The O’Briens and the O’Flahertys
  • Publication Date: February 19, 2013
  • ISBN: 9781554810321 / 1554810329
  • 550 pages; 6" x 9"

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The O’Briens and the O’Flahertys

  • Publication Date: February 19, 2013
  • ISBN: 9781554810321 / 1554810329
  • 550 pages; 6" x 9"

The O’Briens and the O’Flahertys is a fast-paced tale of political intrigue and aristocratic vanity—a romp through 1793 Dublin as Ireland pitches towards the United Irishmen Uprising of 1798. It follows Murrogh O’Brien as he tries to find his way between his nostalgic father, the politically savvy Irish-Italian nun Beavoin O’Flaherty, the dashing flirt, Lady Knocklofty, the idealistic United Irishmen, and his comically old-fashioned aunts, only to be caught up in a sweep of arrests and revelations in the novel’s dramatic fourth volume. The O’Briens’ original footnotes and authorial digressions detail the failure of colonial policy in Ireland, contributing to the novel’s long-standing reputation as a credible historical account of the turbulent 1790s.

This Broadview Edition includes extensive historical documents on Irish politics in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, as well as a selection of contemporary reviews of The O’Briens and the O’Flahertys.

Comments

“Julia M. Wright’s beautiful new edition of The O’Briens and The O’Flahertys is a revelation. As with her masterfully edited Broadview edition of Morgan’s The Missionary, Wright has provided the social and historical contexts that bring Morgan’s work back to us in its rich and complex fullness. The O’Briens and the O’Flahertys, arguably Morgan’s best novel, details the intertwined histories of two Irish families and follows their descendants through the tumultuous period of Ireland on the brink of rebellion, while periodically glancing centuries back to trace incursions and settlements on Ireland’s shores, focusing upon English colonial rule. Wright’s well-researched introduction, copious footnotes (complementing those of Morgan herself), and appendices illuminating the United Irishmen uprising, the move toward reform, and the novel’s reception allow the reader to understand Morgan’s work as a daring national tale and colourful tour de force.” — Susan Egenolf, Texas A&M University

Acknowledgements
Introduction
Sydney Owenson (Lady Morgan): A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text

The O’Briens and the O’Flahertys: A National Tale

Appendix A: Selected Historical People, Groups, and Events

Appendix B: Nationalist Movements: From the Volunteers to the United Irishmen

  1. From Jonah Barrington, Historic Anecdotes and Secret Memoirs of the Legislative Union between Great Britain and Ireland (1809)
  2. “Original Declaration of the United Irishmen” (1791), Appendix I of Charles Hamilton Teeling’s Personal Narrative of the “Irish Rebellion” of 1798
  3. From William Drennan, A Letter to his Excellency Earl Fitzwilliam, Lord Lieutenant, &c. of Ireland (1795)
  4. From William Sampson, Memoirs of William Sampson (1807)
  5. From Charles Hamilton Teeling, Personal Narrative of the “Irish Rebellion” of 1798 (1828)
  6. From Thomas Moore, The Life and Death of Lord Edward Fitzgerald (1831)
  7. From Jonah Barrington, Historic Anecdotes and Secret Memoirs of the Legislative Union between Great Britain and Ireland (1809)

Appendix C: “The Cause of Reform”: From Grattan’s Parliament to
Catholic Emancipation

  1. From Henry Grattan’s speech on “A Bill for the Relief of the
    Roman Catholics” (25 December 1781)
  2. From Henry Grattan, “Declaration of Right” (22 February
    1782)
  3. From William Drennan, Letter to the Right Honorable William Pitt (1799)
  4. From Denys Scully, A Statement of the Penal Laws (1812)
  5. From Robert Torrens, The Victim of Intolerance; Or, the Hermit
    of Killarney. A Catholic Tale
    (1814)
  6. From The Speech of Daniel O’Connell, Esq. at the Catholic
    Aggregate Meeting, at the Freemasons’ Hall, on Feb. 26, 1825
  7. From “Aristocracy,” in Lady Morgan’s Book of the Boudoir
    (1829)

Appendix D: Contemporary Responses to The O’Briens and the O’Flahertys

  1. From the Morning Chronicle (22 November 1827)
  2. From the Caledonian Mercury (Edinburgh) (7 January 1828)
  3. From R. Shelton Mackenzie’s “Editor’s Preface,” The O’Briens and the O’Flahertys (1856)

Works Cited and Recommended Reading

Julia M. Wright is Associate Professor of English at Dalhousie University. The editor of the Broadview Edition of Lady Morgan’s The Missionary, she has published widely on Irish and Romantic literatures.