Review by Choice Review
Nineteenth- and early-20th-century new woman scholarship is abundant, but noticeably absent are critical discussions of Irish new woman literature. Much Irish writing of the period focuses on the legacy of colonialism, "The Famine," and the dominant paternalism of the Roman Catholic Church. Equally trenchant, argues O'Toole (Univ. of Limerick), was the Irish woman's quest for an autonomous, legally accepted, and respected self in Irish society. Focusing on works by Sarah Grand (chapters 1 and 5), L. T. Meade (chapter 2), Anna Parnell, Hannah Lynch, George Moore, Rosa Mullholland (chapter 3), George Egerton (chapters 4 and 5), and Katherine Cecil Thurston (chapter 5), O'Toole demonstrates that these writers were invested in issues of gender equality, gender and sexual identification and orientation, and expanding the prevalent Irish discussion of social justice to include women. Exciting for its discussion of works not typically included in the Irish studies canon, like Anna Parnell"s The Land League: Tale of a Great Sham (1907) and Katherine Cecil Thurston's Max (1910), O'Toole's book is a critical addition to new woman scholarship. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers. V. A. Murrenus Pilmaier University of Wisconsin Sheboygan
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