New Publication: The European Metropolis

The European Metropolis: Paris and Nineteenth-Century Irish Women Novelists

Matthew Reznicek

Clemson University Press


The European Metropolis is the first book to explore Irish women’s novels and the representation of Paris, which draws these writers into a recognizably European literary tradition. By reasserting the centrality of Paris, this book draws connections between Irish women writers and European writers, forging new points of contact between Irish literature and canonical figures like Goethe, Balzac, and Zola through the shared interest in the socio-economic development of modernity. The European Metropolis not only expands the critical framework in which scholars situate these novels but also expands the map of Irish Studies.



“In this highly original and engaging study of Irish women’s writing, Reznicek provides a fresh and vigorous account of the development of the female Bildungsroman during the long nineteenth century. Drawing upon an adroit selection of canonical and lesser-known fictions, The European Metropolisgenerates a dynamic analysis that rigorously reconceptualizes the key texts and contexts informing Irish literary production in this period.”

Sonja Lawrenson, Manchester Metropolitan University


The European Metropolis offers a daring Marxist-feminist analysis on one of the most central urban spaces in European history. Reznicek pushes readers to reconsider the role of Paris’s cityscape in nineteenth-century literature as it is represented in Irish women’s novels instead of those predominantly written by and about men. It skillfully surveys topographies of the novel with theories of modernity in architectural, urban, feminist, and Irish studies.”

Derek Gladwin, University of British Columbia, author of Contentious Terrains

“In The European Metropolis, Matthew L. Reznicek presents a timely and essential rereading of the centrality of Paris to the alienation of consumer capitalism by showing how Irish literature written by women in the nineteenth century challenges the interdependent binaries undergirding modern patriarchy. Reznicek’s study is nothing short of groundbreaking because we have waited too long to center the Irish female voice in our understanding of the development of modern European subjectivity.”

Ellen Scheible, Coordinator of Irish Studies, Bridgewater State University, editor of Rethinking Joyce’s Dubliners

The European Metropolis offers a wide-ranging account of the powerful role played by Paris in the imagination of Irish women writers. In redrawing the map of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Irish women’s writing, Matthew L. Reznicek helps us to reimagine the ambitions, appetites, and energies of authors such as Maria Edgeworth, Lady Morgan, Somerville and Ross, Katherine Cecil Thurston, and Kate O’Brien.”

Claire Connolly, Professor of Modern English, University College Cork, author of A Cultural History of the Irish Novel, 1790–1829

“A compelling and refreshing study of the role of Paris in Irish women’s literary imaginations, ranging from Edgeworth and Owenson to Somerville and Ross and Thurston. Through a series of elegantly argued readings, Reznicek valuably extends our understanding of both the urban and female spheres, and of the particular appeal and anxieties that characterize the emerging metropolitan modern.”

Margaret Kelleher, Chair of Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama, University College Dublin



Format: Hardback

Size: 239 x 163 mm

240 Pages

ISBN: 9781942954323

Publication: July 20, 2017

Series: Clemson University Press