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Irish Women Writers (Irish Studies)


Critical Editions/Surveys

This guide points researchers to material that is valuable for research into Irish Women Writers.

General Surveys/Critical Editions


A select list of literary surveys that focus on the writing of Irish women. There are more general surveys that include women writers on the Irish Literature and Language Research Guide.

Brown, Stephen J., S.J. A Survey of Catholic Literature. Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Company, 1949. (O'Neill Library: PN485.B7 1949)
The survey deals not only with books and authors, but 'literary currents' and revivals as well. Irish women writers are featured in the chapter entitled Modern Irish Literature. The survey of Catholic literature aims to select 'whatever in this literature was deemed notable or characteristic'. It is international in scope, begins coverage from the early centuries of Christianity and continues up to the time of publication (1949).
D'hoker, Alke, editor. Irish Women Writers: New Critical Perspectives. New York: Peter Lang. Online through ebrary.
Donavan, Kate, et al. Ireland's Women: Writings Past and Present. New York: Norton, 1995. (O'Neill Library: PR8836.5.W66 I74x 1995)
Excerpts of literature by women and men that describes women from Queen Maeve to Mary Robinson. The excerpts are drawn from myths, poems, letters, newspapers, novels, plays, and songs. Organized by topic: bodies, "girly years," love, marriage and family, money and power, shapechangers, heroism, religion, women alone, talk, and time.
Flanagan, Thomas. The Irish Novelists 1800-1850. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1976. (O'Neill Library: PR8801.F55 1976)
Flanagan states in the introduction to his work that "The intention of this study.... is to examine the works and careers of the principal novelists of the early twentieth century: Maria Edgeworth, John Banim, Gerald Griffin and William Carleton."
Ingman, Heather. Irish Women's Fiction: From Edgeworth to Enright. Dublin: irish Academic Press, 2013. (Burns Library PR 8733.I54 2013; O'Neill Library PR 8733.I54 2013)
This book offers a study of a wide range of works, including forgotten and neglected works.  Ingman's technique of offering a unifying theme for each chapter serves to add interest and underscore how each generation of writers contributed in unique ways to the genre.
Kreilkamp, Vera. The Anglo-Irish Novel and the Big House. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1998. (O'Neill Library PR 8807.C68K74 1998)
Kreilkamp traces the genre of the Big House novel from its birth in 1800 with the publication of Maria Edgeworth’s, “Castle Rackrent” up through the twentieth century. The author covers major and minor writers. Some of the major writers include, Maria Edgeworth, Somerville and Ross, John Banville, Molly Keane and Elizabeth Bowen.
Linkin, Harriet Kramer. The Collected Poems and Journals of Mary Tighe. Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky, 2005. (O'Neill Library: PR5671.T2 A6 2005)
In the words of editor, this edition “offers the first, comprehensive, chronological, annotated collection of Tighe’s published and hitherto unpublished poetry- as well as several pertinent unpublished journals by Tighe and family members to enable a full appreciation of Tighe’s achievement as a Romantic era poet.” Editor includes manuscript notes of Tighe along with editorial translations for lines in various languages, glosses on archaic terms and biographical information for figures within the texts.
Luddy, Maria, ed. Irish Women's Writing, 1839-1888. London: Routledge/Thoemmes, 1998. (O'Neill Library: PR8836.W66 I75 1998)
A six-volume set of reprints of mid- to late-nineteenth century women's writing. Each volume has a lengthy introduction by the scholar who edited the volume. The first volume contains Friendly Advice to Irish Mothers, on Training their Children by Catherine Alexander. The second and third volumes contain the Leadbetter Papers, the fourth contains part of The Annals of the Sisters of Mercy, the fifth contains Castle Daly, and the sixth contains The Nun of Kenmare: An Autobiography.
Smith, James M., ed. Two Irish National Tales: Complete Texts with introduction, Historical Contexts, Critical Essays. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2005. (O'Neill Library: PR4644.C3 2005)
A publication of the New Riverside Editions series, the publication includes the complete texts as well as a chronology of the lives of the authors, a sampling of writings to enhance an understanding of the works in terms of the contemporary culture in which the authors lived and wrote. Explanatory footnotes, the introduction and critical essays by current day scholars all help to foster an understanding of the historical significance of the works.
Weekes, Ann Owens. Unveiling Treasures: The Attic Guide to the Published Works of Irish Women Literary Writers. Dublin: Attic Press, 1993. (O'Neill Library: Reference PR8733.W33x 1993)
This is "a collection of bibliographical and biographical information on Irish women who have published a volume of poetry, fiction, or drama from the eighteenth century to the present time." Weekes defines "Irish women" broadly to include a woman of Irish descent, or any woman living in Ireland.

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