Journal article

Late Disturbances: Maria Edgeworth's An Essay on Irish Bulls (1802)

Clara Tuite

WOMENS HISTORY REVIEW | ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD | Published : 2011

Abstract

This article examines Maria Edgeworth's parodic essay on the Irish bull (a form of blunder or linguistic absurdity associated with the Irish), as a form of counter-Whig history. It argues that Edgeworth satirically refunctions the genre of the Irish bull by interrogating its presumptive status as an essentially Irish form of speech and exposing it instead as an English imperial genre. Engaging the Essay against the contexts of the 1798 United Irish rebellion and the 1801 Act of Union, the article argues that Edgeworth's Essay offers a counter-history of the Union by illuminating how rhetorical or symbolic violence underwrites the material violence of empire. Ma'am, it will wear for ever, and..

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University of Melbourne Researchers