Charles Maturin

Authorship, authenticity and the nation

Jim Kelly

Hardback €49.50
Catalogue Price: €55.00
ISBN: 978-1-84682-304-6
May 2011. 208pp.

An important study, not just of the work of Charles Maturin, but also of gothic literature in general … Kelly situates Maturin at the heart of the gothic genre, white at the same time examining how Maturin’s work engaged with issues deeply connected to European Romanticism … [the book] places Maturin very clearly in the literary and political contexts of his time … Jim Kelly has provided a very important study of Charles Maturin and also of the period in which he lived and wrote. The broad scope of research and the perceptiveness of critical insight that is evident in this text makes it of value to established Irish Studies scholars and also useful for newcomers to the field’, Graham Price, The Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies (Summer 2014).

'An elegant and nuanced study … Kelly has produced a volume that adds considerably to current critical debates on Romantic-era writing in Ireland and conceptions of the Gothic more generally. Throughout, the book is extremely well-researched and intellectually ambitious. Kelly’s work breaks new critical ground and will be an important basis for future research … This is in many respects a groundbreaking monograph that will be essential reading for all scholars interested in both Maturin and his time', Timothy C. Baker, Eighteenth-Century Ireland (2013).

‘Throughout his study, Kelly deftly situates Maturin and his works in the historical context of post-Revolutionary Britain, post-Unionist Ireland and Napoleonic Europe … Kelly rightly invests Maturin with a creative consciousness and conscience all his own, one very much aware of its relationship to existing literary tradition. Indeed, Kelly’s arguments are particularly strong in their investigation of the densely allusive and highly self-reflexive nature of Maturin’s writing style', Christina Morin, Irish Literary Supplement (Autumn 2012).

‘A learned and provocative book. The seriousness with which Jim Kelly takes Charles Maturin as a self-conscious, self-reflexive author is both refreshing and compelling … Kelly’s conclusions about particular works are useful insofar as they help us appreciate the complexity of Maturin’s style and of his engagement with the contemporary and near-contemporary writers such as Edmund Burke, Sydney Owenson, Maraia Edgeworth, and Walter Scott … This is a book with promise; its contentions are suggestive, smart, often appealing’, Ashley Marshall, ECF (2014).

‘The substantial scholarship … clears away much of the obscurity surrounding Maturin and his under-read oeuvre, while also retaining a sophisticated sense of an author whose texts are characterized by darkness and the workings of the unconscious rather than the conscious mind … Questions of romantic period authorship and the remediation of culture lie at the centre of Jim Kelly’s impressive new study of Maturin. Kelly provides a valuable reconsideration of Maturin’s relationship to his female contemporaries [and] focuses on the ways in which Maturin responded to the repackaging of traditional cultural forms in the modern, commercially-driven form of the novel … a nuanced and detailed discussion', Clíona Ó Gallchoir, The Irish Review (Autumn 2013).