Literacy, Language and Reading in Nineteenth-Century Ireland

BookLiteracy, Language and Reading in Nineteenth-Century Ireland

Literacy, Language and Reading in Nineteenth-Century Ireland

Society for the Study of Nineteenth Century Ireland, 4


June 4th, 2019

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This volume of essays explores the multiple forms and functions of reading and writing in nineteenth-century Ireland. This century saw a dramatic transition in literacy levels and in the education and language practices of the Irish population, yet the processes and full significance of these transitions remains critically under explored. This book traces how understandings of literacy and language shaped national and transnational discourses of cultural identity, and the different reading communities produced by questions of language, religion, status, education and audience. Essays are gathered under four main areas of analysis: Literacy and Bilingualism; Periodicals and their readers; Translation, transmission and transnational literacies; Visual literacies. Through these sections, the authors offer a range of understandings of the ways in which Irish readers and writers interpreted and communicated their worlds. List of contributors: Rebecca Anne Barr, Sarah-Anne Buckley, Muireann O’Cinneide, Niall Ó Ciosáin, Máire Nic an Bhaird, Liam Mac Mathúna, James Quinn, Nicola Morris, Elizabeth Tilley, Darragh Gannon, Florry O’Driscoll, Michèle Milan, Nessa Cronin and Stephanie Rains.


‘A cause for celebration and a strong indicator of the maturation of the field… this collection up-ends many assumptions about nineteenth-century Ireland as it grappled with literacies in both English and Irish during a century that witnessed tremendous change.’
Karen Steel, Victorian Periodicals Review

'The capacious key terms of Literacy, Language, and Reading allow the conceptual nets to be cast far and wide... the real contribution of this volume is the kaleidoscopic view that it both constructs and encourages.'
Sean O’Toole, Victorian Studies

'In addition to scholars of linguistics and language, this book will be of use to those researching the history of the book and printing in Ireland, journalism, cartography and religion. All reveal something of the social and culture life of nineteenth century Ireland.'
Orla Fitzpatrick, Irish Studies Review

Author Information

Rebecca Anne Barr is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of English at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Jesus College. Sarah-Anne Buckley is Lecturer in History at the National University of Ireland Galway. Muireann O’Cinneide is Lecturer in English at the National University of Ireland Galway.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
List of Figures and Tables7
Section 1: Literacy and Bilingualism27
1. Varieties of Literacy in Nineteenth-Century Ireland: Gender, Religion and Language29
2. Douglas Hyde (1860–1949): The Adolescent Behind the Diarist42
Section 2: Periodicals and Their Readers65
3. The Nation, History, and the Making of National Citizens67
4. Watchmen to the House of Israel? Irish Methodism and the Religious Press80
5. The Dublin Penny Journal and Alternative Histories101
Section 3: Translation, Transmission and Transnational Literacies119
6. Room with a View: Reading Ireland in the Irish College Old Library, Paris c.1870–1900121
7. ‘May God Bless You and All at Home’: Mid-Nineteenth Century Irish Views on Italy through the Letters of Albert Delahoyde, 1860–1870140
8. ‘Good Translations’ or ‘Mental Dram-Drinking’? Translation and Literacy in Nineteenth-Century Ireland153
Section 4: Visual Literacies171
9. From Dublin to Dehra Dun: Language, Translation and the Mapping of Ireland and India173
10. Reading the Hand: Palmistry, Graphology and Alternative Literacies190
Select Bibliography205