Law and Literature: The Irish Case

BookLaw and Literature: The Irish Case

Law and Literature: The Irish Case


September 1st, 2022





Law and Literature: The Irish Case is a collection of fascinating essays by literary and legal scholars which explore the intersections between law and literature in Ireland from the eighteenth century to the present day. Sharing a concern for the cultural life of law and the legal life of culture, the contributors shine a light on the ways in which the legal and the literary have spoken to each other, of each other, and, at times, for each other, on the island of Ireland in the last three centuries. Several of the chapters discuss how texts and writers have found their ways into the law’s chambers and contributed to the development of jurisprudence. The essays in the collection also reveal the juridical and jurisprudential forces that have shaped the production and reception of Irish literary culture, revealing the law’s popular reception and its extra-legal afterlives.

Author Information

Adam Hanna is Lecturer in Irish Literature in the Department of English at University College Cork. Eugene McNulty is Professor of English at Dublin City University.

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
Proem: ‘Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act, 2013’
Julie Morrissy
Introduction: Law and Literature / The Irish Case
Adam Hanna and Eugene McNulty
Opening Argument: Interpretation in Law and Literature
Tom Hickey and David Kenny
Part I: Alternative Jurisdictions
1. Saying Unsaid: Law Transformed in Annemarie Ní Churreáin’s Bloodroot (2017)
Adam Gearey
2. Laughter Before the Law: Censorship, Caricature and Hunger Strike in Modern Irish Literature and Art
Barry Sheils
3. Citizenship and Connection in Doireann Ní Ghríofa’s Clasp (2015)
Adam Hanna
4. Writing Law(lessness): Legal Pluralism and Narrative Structure in Emily Lawless’s Hurrish (1886).
Heather Laird
Part II: The Writer in Court
5. Imagination versus the Law: Oscar Wilde
Noreen Doody
6. Fiat Justitia Ruat Caelum - Revisiting the Wildes on Trial
Gearóid O’Flaherty
7. World War II Treason Trials and the Legacy of Irish Rebellion in Rebecca West’s The Meaning of Treason (1948)
Katherine Ebury
8. Legible Letters: The Cases of Patrick Pearse and the ‘English’ Alphabet
Colum Kenny
Part III: The Court in Writing
9. Through a Legal Looking-Glass: Maria Edgeworth’s Castle Rackrent (1800) and the Law
Max Barrett
10. Rape Narratives, Women’s Testimony, and Irish Law in Asking for It and Dark Chapter
Rebecca Anne Barr
11. ‘Pleading My Cause’: Literature and the Law in Irish Romanticism
James Kelly
12. The Judge and The Human Hansard in Brian Friel’s Theatre
Virginie Roche-Tiengo
13. Moral Legibility: Dion Boucicault and the Melodramatic Legal Scene
Eugene Mc Nulty