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

Angela Byrne

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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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)259-281
    Number of pages23
    JournalProceedings of the Royal Irish Academy Section C: Archaeology, Celtic Studies, History, Linguistics and Literature
    Volume119
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2019

    Keywords

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

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