The Life of William Carelton (1794 - 1869) And The Origins of Modern Irish Literature


Sullivan, Eileen A.


Ph.D. University of Florida, Editor of The Carelton Newletter

William Carelton is a survivor. He lives through the pages of his poetry, short stories and novels and he reveled in his sobiquet “Father of Modern Irish Literature”. A careful reading and analysis of his numerous works prove, according to Professor Sullivan, that Carleton actually was worthy of the title ascribed. Carelton wished to record the real Ireland of the agricultural drudges and the rural magnates, the native speakers and the British overseers Sullivan’s work based on her own original research and that of Andre Boue is the first major study of Carelton since 1896. It covers Carelton’s four “Realistic” novels of the Irish peasantry and clears up many mysteries, major and minor, dealing with the parentage, birth, education and political orientation of this writer: errors introduced by the author himself and his first biographer for a variety of reasons. Carelton’s stance as pro rural and anti town was to echo in Irish poetry and drama and even influence the emergent nationalist rulers of Ireland 1921-1964. The author also discusses Carelton’s truly complex financial and cultural relationships with Protestant, Catholic, Nationalist and Unionist patrons/sources and their influence on his work. Professor Sullivan also expands the literary horizon of Carelton’s Ireland to discuss the influence on W.C. of Scots and English authors as well as the three great events of his lifetime: the loss of the Irish language, The Catholic Emancipation and the Great Famine. This biography will be sought out for its wealth of insight and research plus its unrivaled mastery of Carelton bibliography.

Irish Studies, Irish novels 19th c, William Carleton, Irish rural/country studies-19th c
Release Date: 
Cloth: 1-930901-28-3; 9781930901285
Trim Size: 
6 x 9

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