of the summer, we see Lois trying to figure out what to do with herself now that she is twenty, without a profession, with very few interests or passions of any kind, and with nothing more than a basic education As a New Woman, the world is wide open to Lois, but she has no idea what her future will be. A new Ireland is also opening up at this time after the Easter Rising
167 of 1916, the many political shifts occurring in elections, including the meeting of the F irst Dil, and the actual start of war efforts in 1919, but the outcome of all this change remains uncertain. For Lois, this unknown future seems both tantalizing and scary as she begins her flirtation with Gerald, an English officer stationed in Danielst own to protect the Anglo Irish families. But through various subtle hints we sense that Lois disapproves of the English soldiers and their actions in the struggles with the native Irish and feels more sympathy for the local people with whom she was brough t up And Sir Richard and Lady Naylor make no hesitation about their disapproval of the soldiers in their Ireland. While we witness Lois defining her future by process of elimination Gerald is shot and therefore no longer a prospect for the escape of mar riage such as we witness an Ireland working to eliminate the Naylors and their class from its future. There is tension in the narrative between the reluctance to abandon tradition by the N aylors and their neighbors and the danger this tradition precipitates, electrifying the otherwise languid narrative, which simply walks through a few common days of life in a house. give to fight out, as Bakhtin says, the ambiguous possibilities embedded within the whole. The full cast of characters, from the few neighboring Anglo Irish big houses and in the garrison town of Clonmore holding the British army, flits from the tennis courts to the drawing rooms and picnics in between; they are frequently reminded, however, to be home before dark, to be wary of sitting out on the front house ste ps after nightfall, and to be careful about traveling from country house to country house. In other words, the
168 reality of their endangered existence remains real and understood, even if mostly ignored or repressed. The precedent for this nonchalance come Irish people from all over north east and after stopping at the post office, her 435). news telling the onset of war becomes an emblematic memo ry for her of her desire to carry on with life just as it always had been; Bowen critiques this nave response saying, these virtually idiotic Naylors and their nei ghbors carry with them just that same contradiction of decisiveness and ridiculousness that the narrative explores. The big event at Danielstown is the arrival of the long expected guests and friends, the Montmorencys. They fit right into the fold of Dani elstown, but provide a bit of that fresh perspective of the newcomer, such as Somerville and Ross used to their advantage in several narratives While Francie Montmorency is sure they will be shot at if they sit on the steps of Danielstown, her companions get a good laugh over what they the big scary outdoors has to do with Lois and her admitted dancing along the lane with d on her shoes for Lois to be dancing much on the lane (26 27). There is an air of imperviousness and impracticality that brings forth the easy chuckles of the reader, but also betrays a more violent and harrowing reality. These are the casual utterances of the characters that yield to
169 is personal danger approaching Lois specifical ly. While the adults sit and ponder the presence of violence, Lois plays the role of the romantic heroine as she wistfully dances in the avenue. Lois experiences the freshness and fullness of fear during this nostalgic reminiscing and her solo reenactment of her dancing along the avenue with Gerald earlier in the day. Cloaked in complete darkness, dance partner, and her growing desire for him. Her new partner, however, is f fear of the shrubberies tugged at its chain, fear behind reason, fear before her birth; fear moment is heightened as the narrator reveals the psycholog ical nature of the horror But, alas, a man in a trench coa t does pass by, unaware himself of his audience as Lois is now hiding in the darkness along the edge of the shrubberies. Lois and the because of Irela no moment of insecurity over political and national identity. This passerby leads the narration away from
170 again represents the great potential of exploration and discovery that seems to go nowhere with her but seems to be growing ever more definite for Ireland. As the narrator reveals that Loi we are reminded of the powerful effect of the hyphen in the term Anglo Irish. Even though this identity seems to remain emotionally unknowable, Lois is credited with some astute knowledge of geography as I (42). The insertion in the narrative of this language of cartography, or geography, brings out an obvious moment of het eroglossia where we language that contains frayed people and frayed identities And beyond th e scope of this narrative, this description seems to be an accurate description of late twentieth and twenty first century political realities. There is more than an air of personal change in this moment with Lois and her ambiguous internal fears and her emotional disconnect to Ireland because there is the reality of the independence seeking man in the trench coat, army garrisons, lorries on patrol, and violence that seems to be barely contained under the surface of everyday life. Information on the army is delivered through Sir Richard over the soup bowls at di says Sir Richard these lorries on patr ol, in fact, breaks the silence of the still night air as the Naylors, Montmorencys, Lois and Laurence are all lounging on the steps in the f ront of the house during their post dinner repose. This lorry is slow, deliberate, though it struggles a bit:
171 seemed that the lorry took pleasure in crawling with such a menace, so slowly along The personification of the lorry in this moment allows it to stand in for all of England and the military and political policies being enacted at the time. The quasi direct discourse of the author here Irish as well, as this solitude (38). The lorry cont inues its path and it is not from the inside, Peter Connor and the hiding rebels, comb ine on this night creating a haunted and internally dialogized discourse which reveals the precarious position of all below the surface are always present in our experie nces with major social and political changes. In spite of these shadows and thoughts, which occasionally bob to the surface, Lady Naylor valiantly fights to repress this subterranean nastiness. During soup service at their welcoming dinner, she hushes Lau rence in front of the Irish parlourmaid, and she quickly and smoothly interrupts talk of England and Ireland to insert details about the tennis party that is to be held the next day. While their class interests are mortally still think it best to avoid sore subjects in socially mixed company, yet others engage in idle dinner chatter that might invite disaster. This is a clear satirization of the class, already in decline, which is negotiating its role, within the mind and wi thin the new socio political reality of Ireland.
