1st Edition

A Critical Reappraisal of the Writings of Francis Sylvester Mahony

By Fergus Dunne Copyright 2019
    298 Pages
    by Routledge

    298 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book resituates Francis Sylvester Mahony in an early nineteenth-century literary-historical context, counteracting the efforts of twentieth-century literary historians to obscure his contribution to the emergence of a distinctive Irish Catholic fiction in English. This volume re-explores his ambivalent role as a Catholic unionist contributor to the progressive Tory London periodical, Fraser’s Magazine, examining his use of translation to map out an alternative literary aesthetic of the peripheries. The book also traces the development of his political thinking in his Italian journalism for Charles Dickens’ Daily News, in which he responded to the events of the Famine by finding common cause with Young Ireland, and looks afresh at his final incarnation as a British Liberal commentator on Irish and European affairs for the Globe newspaper. More broadly, the book seeks to re-evaluate Mahony’s cosmopolitan writings in relation to the multifaceted, transnational perspectives on Irish, British, and European affairs presented in his essays and journalism.

    Table of Contents


    Biographical Overview

    Section 1.

    1. Centrally Peripheral, Peripherally Central: The "Prout Papers" of Francis Sylvester Mahony

    William Maginn, Cork, and Fraser’s Magazine

    The "Prout Papers"

    Mahony and O’Connell

    Classicism and Cultural Continuity

    Peripheral Considerations?


    2. "Oppression Makes a Wise Man Mad": Representations of Jonathan Swift in the Writings of Francis Sylvester Mahony

    Economic Patriot?

    Fictional Considerations: Sincerity and Irony


    3. "Attaining Majority" in the Celtic Peripheries: Francis Sylvester Mahony, Walter Scott, and "The Groves of Blarney"

    "A Plea for Pilgrimages"

    Antiquarianism and Narrative History

    "The Groves of Blarney"


    4. The Politics of Translation in "The Rogueries of Thomas Moore"

    Moore as Nationalist Commentator

    (Mis)representing the Irish Past

    The Politicization of Historical Discourse

    Equivalence and Politicized Translation


    5. "Custom Doth Make Dotards of Us All": Peripheral Perspectives on the Center in the "Prout Papers" and Sartor Resartus

    Mahony, Carlyle, and Sartor Resartus

    Intercultural Dialogue: Scottish and Irish Correlations

    Translating the Center and Periphery

    Cultural Translation


    Section 2.

    6. "From Cork […] to St. Peter’s Cupola": The Idea of Italy in the Writings of Francis Sylvester Mahony

    Mahony and The Daily News

    Allegorizing Italian History

    "The Fag End of an Old Reign"

    "Unfurling the Banner of Reform"

    Mahony, Young Ireland, and Roman Republicanism


    7. "The Independent Expression of Public Opinion": The Paris Correspondence of Francis Sylvester Mahony

    The Globe Correspondence in Context

    Parisian Letters

    Ultramontanism in France

    Mahony and Archbishop Cullen

    Progressive Liberalism and Fenian Republicanism


    Section 3.

    8. Fragments, Politics, and "The Bells of Shandon"

    Literary and Local Contexts

    "The Bells of Shandon"

    Critical Reception


    9. "Shameful Literary Traditions": Daniel Corkery and the Literary Reputation of Francis Sylvester Mahony

    Nineteenth-Century Perspectives

    Irish-Ireland, Daniel Corkery, and Literary Expatriation

    Interpreting Mahony after Synge and Anglo-Irish Literature


    10. Cosmopolitanism in the Margins: Francis Sylvester Mahony, James Clarence Mangan, and the Author-Translator in Nineteenth-Century Irish Literature

    Mahony and Mangan as Irish Catholic Magazinists

    Indirection and Pseudonymous Authorship

    Parodic Translation and Literary Paternity



    Fergus Dunne received his Ph.D. in Anglo-Irish literature at the University of Sussex. His dissertation presented a critical reappraisal of the texts and contexts of Francis Sylvester Mahony. He has published several articles on various aspects of Mahony’s literary and journalistic careers in international peer-reviewed journals.