Authorship, authenticity and the nation
Charles Maturin (1780–1824) is best known today for his Gothic masterpiece Melmoth the Wanderer (1820). A thorough study of his wider work reveals him to have been a deeply conflicted writer at a time when a newly idealized conception of authorship was emerging alongside a ruthlessly commercial book industry. This is the first study to look at the entirety of Maturin’s work in fiction, drama and sermons within the context of changing attitudes to authorship, authenticity and the idea of national literature in the Romantic period. Maturin emerges from this study a far more complex figure than his previous reception indicates, and also shows how his work engaged with issues at the heart of Irish, British and European Romanticism.
Jim Kelly lectures in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics at the University of Sheffield, and specializes in Romantic period studies, particularly in relation to Ireland and Scotland. He is editor of Ireland and Romanticism: publics, nations and scenes of cultural production (London, 2011).