172 This is the kind of psychosis Somerville and Ross put on display in The Real Charlotte through Sir Benjamin and Lady Dysart, where Sir Benjamin is wheeled about by an attendant in his bath chair speaking no nsense and lashing out in an abhorrent manner flower garden. It is easy to laugh at the depictions of such oblivious and pathetic characters and to find them ridiculous, and yet it is also easy to feel implicated in that judgment because of the double voiced nature of this narrative. There is one moment of direct confrontation between the two Irelands and the episode takes on a typically gothic dimension and atmosphere. On a le isurely afternoon stroll, three characters come upon an abandoned, decaying mill : Marda, a house guest positively engaged again, Hugo Montmorency, who is about to be tragically in love with Marda, and Lois, who is desperately waiting for anything to happen Marda, with is (178). ike a corpse interpretation overlays the national significance as he reflects another of our national grievanc es. English law strangled the lesson remain unfinished because the two women have gone bo unding ahead to investigate this horrific and fascinating ruin. The mill creates the perfect place for a scintillating adventure for the young women and a great moment for political discourse for Hugo. A dventure and politics converge in this structure wit h its crumbling walls and opened out windows to show another threshold being crossed in the narrative. A mill is a place of work, a place of sustainability, and a livelihood, but the narrator reveals that
173 What is noticeable it pays to the universality of disrepair and decay in her Irish countryside; does this discourse ask us to consider that if one layer o f society suffers that in turn they all do? that still plays an important role in her critical glance at socio economic issues within the This now defunct mill houses a sleeping man. While unaware of this resting Irishman, Marda and Lois playfully pick their way through the nettles and around the crumbling and scattered pieces of the building until they open the door to his makeshift bed chamber wit and Lois disturbs his peace enough that he awakens with a start and a pistol in his hand. Wh ile it is not particularly pleasant for these ladies being confronted by a startled man with a gun, this narrative withholds any exposure of overt violence. The now awake Irishman makes these two women seem foolish for being out on their leisurely walk an reproduced character speech here marks an implied anger and violence coming out of the language of rebellion, the strength of which is a very real part of the discourse in this moment of crisis in a crepuscular world. At this point the reader realizes the political motivation and therefore the identity of this unnamed and undescribed man. Throughout the novel leading up to t his point, vague warnings and references to weaponry, soldiers, and the hidden
174 mysteries no one can quite define are dropped in to the narrative from both the casual Marda, L ois, and the pistol carrying Irishman enact this dynamic and play their roles self consciously. As part of the mysterious twist of this text, the narration zooms out rapidly from the interior of the mill and hides the dramatic encounter of politics, cla ss, national identity, and potential violence taking place within. Instead, we find the dawdling Hugo caught up in his own interio rity; he is day dreaming and oblivious. The sound of the racing towards the into his duty and finds only the bleeding hand of Marda already administered to by the comforting attentions of Lois. Hugo continues on into the inte rior of the mill even as the women beg him not to; they pass at the threshold and the narration remains on the exterior with the sanguine victims. This threshold divides the experience of violence from the narrative discourse. Marda and Lois hold the det ails of the gun shot event secret between them which seems to nod again to the Gothic undertone of this family saga, especially as it is played out in the Gothic style ruin of the old mill. They also hold their pact because, Lois ich can be seen as an utterance revealing the voice of many: Marda, Lois, the Irishman, the narrator, and the author. This was a communal experience and all indications reveal that the author honors the conflicts and pacts the Irish and the Anglo Irish ma ke together. Marda and Lois resist the urge even to go over any of the details of the situation amongst themselves. The event remains, therefore,
175 unspoken and unnarrated. Marda and Lois maintain an uncanny calm in the face of this g othic violence. By el iminating the textual representation of this violence and leaving only a glimpse of an all okay, all resolved conclusion without explanation, the narrative of The Last September demonstrates that the social aspect of these political and national ills is in finitely complex and horrifying whether we witness them or not. Bowen is a realist who brings the narrative back from a true judgment because as an Anglo Irish woman of property and hereditary ties to Ireland, she is inextricably linked to the fate of tho se who would be judged. violence remain steadfast in their pact of nondisclosure. It does not go without what Miss confirmed; they will think we have been shooting at her. Her stumble was most too aware reader : the violence remains real, evident, and perhaps still shocking enough to keep from being completely ignorable. The most respectable young ladies and the Army garrison gents literally and metaphorically dance around the issue of violence and vulnerabili arranges and pulls off the liveliest of social events depicted in the novel: a dance for the locals a nd the soldiers. While they are there ce. One sweet, innocent young lady announces with no apparent irony
176 The party decorators and designers dutif ully draw the curtains to ward off this disruption, but drawing the curtains on trouble opens up our reading of this narrative. The troubles obviously exist and everyone is aware of them, but as crisis seems just on the other side of a thin threshold (the windows, curtains, and walls) of these Anglo Irish spaces, the actions taken seem totally incommensurate with the level of anxiety being felt. While the event comes off without incident, plenty of small details remain to show the delicate balance of nego tiation required by these two separate entities: locals and stationed military. The girls all find families to stay with for the night instead of driving home through the unprotected and purportedly unsafe country roads; the soldiers try to dance, drink, and eat away their headaches and the many. The summer comes to a close and the Big House empties. The Montmorencys are off to Mediera, Laurence returns to his rightful place at O xford, and Lois finds a way to something new and different away from Danielstown She has left for France to embark on learning French and touring with (300 01). pa ssing comment that helps to mark the season al changes and the social changes incumbent upon them: strikes me this place looks really i Of course this is the last September for th is family and their Big House. Danielstown, and Sir Richard and Lady Naylor, come to their inevitable demise at from progressive narration to reflective and retrospe ctive description s
