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The Literature of the Irish in Britain: Autobiography and Memoir, 1725-2001

by Liam Harte - £25.00  Palgrave Macmillan (2011)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9780230296367 | ISBN 10: 023029636x

This anthology is the first critical survey of an unjustly neglected body of literature: the autobiographies and memoirs of writers of Irish birth or background who lived and worked in Britain between 1725 and the present day.
 
Woven around annotated extracts from the work of over sixty autobiographers, both canonical and obscure, it challenges received views of the Irish in Britain as an unliterary people who cleaved more to the spade than the pen. Combining literary and historical perspectives, Liam Harte illustrates the diverse autobiographical modes in which the 'story' of Irish migration to Britain has been narrated, and shows how these richly various testimonies confound dogmatic equations of Irish exile with suffering and victimhood.
 
Extensively researched and imaginatively constructed, this ground-breaking critical study illuminates the changing self-representations and multi-layered social realities of Irish migrants in Britain across three centuries. Among the authors discussed are Mary Davys, Laetitia Pilkington, John Denvir, Tom Barclay, W. B. Yeats, Patrick MacGill, Elizabeth Bowen, Sean O'Casey, Louis MacNeice, Alice Foley, Dónall Mac Amhlaigh, Bob Geldof and William Trevor.

(Price & availability last checked: May 2019)

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In booklists: Irish Writers and Literature, Irish Biography and Autobiography, Irish History,
In categories: Poetry & Writing, Ireland, Scotland & Wales, History & Biography,

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