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 Barr is Lecturer in English at the National University of Ireland Galway. Sarah-Anne Buckley is Lecturer in History at the National University of Ireland Galway and President of the Women's History Association of Ireland. Muireann O’Cinneide is Lecturer in English at the National University of Ireland Galway.