177 narration reports the doomed fate of Danielstown. The narrator reports in a voice t rees. By next year light had po sse sse d itself of the As the only living witnesses to the events at Danielstown, these trees speak of the surprising and disorienting loss of which Bowen writes which comes through the al phrases and the personification of light. If the seasons continue to cycle then the trees follow the seasons, and the land supports its inhabitants. This reads like an attempt at understanding that circumstances change and lives adjust, but the tensio n created within the internally dialogized narratives is that these are hard experiences. The sensibility of these platitudes is upon Danielstown and the death of the Naylors. sense of moral indignation and perhaps her own feelings of betrayal: At Danielstown half way up the avenue under the beeches, the thin iron gate twanged (missed its latch, remained swinging aghast) as the last unlit car slid out with the executioners bland from accomplished duty. The sound of the last car widened, gave itself to the op en and empty country and was demolished. Then the first wave of a silence that was to be ultimate flowed back confidently to the steps. The door stood open hospitably upon a furnace. (303) The anthropomorphism of the aghast gate and the hospitable door s how how aware Bowen is of a significant transition: the flux of life and power and the inevitable cycles of existence. The shock of these cycles comes from the contrast to the previous cycles which included house guests, tennis parties, and their evening strolls, even though the autumnal chill had already begun to creep into the air.
178 Throughout The Last September the narrative has drawn our attention to the moments of tension and languor that hover on either side of the threshold dividing tradition from change. For the Anglo Irish folks this is a state of living, but there may also be some critique of the ir easy slipping back and forth without some awareness o f the material realities of the situations at hand. There is an obvious desire to maintain the pact of secrecy and camaraderie between the Anglo Irish and the Irish, like the pact between Marda, Lois, and the hiding Irishman in the old mill, but when no one recognizes the changes incumbent upon them, this pact burns up. The Heat of the Day Bowen p ens her idea about the state of t he world and its crepuscularity ( crepuscular world our nerves have enough to bear ) in 1942 during her retreat to Ireland from war history of the house. Clearly the increased attacks on English soil, the intensity of fighting during 1942, and the overall atmosphere of war inform the shifting world and the tension associated with those changes, even though she is purpo actuality: The Heat of the Day is a crepuscular narrative set in 1942. P ublished in 1948, th is historical novel orchestrates a tale of wartime London that reverberates with the tones of a discordant community, city, and nation. And though precisely dated and reflective of events of the war, there is little to no historical account of the war exc ept as World War ( The Heat of the Day 92). While characters attempt to just simp ly go on with
179 the provincial nature of everyday life amid the air raids and destruction, this narrative also reflects the intensity of this time of crisis through the narr ative chronotope of threshold. For the most part, The Heat of the Day is a story about Stella and her domestic life, but war, politics, treason, violence, and relationships are all powerful subtexts within this heteroglossic narrative. Stella is a middle aged divorce and widow; she is also the mother of a dutiful soldier Roderick. With two other men playing crucial roles in defining desires. The covertly traitorous character Robert, is accused of selli ng war secrets to Germa ny, showing complex negotiation of loyalty (or disloyalty) through the language of patriotism and absolutism. The representative of the official state, Harrison, tracks Robert and wishes to negotiate with Stella for Robe and life, and becoming s lover is his price. Louie, the rough around the edges, lower middle class counterpart to Stella, provides a crucial voice of alterity and frankness within the caucophony of war torn England. T he intersection of these characters, their v oices, and their overlapping conflicts helps to bring out the ideological position of the author amid the heteroglossia of [her] The disturbing effects of the war are most visible in the conflation of exteriority and interiority. As exterior conditions bombs, sirens, and information ( or its lack ) destabilize the foundations of core concepts such as allegiance, patriarchy, life, and death, the narrative constructs a polyphonic version of a historical event. Recog nizing
180 fictionalization and the historical reality underpinning The Heat of the Da y as she writes security crumbled with the walls of townhouses, flats, private homes, and air raid structures, The Heat of the Day opens up room to explore atmosphere and the haunting effects of violence narratives from the short stories and through The Last September as w ell. Some critics argue that The Heat of the Day is a story about the personal and political struggles of Stella, an upper middle class woman living in London during the Second World War, and her subsequent growth and development in the face of these cha llenging circumstances. Stella is, certainly, a transmittal vehicle for the human element in this particular psychic London under examination as the reader lives through much of the indeterminacy of life through her. But she is one of many whose criss cr ossing through, around, and even out of London figures in this sometimes claustrophobic and always disorienting historical drama. The younger generation of class counterpart reveal s the two sepa rate futures Bowen imagines coming out of war torn England: on the one hand there will be Ireland and a family estate for Robert; on the other hand, there will be Louie, who along with Thomas Victor, her fatherless baby, escapes off to Seale on Sea, the no stalgic homeland for Louie that was devastated by bombings but has the promise of becoming inhabitable again. The novel ends with the eventual, eventful, and from a
