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By Mary Jean Corbett

Corbett explores fictional and nonfictional representations of Ireland's courting with England through the 19th century. She considers the makes use of of familial and household metaphors in structuring narratives that enact the ''union'' of britain and eire. Corbett situates her readings of novels through Edgeworth, Gaskell, and Trollope, and writings by means of Burke, Engels, and Mill, in the various old contexts that form them. She revises the serious orthodoxies surrounding colonial discourse that presently be triumphant in Irish and English experiences, and provides a clean standpoint on vital facets of Victorian tradition.

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Extra resources for Allegories of Union in Irish and English Writing, 1790-1870: Politics, History, and the Family from Edgeworth to Arnold

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In place of that old relation between conquered enemy and conquering power, Burke proposes one that speaks to the interests of the present as he articulates the current status of the catholic majority: . . to be under the state, but not the state itself, nor any part of it, is a situation perfectly intelligible: but to those who fill that situation, not very pleasant, when it is understood. It is a state of civil servitude by the very force of the definition . . This servitude, which makes men subject to a state without being citizens, may be more or less tolerable from many circumstances: but these circumstances, more or less favourable, do not alter the nature of the thing.

Arguing from natural law in the ‘‘Tracts relating to the Popery Laws,’’ he asserts that while the people ‘‘are presumed to consent to whatever the Legislature ordains for their benefit’’ (Writings and Speeches ), ‘‘no one can imagine . . an exclusion of a great body of men . . from the common advantages of society, can ever be a thing intended for their good, or can ever be ratified by any implied consent of theirs’’ (). Repealing the penal laws would release Irish catholics from ‘‘subjection,’’ which Burke equates with ‘‘the most shocking kind of servitude’’ (Writings and Speeches ) in the Letter to Burke, Edgeworth, and Ireland in the s  Richard Burke, and so encourage growth of the ‘‘public affections’’ which their implementation had stunted.

France, when she let loose the reins of regal authority, doubled the license of a ferocious dissoluteness in manners . . and has extended through all ranks of life, as if she were communicating some privilege or laying open some secluded benefit, all the unhappy corruptions that usually were the disease of wealth and power. () As the ‘‘austere and masculine’’ give way to ‘‘a ferocious dissoluteness,’’ the ‘‘disease’’ of aristocratic manners – often associated in Burke, as in the work of Mary Wollstonecraft, with sexual license – spreads throughout the body politic, infecting all ranks; if not explicitly labeled as such, the effeminate or feminine character of the carriers of this plague is yet suggested.

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