‘English Verdure, English Culture, English Comfort’: Ireland and the Gothic Elsewhere in Jane Austen’s Emma

McInnes, Andrew (2017) ‘English Verdure, English Culture, English Comfort’: Ireland and the Gothic Elsewhere in Jane Austen’s Emma. Romantic Textualities, 22. pp. 66-77. ISSN 1748-0116 DOI https://doi.org/10.18573/j.2017.10154

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Abstract

This article shifts attention away from the perfections of England to explore the place of Ireland in Jane Austen's Emma. Intrigued by Jane Fairfax's refusal to travel with the Dixons in Ireland, Emma conjectures spitefully about an unrequited - or possibly consummated - affair between Jane and Mr Dixon. Obfuscating his actual affair with Jane, Frank Churchill uses Emma's Irish conjectures to flirt with both women. Ireland becomes a repository of Gothic potential over the course of Austen's novel: a space upon which characters can map their unspoken and unspeakable desires. Austen accesses the Irish Gothic to ask questions about national identity, legitimacy, and power.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: English Language & Literature
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2016 12:43
URI: http://repository.edgehill.ac.uk/id/eprint/8110

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