181 thi s is the retelling of history (328). Presumably, then, life will continue in some kind of normalcy. Bowen is not, however, offering a synthetically concordant conclusion; the negotiation of boundaries and the nerve racking effects of this crepuscular wor ld in The Heat of the Day amplify Opening the novel on a Sunday, with an outdoor concert, in a park, in bombed out London, in the afternoon of a long, late summer, early autumn day, Bowen sets the stage for the in betweenness of this crepuscular narrative. Throughout the novel, the in between spaces are indefinite and disturbing physical, psychological, and emotional representations of the state of London and the people who populate it. The first lines of orchestra that played. The season was late for an outdoor concert; already leaves were drifting on to the grass stage here and there one turned over, crepitating as though in demonstrates an intriguing combination of specificity and non fixity in its crepuscularity: as the day is named Sunday and the time is pin pointed as clock time, the seaso n is In elaborating the effects of the changing season, we see how the more fluid, more indeterminate narrative description fills out the paragraph. From a specific day and time we move through to a more amorphous association with the atmosphere of the season, and in that movement there is a complementary flux and flow of meaning. As calendar time and clock time fade out, the logic of those regulatory systems fades with them thus exposing the double voiced nature of the discourse. The narrative is layered with the present moment watching the leaves fall and hearing the music, and the inevitable future outside of this time and this
182 narrative, the historical events surrounding the war. There is more story to unfol d in this single utterance khtin would say, at these intersections of chronotopic values present and future, fictional and historical (250). utterance; while the leaves are falling here we also know that bombs will fall, people will fall, homes will fall, cities, nations, and even empires will fall. Thi s embeds the narrative with the thrill and the terror of the unpredictable future so keenly demonstrated in le moment of life. The arena displays the artfulness and the commonness of existence in a single experience. The concert sensation that they were missing behind was in sunshine, while this hollow which was the source of the music was found to be also the source of the dusk. War had made them idolize day and summer; night Again the work of the heteroglossic narrative delivers the notes behind the scenes, the haunting meanings betwe en the lines, as the lure of the music is contaminated by the dread of the dusk which demonstrates the tensions felt by the people in war both phantasmally and materially. As many pause at the gate, on the threshold of dusk and the hollow, the crisis of wa r is exposed and the tension associated with complicated choices which in any normal everyday Sunday really
183 should be simple choices: go sit and listen to a free outdoor concert or keep walking on. But what Bowen shares so poignantly here is that at a tim e affected by war, none of the everyday aspects of life are commonplace anymore. This crepuscular opening of the novel plays out the specific chronotope of the threshold and creates ambiguity: with the changing of day to night that happens with the balancing on the cusp of summer and autumn, on a specific day, at a specific time, but really lacking date and lacking time, lives exist in this state of flux. The combinatio n of that is fast approaching at this concert in the park, reflects a similarly cryptic amorphousness and ambiguousness s glassless bedroom window, we see the broken down, depleted, devastated landscape of the bombed out London, and we feel the destabilizing effects of this absent, useless boundary between inside and outside. This perviousness of seemingly impervious elements (93). Without the intervening barrier of smoke from ruins each day rose to a height of un everyday life (90 1). The dilution of permanence to impermanence and the dust that surrounds all of these regular moments of ti me and experience renders a disturbing, uncanny otherness to that which should be familiar.
184 The double voiced discourse of historicity and crepuscularity constantly reinforces the idea that in wartime life is uncertain and especially susceptible to uncerta inties during the barrage of exterior forces on interior spaces. The disruption of normal life is expressed in the narrative through the excesses of the unusual life for all of the rlough from her one another, of these people she nightly saw was fluid, easy, holdi ng inside itself a sort This pleasure living made visible in the narrative posits the fools and clowns of public spectacle. The carnivalesque absurdity of a new London attention, drink transfers the aching, the straining, and the haunting nearness of death into its opposite, a revelry for the people of this charged atmosphere and peculiar place (95). This stop gap solution is, apparently, what helps to narrative. element of this psychic London is the disorienting integration and oscillation between the living and the dead that becomes apparent in the erasure of the usually discrete boundary between life and death (Ellmann 15) 2 The twilight of the concert in the park that opens the novel is th us reiterated here as the etherealness of a fully living, not fully dead existence becomes apparent. It is again in the chronotope of threshold and
185 through the crepuscular narrative discourse where these slippages come to inform the text: The wall between the living and the living became less solid as the wall between the living and the dead thinned. In that September transparency people became transparent, only to be located by the just darker flicker of their hearts. Strangers blanched and then faded with evening, each hoped not to die that night, still more not to die unknown. (92) Later in this narration the many unknown dead, the fathomless depths of loss and disappeara nce without recognition worries the text and remains as the most strikingly ghastly remnant of trauma of the Second World War as it is experienced in London. So it seems as death comes to the surface of events instead of being neatly buried underneath our consciousnesses, intimacy is fast, readily available, required, and supplied. The between n death as i t is to the excesses of corporeal life, then even the presumably distinct polarity of life and death becomes muddled, unclear, undecidable as a fundamental category and instead based on conditionality, contingency, and the work of the narrative. And as it takes the exchange of utterance s between strangers for each to feel present, the The Heat of the Day pushes the reader through the historical atmosphere of the disturbing assaults on London in this claustrophobic narrative, like pushing through the Air raid sirens and bombs as the true to life elements of war in this narrative become the extreme limits of this phenomeno n of infiltration; these elements erase the divide between exterior and interior and allow us to
186 examine the hazy uncertainties that arise along this threshold. The uncertainties in this novel include questions about patriarchy and the traditional social roles that lose all meaning in the inside spaces of a world in crisis. These uncertainties are also most surely raised in questions of inheritance, family land, and finding a home, which seems to be possible only outside the city and in ambiguous territor ies like Irel and. And perhaps most haunting is the questioning of life and death as the narrative creates a transparency between the two. The crepuscularit y of this novel the twilight the dimness, the haziness, the evening out of boundaries, borders and barriers allows us A World of Love While there may be external peace in A World of Love (1955), the internal disruptions a nd hauntings are plenty and widespread. As the very first words of this narrative arch back to The Heat of the Day we realize the chronotope of threshold and crepuscularity will once again define the artistic style of A World of Love The narrative open this is still a world of damaged marriages and estranged families who most of the time exhibit more meanness to each other than affection (9). In the midst of a heat wave, set in the south of Ireland, with a timeline spanning the two World Wars and an early 1950s historicity, this narrative remains another folding over of time and place. A World of Love opens up in the midst of convoluted relationships and a marching on of time, but
