Skip to main content

Current Projects

Early Irish Fiction. c. 1680-1820
Early Irish Fiction. c. 1680-1820

Early Irish Fiction

Ian Campbell Ross is Professor of Eighteenth-Century Studies in the School of English, Trinity College Dublin.
Aileen Douglas is Senior Lecturer in the School of English, Trinity College Dublin.
Moyra Haslett is Senior Lecturer in the School of English, Queen’s University Belfast.

'Early Irish Fiction' is a collaborative research project between the School of English, Trinity College Dublin and the School of English, Queen's University Belfast, which oversees the publication of a series of critical editions of fictional texts with Four Courts Press. It has received funding from the IRCHSS, the AHRC, and the Long Room Hub.

Irish prose fiction of the long eighteenth century has only recently begun to receive the attention it merits. While such names as Swift, Goldsmith and Edgeworth have long been familiar to readers of Irish (and British) literature, many other writers – born, educated, or living in Ireland – produced a substantial and imaginatively varied body of fiction from the late-seventeenth to the early-nineteenth century. This series aims more fully to indicate the diversity and breadth of Irish literature in the period 1680-1820 by providing critical editions of a range of exemplary works of prose fiction. In so doing, it will indicate the role the early novel played in inventing Ireland for readers at home and abroad, while offering new perspectives on the literature and history of these islands.

Each title in the series contains a carefully-edited text, together with a critical introduction, a select bibliography, and comprehensive notes, designed for scholars and students of Irish writing in English, of the English novel, and all those concerned with Ireland c.1680 – c.1820.

Titles published so far are:

Anon. Vertue Rewarded (1693), ed. Ian Campbell Ross and Anne Markey (Four Courts Press, 2010)

Sarah Butler, Irish Tales (1716), eds. Ian Campbell Ross, Aileen Douglas and Anne Markey (Four Courts Press, 2010)

John Carey; Margaret King Moore, Lady Mount Cashell; and Henry Brooke, Children’s Fiction, 1765-1808, ed. Anne Markey (Four Courts Press, 2011)

Elizabeth Sheridan, The Triumph of Prudence over Passion (1781), ed. Ian Campbell Ross and Aileen Douglas (Four Courts Press, 2011)

Thomas Amory, The Life of John Buncle, Esq (1756), ed. Moyra Haslett (Four Courts Press, 2011)

Externally-funded projects linked to the Centre for Eighteenth-century Studies

Irish Legislation Project

Co-directors: Prof. David Hayton (History) and Dr James Kelly (St Patrick's College, Dublin City University); Research fellows: 2004-7 Dr John Bergin and 2004-6 Dr Andrew Sneddon

This project has as its objective to investigate the working of the Irish legislative system in the eighteenth century through the compilation of a database of legislative initiatives undertaken in the Irish parliament, 1692-1800.  When completed, the database will be published on the internet with open access. To mark the completion of the work, a symposium will be held at Queen’s in September 2007, under the auspices of the Wiles Trust on legislation in Ireland in the eighteenth century. The information on the database will be used by co-directors in the writing of a research monograph on the working on the Irish legislative system.

The Correspondence of Bernardin de Saint-Pierre

Director: Prof. Simon Davies; Research fellow: Dr Tim Reeves

Bernardin de Saint-Pierre (1737-1814) was a leading figure in the literary and cultural world of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century in France.  His letters (some 2,500) shed light on the personal life of a versatile writer as well as his relationships with the authorities at home and abroad.  The project is being funded by the AHRC, the British Academy and the MHRA under the general editorship of Professor Malcolm Cook (University of Exeter).  It has acquired British Academy Research Project status.  As a born digital project, it will be published by the Voltaire Foundation as part of its Electronic Enlightenment project and distributed by the Oxford University Press.

The Long Eighteenth Century: The Physical Record

Director: Dr Sarah McCleave

This project is open-ended in scope, and is meant to foster initiatives which will heighten awareness of, and improve access to, archival and ephemeral records relating to the long eighteenth century (1680-1840) in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Towards a Catalogue of Madrid Bookshops, 1759-1814

Dr Gabriel Sánchez Espinosa and Dr Joaquín Álvarez Barrientos (CSIC, Madrid)

This project, funded by the British Academy and the CSIC, will provide the data and conceptual groundwork to build aspatial inventory of bookshops / printing houses in Madrid 1759-1814. Eventually it will be adapted to a GIS database using contemporary maps of the city. Studies on Madrid bookshops / printing houses for this period so far have been scarce, merely giving isolated attention to those printers who stand out for their typographical achievements (Ibarra, Sancha). Our aim is to determine the role of these independent businesses in the ideological and cultural renovation brough about by the Enlightenment. The research will also focus on the significance of these bookshops as spaces of independent literary sociability, each with its own network of authors and generic specialization, contrasting them with those new cultural institutions controlled and patronized by the Bourbon state (Royal Academies, Royal Library, Economic Societies...)