Irish Poetry under the Union, 1801-1924
by Matthew Campbell
Cambridge University Press
This book retells the story of Irish poetry written in English between the union of Britain and Ireland in 1801 and the early years of the Irish Free State. Through careful poetic and historical analysis, Matthew Campbell offers ways to read that poetry as ruptured, musical, translated and new. The book starts with the Romantic songs and parodies of nationalist and unionist writers – Moore, Mahony, Ferguson and Mangan – in times of defeat, resurgence and famine. It continues through a discussion of English Victorian poets such as Tennyson, Arnold and Hopkins, who wrote Irish poems as the British Empire unraveled. Campbell’s treatment ends with Yeats, seeking a new poetry emerging from under union in times of violence and civil war. The book offers both a literary history of nineteenth-century Irish poetry and a way of reading it for scholars of Irish studies as well as Romantic and Victorian literature.
Matthew Campbell is Professor of Modern Literature at the University of York.