187 Montefort who sees her as she comes to work in the morning. This posited, dreamlike figure appears as though she were the orphan Lois plucked right out of The Last September and dropped in to this more modern exposition. T his confusion of time and space has the same effect of disorientation that we find in The Heat of the Day as memories, ghosts, present and past reverberate with the possibilities of discovering something new and something deeply repressed. xpression of the ghostly quality and disorientation common in the Irish countrysides comment comes out distinctly in in a lengthy rumination that consequently illuminates much about this haunted narrative of another family saga playing out in another Big House: The not long past of these houses has been very intense: no Irish people Irish or Anglo Irish live a day unconsciously. Lives in these houses, for generations, have been lived at high pitch, only muted down by the weather, in psycholo gical closeness to one ano t her and under the strong rule of the family myth. Lack of means, concentration of interests, love of their own sphere of power keeps most Anglo Irish from often going away. I know of no house (no house that has not changed hand s) in which, while the present seems to be there forever, the past is not pervadingly felt. (19) A World of Love will not be written for more than ten years after this comment was set down, but this evaluation connects both the atmosphere and the reality of the artistic style that appears in the story of Montefort. o the river, has in its favor the Both also the intense isolation of the house and the p eople in it. Even though the narrative starts with daybreak and the new beginning, the reality of the situation already shows decline, doom, and the shadow of former glory. The one monumental aspect of the
188 property, the obelisk, casts its shadow onto the house, but that remains its only connection to these modern inhabitants. This big house and the family within have clearly defined economic and familial parameters in this novel, and their particular situation clearly comments on the more generalized poli tical and social realities of the Anglo Irish at the end of their long decline. A mixed up brood of Danbys live on at Montefort as what Ellmann refers to as 180). Antonia is the hereditary owner though she only visits Montefort in summers and stays most of the year instead in London being fashionable. Fred Danby is the illegitimate son of a rogue Montefort uncle who grew up in the stables and reminds the reader immediately of the Prendy to Prendeville connections in The Big House of Inver Montefort is given over to Fred, however, to run and work (it is a working farm estate, as well) with his wife Lilia whom he gets as a package deal with the house. Antonia arranged it all; Lilia had been engaged to the legitimate heir and another cousin, Guy Danby who was killed in battle in Worl d War I. Fred and Lilia have two daughters, Jane narrative reveals the heteroglossic impul se of this novel from the start. The ambiguity and duality established by the dawning of the new day shining light on both Jane and the degraded and doomed house parallels the ambiguity of the lives of those on the interior. Montefort, she unburies the past in the form of a packet of old and hidden love letters
189 (51, 37). The discovery of these letters by chance encodes the narrative with the language of the dead and sends the (67). The letters are the reminder of the torment of lost love, of lost life, of unlived life, even yet to be lived life. These letters take on the fullness of a character in this mostly realistic nov el as they travel, exist, define mood, create relationships, and affect the outcome of the story. The letters remain anonymous and timeless with no envelopes and no signatures or greeting; removed from location and posting they exist equally as artifacts of the historical past and correspondence for the present day of the narrative. They embody a spirit and a capability all their own as they make themselves known to is much more interested in the dress that covered these letters than she is with the letters, family domain ( 20). The letters create a vivid doubl e voice in the narrative as they relay the most intimate peculiarities of each member of the Montefort household and are part of the exposure of the monsters within the characters and story (52). Jane approaches the thin her gathered into a peak: the inner course of desires strict patriarchal authority around her, delivers them up to her father, Fred. Fred seems to feel the most removed from them and simply delivers them to Lilia because he believes they must belong to her. Lilia, who is obviously not the beloved being addressed in these sweet letters, seems finally willing to let them and Guy go from her grip, so they simply fal l off her lap where she limply holds them. Antonia gets to find
190 them for herself, as they lay in wait in the hall, but she quickly drops them off for It is Jane who breaks the r ubber band holding these various ghosts of Guy, but as part of her romanticized response to the letters, she ties them back up with a bit of sweet, fancy, white satin ribbon. This ribbon finds its most useful potential as an adornment in hey pass through her hands on their way back full circle to Jane. What had been a highly charged symbol out of the discourse of romance comes back to the everyday as the letters become something that needs to be dealt with like modern day junk mail, and t he ribbon that kept them together takes its functional place in the and releasing their pent up energy. In a country with a painful relationship to burnings, it is interesting that this would be a welcomed incineration. When the letters first find their way to the kitchen it is through Antonia, but the Antonia and declares her complete ly double and common sense simultaneously. It also r situation at Montefort where the Danbys continue living on in the deteriorated and gothic conditions that are perpetuated at this cursed family estate Though dismissed by Antonia in a lie as simpl once they are dealt with they actually cure the emotional stagnation that has plagued this big house (124). Kathie, with her superstitious voice of reason, does not want to be
