Anonymity, Irish Women’s Writing, and a Tale of Contested Authorship: Blue-Stocking Hall (1827) and Tales of my Time (1829)

Angela Byrne

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    This article addresses the question of the authorship of two anonymous nineteenth-century novels – Blue stocking hall (1827) and Tales of my time (1829). These novels were long wrongly attributed to the English Unitarian minister and writer William Pitt Scargill, but this has come into question with the suggestion that Cork-born Anna Maria Chetwood was the author. This article examines the surviving evidence in the publisher’s archive and in the private papers of a coterie of Irish writing women associated with Chetwood to assess existing assumptions and received narratives relating to the candidates for authorship. This article firstly places the novels in the wider context of Irish romanticism. It then clarifies the heretofore little-known biographies of the two women most likely to have authored the novels, before considering the evidence for each woman. Finally, the novels are briefly assessed within the context of the written corpus of the Chetwood–Wilmot circle’s poetry, fiction and non-fiction.
    LanguageEnglish
    Number of pages23
    JournalProceedings of the Royal Irish Academy Section C: Archaeology, Celtic Studies, History, Linguistics and Literature
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2019

    Fingerprint

    anonymity
    Romanticism
    minister
    poetry
    evidence
    nineteenth century
    candidacy
    writer
    time
    Novel
    Anonymity
    Authorship
    narrative

    Keywords

    • Ireland
    • nineteenth century
    • Women's Writing
    • Fiction
    • anonymity

    Cite this

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    abstract = "This article addresses the question of the authorship of two anonymous nineteenth-century novels – Blue stocking hall (1827) and Tales of my time (1829). These novels were long wrongly attributed to the English Unitarian minister and writer William Pitt Scargill, but this has come into question with the suggestion that Cork-born Anna Maria Chetwood was the author. This article examines the surviving evidence in the publisher’s archive and in the private papers of a coterie of Irish writing women associated with Chetwood to assess existing assumptions and received narratives relating to the candidates for authorship. This article firstly places the novels in the wider context of Irish romanticism. It then clarifies the heretofore little-known biographies of the two women most likely to have authored the novels, before considering the evidence for each woman. Finally, the novels are briefly assessed within the context of the written corpus of the Chetwood–Wilmot circle’s poetry, fiction and non-fiction.",
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