191 involved in any house that has a curse on it, even though a fresh sense of frightfulness or concern over spookiness seems anachronistic to this already melting big house. The heat of these days, and the many dawns that have shone upon this house, have already crum bled the walls and killed the air inside these not quite living, not quite dead quarters that vividly show the curse of unwelcome deracination. Mostly practical, Kathie also displays the motif common to the comedic discourse of the folklorish, mythical, I rish country servant. Her outburst and slip into her gothic moment of mystery and supernaturalism, therefore, rings out as part of the living contradictions of entrenched traditions in a modern world. One very special annual event lures the whole family o ff of Montefort property, the over a tent peg and what used to look and f eel fine at the Fte, is now seen through her trip and fall. The excess of the tea and porter, thrum of hoofs from the paddock, the strikings up and dyings down of turned upside down in this carni hit pane, the whole While having appreciated the fame and frivolity of the social, public event when she first s come crashing down into an anxiousness and a sense of panic
192 The ambiguities inherent in this internally dialogized character speech are evident scene as it reinforces the folly of excesses and the danger of looking like a fool in a country where her existence continues on even though it is clearly a defunct way of life. She would like to have the assistance of her male (cousin) escort (though hardly the knight in shining armor, he is a good man), and she yet she knows practically that her escape is simply tied to the locomotion of the motor car, named specifically as the Ford; the chiva lric romance of the damsel in distress is made modern as she looks for the machine that can actually do the job. A realist to the end, she remains, however, in (29). Reticent and bogged down by the weight of familial entanglements of guilt, power struggles, and past or future dramas, Fred usually says little to Antonia, but he does i their return to Montefort, the big house, Fred puts back on his work clothes, marking the end of the public self (though his persona undoubtedly remains much the same) and the return of the private. The doggedness of Fred and the resignation of Antonia combined reflects the torture of existence under erasure, or as J.C. Beckett qui ps in his historical review The Anglo Irish Tradition This same kaleidoscopic social occasion brings out the pain of disillusionment for Lilia, as well, who a t fifty something and worn out by loss, is not as fresh as a lily
193 anymore. Her state of disappointment occurs to her as she looks at herself in the mirror summer after summer, externa (30). Lilia is hard on herself in this internal dialogue, but as she learns to deal with her e her family of its own torments and find a new vision in the mirror of everyone moving forward. Lilia moves on from her despair and damaged existence that she is so critical of in her reflection and proceeds to the arms of Fred to finally have a relation ship built around love and understanding. Likewise, Jane learns to spread her wings; Jane takes off on a journey to the airport and a real life love in the just arrived Richard Priam. Antonia settles and becomes le ss contentious and leads the reader to i magine that she will be happier with Montefort, with her actual, real, state in life There are no working clocks in Montefort and modernity seems to have skipped over the place almost entirely. In true heteroglossic style, however, A World of Love pull s the reader through the narrative in lurching movements characterized by the newest of technologies: the motorized speed of automobiles and aeroplanes. These contradictory realities expose the stagnated interiorities the whole of the Danby clan inherited The narrative examines the intense obsessions, relationships, and atmospheric experiences of the generations of pre war and post war Ang l o Irish landowners. The oppressiveness of this late novel harkens back to the penetrating
194 y short stories, is viewed from the reiterated big house windows of The Last September and flinches within the claustrophobic confines of haunted interiors and exteriors that take prominence in The Heat of the Day But this narrative ends in the open air opening out into a great beyond in the pleasurable airy, evening drive of Lilia and Fred, and the arrival of Richard Pr i am by aeroplane which subsequently brings some fresh blood to this degenerating lineage. This novel, then s imagination the possibility of a viable future now that the past is finally accepted, mourned, burned, and buried. To imagine this potential requires a remarkably optimistic outlook on this isolated big house family in remote County Cork, Ireland in the early 1950s. Moving from the Free State government and status which was being worked out in the late 1920s and early 1930s to the establishment of the Republic of Ireland in 1949 and joining the United Nations in 1955, the same year as A World of Love is published, Southern Ireland can no longer be considered the province of the Anglo representation of life in this burgeoning republic, s o different politically from the colonized Ireland Ed geworth and Somerville and Ross inherited, brings forth the artistic style of one who pauses in the threshold between tradition and change. her you realize you have neve r paid close enough attention to places or persons, the mosaic of detail that composes the first, or the voices and gestures that reveal the many thresholds Bowen crosses and bridges while finding the strength of her artistic style from the contrary impulses of tradition and change that surround her and inform
195 her. Writing about the generations of Anglo Irish settlers in Bowen provides a key to understanding her internally dialogized style as a reflection of her socio on had been, at least where they were concerned, complete. If Ireland did not accept them, they did not know it and it is in that unawareness of final rejection, unawareness of being looked out at from some secretive, opposed life, that the Anglo Irish nave 160). H er living contact with unfinished, still evolving contemporary reality (the openended shines through from her narrative spotlights on caged roles and escapist d esires, haunting pasts and ghostly mysteries, death and rebirth, and the in between spaces and erasure of boundaries. As illustration of this dialogic principle, what haunts Lois in The Last September the most is this openended present which feels as impo sing forest; space of lawns blotted out in the pressure and dusk of trees. She wondered they were not smothered; then wondered still more that they were not afraid. Far fr om here, too, their isolation became apparent anthropom orp hi zed house s she represents the growing tensions between the contradiction of admittance and exclusion in the ( The Last September 92). These impulses play out as she nd windows,
196 1 In a Glass Darkly (London: R. Bentley and Son). 2 specifically Anglo Irish context for the comment remains applicable to all the hauntings scattered
197 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION o language of his own, but does possess his own style, his own organic and unitary law governing the way he plays with languages and the way his own real semantic and expressive intentions are -M. M. Bakhtin The Dialogic Imagin ation (311) This project started from a desire to see what the work of Anglo Irish authors conveyed transhistorically and also to understand the precise details of the historical circumstances of modern Irish literature written in English. As a scholar, p erhaps I am as conflicted as these authors are in their stories. But the idea of discoverin g and interpreting cultural motifs across vast periodic boundaries remained interesting to me as one with an appreciation for archived stories and authors; the unc overing has proved fruitful. I noticed a palpable culture of communication born out of a culture dominated by inheritance and family life throughout the narratives of Edgeworth, Somerville and Ross, and Bowen. The novels under consideration in this proje ct work to transmi t the intricacies of a culture by representing its triumphs, tragedies, and trajectory across a very fluid one hundred and fifty years. While monumental changes occurred in politics, governance, social conditions, and personal lives, Edg eworth, Somerville and Ross, and Bowen represent informative links in the chain that binds the Anglo Irish to each other and to Ireland. At some level, periodization seems to have passed over these authors and yet they bring to bear their own situations a nd circumstances in all that they produce. These Anglo Irish women authors compose themselves and the culture and ideology converging for them and their communities as they play with language and find and expressive inte
198 These authors put on display the struggles that come from transitional living; living through several distinct eras and many changes in circumstances, there remains an interesting thematic continuity that pivots around the issues of inheritance and heritage for individuals and communities alike. Chronotopically, though, these narratives examined in this project always reflect back the ir fundamental historical time and space particulars. The family saga, the story of generations, dominates the narrative energies of these authors even underlying and surfacing in adventure novel s and intense character studies T hus m y work on the narratives of these authors directly addresses this collective fascination with inheritance and lineage, as all three owe so much to the ones who came before them. From Edgeworth to Somerville and Ross, and then to Bowen, we see the looped and interconnected double voiced utterances from fools, clowns, rogu es, quasi direct discourse, and genres of all types These narratives turn around the single most important question dominating the lives of these authors (and their country and their communities) that has a multitude of answers but few certainties: How are we all connected and will we learn from one gen eration to the next in order to prosper, or are we stuck on the path of peril? Can we hold on to our traditions and embrace the changes that are constantly evolving? These authors were actively engaged in telling the stories of the Anglo Irish in Irelan d and by doing so again and again they work through a few ever present contradictions. For example, as Edgeworth reimagines the power structure in Castle Rackrent and posits the leadership role in the heart of the upwardly mobile middle class, we are stil l left with the sense of loss as narrated by the not so Honest Thady. How things were is no longer how things will be in this novel of generations and with this shift
199 Edgeworth implies a sense of loss. This warning, therefore, appears as a constant n the narrative s ending with a totally reconfigured and remade future for Ireland through the figure of Ormond. co mmunity in order to report back on what they cherish and renounce what they disdain. Somerville and Ross cast off Sir Dominick, Sir Benjamin, and Old Jas for their abuses of power and general misconduct while they struggle to foster a future for Theo and Willy in An Irish Cousin Francie, Roddy, and Charlotte in The Real Charlotte and Shibby and Beauty Kit in The Big House of Inver As the narratives struggle over sustaining and releasing sustaining the good and honest while releasing the destructive and diseased there is a n honesty that surfaces in the artistic style of Somerville and Ross. While Bowen co uld be voted the one least likely to keep writing domestic tales and family sagas with an Anglo Irish foca l point, the stories she told from 1929 to 1950 are as replete with the daunting quest for a viable future as the earliest of E is refracted, as it were, through the Big us on the psychological turmoil that spread through the modern world. Lois, Marda, and Hugo brood all through The Last September while in A World of Love Jane Antonia, Lilia, and Fred torture each other over their shared secrets and their stultified li ves. In the process of unco in the narratives of Edgeworth, Somerville and Ross, and Bowen, this dissertation has shown the way these Anglo Irish authors moved between the borders of their clas s and their personal and political identities : while circumscribed and boxed in at times they
200 also frequently display the subversive and exploratory qualities of true observers of their culture. In the many moments (incorporated languages, multiplicity of languages) where these authors give over to the complexity and variability of their contradictory existences, they reinforce my argument posited in the introduction of this project that conquered ing of Edgeworth, Somerville and Ross, and Bowen. These authors, as so many of their class and community, rest Irish. Oliver MacDonagh takes an in depth look at this concept of turmoil and intense com plexity within Ireland and for the Anglo Irish specifically, in his study States of Mind: A Study of Anglo Irish Conflict 1780 1980 He eloquently and succinctly captures the divided psychological and circumstantial existences of this complex class of Sou thern Protestant, Irish citizens. Ire land is their home and the root of their existence, but it is guaranteed to them by external forces and an authority structure which therefore excludes them. He writes: Their Irishness was established by their very l ocal supremacy and superiority of depended not only essentially but even self confessedly upon British arms and influence made them see themselves as part of an imperial structu re. Domestically they were still overlords, but externally they were dependants. Over the next sixty years, 1825 85, however, their standing in Ireland was gradually irrelevant in all the crucial matters of life to their own countryside, unless they bent, as most of them never would, to the winds of the new nationalism. (27) One morning duri ng the writing of this dissertation I woke up with a tune stuck in my head from a song I must have listened to the day before but could not distinctly remember. Just this one melodic phrase kept coming back to me, and so I tried to pay little attention to these tricks of my mind during this intense process. Later that same
201 swimming, we're floating / And in this moment we are beholden / To what we've caused, to what it ta This allows me to close, then, with what I imagine to be the perfect modern day poetics for what I wondered about and witnessed Edgeworth, Somerville and Ross and Bowen worrying over in their narratives.
202 LIST OF REFERENCES Bakhtin, M. M. The Dialogic Imagination Ed. Michael Holquist. Trans. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist. Austin: U of Texas P, 1981. Beckett, J.C. The Anglo Irish Tradition New York: Cornell UP, 1976. An Uncomfortable Authority: Maria Edgeworth and Her Contexts Eds. Heidi Kaufman and Chris Fauske. N ewark: U of Delaware P, 2004. 105 126. Bence Jones, Mark. Twilight of the Ascendancy London: Constable and Co., 1987. Bloom, Harold. British Women Fiction Writers 1900 1960, Volume One Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 1997. Bowen, Elizabeth. A World of Love 1955. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1987. --. New York: Knopf, 1942. --. New York: Knopf, 1951. --. The Heat of the Day 1948. London: Penguin, 1962. --. The Last Septe mber 1929. New York: Anchor Books, 2000. Ennui Studies in the Novel 37.2 (2005): 123 140. Spectator (12 Feb 1964). Castle Rackrent and Ennui By Maria Edgeworth. Ed. Marilyn Butler. London: Penguin, 1992. --Novel (Spring 2001): 267 292. --. Maria Edgeworth: A Literary Biography Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1972. Ormond By Maria Edgeworth. Ed. Claire Connolly. London: Penguin, 1999. Castle Rackrent Criticism 36.3 (1 994): 383 401. Edgeworth Did Not Write Castle Belinda New Essays on Maria Edgeworth Ed. Julie Nash. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006. 131 61.
203 Irish Elizabeth Bowen by Victoria Glendinning. Yale Review (1978): 619 22. Ormond An Uncomfortable Authority: Maria Edgeworth and Her Contexts Eds. Heidi Kaufman and Chris Fauske. Newark: U of Delaware P, 2004. 62 83. Cronin, John. The Anglo Irish Novel 2 vols. Totowa: Barnes and Noble Books, 1980. Edgeworth, Maria. The Absentee Ed. Heidi Thomson. London: Penguin, 1999. Print. --. An Essay on Irish Bulls 1802. Tales and Novels Vol. 4. Charleston: Bibliobazar, 2006. Print. 10 vols. --. Castle Rackrent and Ennui Ed. Marilyn Butler. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. --. Ormond Ed. Claire Connolly. London: Penguin, 1999. Print. Ellmann, Maud. Elizabeth Bowen: The Shadow Acr oss the Page Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2003. Nationalism: Castle Rackrent and Anglo Novel (Winter 1996): 145 164. Maria Edgeworth, and Irish University Review: A Journal of Irish Studies 33.2 (2003): 263 280. Expanded Academic ASAP Gale. University of Florida Libraries. 30 Mar. 2008.
204 Twentieth Century Literature 45.2 (1999): 138 58. Moynahan, Julian. Anglo Irish: The Literary Imagination in a Hyphenated Culture Princeton: Princeton UP, 1995. Nash, New Essays on Maria Edgeworth Ed. Julie Nash. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006. Powell, Violet. The Irish Cousins: The Books and Backgrounds of Somerville and Ross London: Heinemann, 1970. Some Aspects of Anglo Irish Literature from The Yearbook of English Studies 13 (1983): 97 115. Smyth, Gerry. Decolonisation and Criticism: The Construction of Irish Literature London: Pluto Press, 1998. Somerville, Edith and Martin Ross. An Irish Cousin --. Irish Memories London: Longmans, 1925. --. Some Experiences of an Irish R. M. 1899. Nashville: J. S. Sanders, 1998. --. The Big House of Inver 1925. Ed. Gifford Lewis. Nashville: J. S. Sanders, 1999. --. The Real Charlotte 1894. Ed. Gifford Lewis. Nashville: J. S. Sanders, 1999. The Absentee London: Penguin, 1999. Weekes, Ann Owen. Irish Women Writers: An Uncharted Territory Lexington: U of Kentucky P, 1990. Studies in English Literature, 1500 1900 39.4 (1999): 645 58. Zimmern, Helen. Maria Edgeworth Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1883.
205 BIOG RAPHICAL SKETCH Born in Miami, Florida, Sarah Margaret Mallonee attended Saint Lucie County public schools for elementary, middle, and high school As a graduate of Lincoln Park Academy High School and as an International Baccalaureate diploma recipient, Ms. Mallonee attended Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana and was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in May 1998. Ms. Mallonee then returned to her home state and earned a Master of Arts degree in English from t he University of Florida i n May 2003 In the summer of 2005, Ms. Mallonee accepted a position at Indian River State College and returned to the community of her growing up years to serve in the English and Modern Languages Department as a full time professor of English.